Coming from a large family I am biased with a certain preference for group pictures. My way of thinking and working is directed towards the community, the collective, the group. The individual then experiences its potential when it learns to perceive its significance in the group, recognizes it and contributes to the community in an unadulterated manner. My image concepts are self-reliant and inevitably point to the need to cultivate mental faculties and develop loving compassion. Last but not least, I understand my art as an indication of the overcoming of preconceptions, irrational fears and populism.
Michael Hedwig is one of the most recognized artists of Austrian contemporary art. His family roots are in East Tyrol and in Transylvania. Born in Lienz in 1957, he has been living in Vienna since he was seventeen. He completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, in the master class of Anton Lehmden. Already in 1986 Hedwig was awarded the Austrian Graphic Award. In the same year he received his first teaching assignment. Today, as an assistant professor, he heads the gravure workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Accompanied by a lively exhibition activity from Vienna to Tokyo or Istanbul, Berlin, Washington, or from Graz to Paris, the artist works continuously on his images, based on social-mythical, transpersonal concepts. In his pictures, the individual always appears involved in group-dynamic, energetic processes. Hedwig deals extensively with our society and its mechanisms. He analyzes human sensitivities and presents them in manifold ways. In 2005, he created a permanent everyday presence in the heart of Vienna, in the 1st district, in the subway station U3-Stubentor. His monumental mode of operation, which manifested itself in the fasting cloth for the cathedral of St. Jakob in Innsbruck or in his graphite friezes from 2015, is countered by Hedwig’s small-format picture series. His multicolored etchings “Über-Körper” or the black and white etchings “Tagwerk & Nachtarbeit. Miniatures “in which another aspect of his work as an interaction of word and image appears in appearance. Projectually, this interaction of word and image or word-image sound expands in collaboration with the author Karin Peschka and the composer Rudolf Jungwirth in current character series such as “Fries” or “The Wild Hunt”.