Summary by Dr. Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Director Albertina, Vienna
The year 1918, in which Klimt and Schiele died, was in the history of politics and the arts in every respect a turning-point. Thus it is no coincidence that Herbert Boeckl - unencumbered by his great predecessors - was able to open a new chapter in Austrian painting, a chapter which left behind, along with the ruins of the monarchy, the fin-de-siècle decadence of early Viennese Expressionism. Artistically speaking, Boeckl already belonged to a new generation, while at the same time - as so often in his life - being far ahead of it. With his magnificent early work, he lifted Austrian painting out of the stagnation of Expressionism and with his late work he liberated it from the provinciality imposed upon it by the corporate state and National Socialism. In both the First and the Second Republics, he was the quintessential identification figure for Austrian artists. His contribution to the intellectual and cultural rebuilding of Austria after the Second World War can hardly be valued highly enough. This, together with his unique and abundant artistic work, ought to guarantee Herbert Boeckl admission to Parnassus.