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Johann Korec
(1937-2008)

Right: Johann Korec. Photograph.

Left: Brigite Karrel and Korec Johann. 1989. Watercolor on paper. 17 5/8" x 12 7/8" (44.8 x 31.5 cm). Museum Charlotte Zander.

BIOGRAPHY

Johann Korec is among the artists associated with the Gugging group. "Gugging" is the abbreviated way of referring to the Haus der Künstler (House of Artists) established in 1981 by the psychiatrist Leo Navratil at the Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital in the hamlet of Gugging, outside Vienna. Many years earlier, Navratil had noticed that the art produced by certain patients far transcended the qualitative parameters of traditional art therapy. These artists, selected by Navratil with advice from local museum officials and artists (including the well-known painter Arnulf Rainer), began to publicly exhibit in the 1970s.

 

Gradually, the Haus der Künstler was supplemented by other facilities on the hospital grounds, including a studio, lecture hall, sales gallery, gift shop and museum. Today, under the leadership of the psychiatrist and artist Johann Feilacher, this complex functions under the name Art/Brut Center Gugging. The Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital was closed in 2007 and replaced by the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, an international research center.

 

Predating the recent fad for "outsider" art, the Gugging colony has exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Japan, and is widely recognized for its pioneering integrity and quality.

 

The intimate drawings of Johann Korec, a resident of the Haus der Künstler, gained him a reputation as a powerful expressionist. By supplementing his imagery with text, Korec created personal narratives similar to journal or sketchbook entries. Since the early 1970s his works have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout Europe and the United States.