Martin Schnur

1964 born in Vorau (Austria)
1982-85 School of Applied Arts in Graz
1985-90 Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, master class sculpture Joannis Avramidis

Virtuoso play with levels of reality: Natural landscape and interior

Different levels of reality, combined into a multi-layered whole, are a characteristic feature of many paintings. A second, clearly delimited painting level is inserted into a natural landscape; in an interior with people, a painting opens up into the outside space. Since landscape and people almost never exist on the same picture plane and are hardly related in terms of content, Martin Schnur breaks with the expectation of a romantic depiction of nature. His landscapes do not offer wide panoramas and perspectives, they are fragmentary, close to the wood, the water, the grasses. The artist delights in nature's inexhaustible variety of forms and colours, a suitable backdrop for his virtuoso play with light and shadow, with reflections and shading.
In his paintings, Schnur places young people, casually dressed or even naked, in the foreground. Without narrative context, they appear isolated and fragile. They are introverted and silent and do not come into contact with the viewer; usually turned away from him, communication is denied.

The human body and the natural landscape serve Martin Schnur as a testing ground for painting that can create a new reality poetically and sensually with light and shadow, surface and space. Man and nature are related to the painting, gently embedded they live in it, instead of addressing the recipient or conveying a clearly graspable content. The blending of spaces and atmospheres, the ambivalence of geometrically delimited fields and depth effects lend the compositions, like conundrums, an additional intensity.

Light, shadow and reflections

Unifying elements of the different levels of reality are moods of light and reflections - a frequently recurring motif is the broken mirror. Fascinating and threatening at the same time, Schnur skilfully places it in the picture: people and landscape are reflected on mirror surfaces lying on the ground, protagonists handle pieces of broken glass rather dangerously. It is similar with the light. The glow of a ray of light entering the interior continues in the adjacent natural exterior. The light becomes the protagonist of the painting.


2013, oil on canvas, 74 x 68 cm

5 Cent

2012, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

Zapping #3, #1

each 2011, pastel on paper, each 55 x 41 cm



Disillusion, bechter kastowsky gallery, Vienna
Peripheria, bechter kastowsky galerie, Vienna - Zonenschub, Hartberg City Museum
Pretence, Essl Museum, Vienna/Klosterneuburg
So..., Martin Schnur, Ulrike Stubenböck, Bechter Kastowsky Gallery, Vienna - Herbert Brandl/Martin Schnur, EMB Contemporary Art, Triesen/Liechtenstein
bipolar, Lukas Feichtner Gallery, Vienna
Schein, Augarten Contemporary, Vienna
Martin Schnur, Kunsthaus Muerz, Mürzzuschlag - Martin Schnur, Schafschetzy Gallery, Graz
Martin Schnur, Lukas Feichtner Gallery, Vienna
Martin Schnur, Gallery Binz & Krämer, Cologne - placing shadows, Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg
Heliogravures of the series placing shadows, Kupferstichkabinett der bildenden Künste Vienna - Where will you spend eternity, Galerie Feichtner & Mizrahi, Vienna
Anonymous rooms, Schafschetzy Gallery, Styrian Autumn, Graz
Martin Schnur, T19-Gallery for Contemporary Art, Vienna - The movement at the edge of a horizon as the beginning of possible attacks, Neue Galerie Graz, Graz
Infinity, Galerie am Kirchplatz, Hartberg - Shots in the dark, Galerie Atrium ed arte, Vienna
Interference-Blue, Gallery Schafschetzy, Graz
Raum-Deuten, in the park of the ORF regional studio Styria, Graz, open-air gallery of the Styrian Autumn, Universalmuseum Joanneum
Martin Schnur, Gallery von der Milwe, Aachen
Martin Schnur, Gallery Würthle, Vienna
Martin Schnur, Display Case, Subway Station Schottentor, Vienna


Boundless, Wolfgang Jahn Gallery, Munich
Wild Childhood, Lentos Art Museum Linz
Time Travel. Austrian Art from 7 Decades, Palais Kinsky, Vienna
Natural-Metaphor, Kunsthalle Nexus, Saalfelden
Body & Soul, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg - Augenblicke, Menschenbilder im Spannungsfeld zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft, Schafschetzy Gallery, Graz
After Picasso, In search of traces in young Austrian art, Forum Frohner, Krems
Figuration between Dream and Reality, Museum Angerlehner, Wels - das maß aller dinge, galerie gölles, Fürstenfeld - 12 zeigt 7, bechter kastowsky galerie, Vienna
First presentation of the Angerlehner Collection, Museum Angerlehner, Wels - Sehnsucht Ich, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg - das exponential, Kuefsteingasse 15-19, 1140 Vienna - Vienna Calling, on the occasion of the 2. Painting Biennial of Zagreb, Galerija Bačva, Zagreb - be dramatic..., compiled by Martin Schnur, bechter kastowsky galerie, Vienna - the naked and the nude - works on paper, galerie martina detterer, Frankfurt - Land in sight! Landscape depictions from the collection, Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg, Salzburg - Bunt, Apartment Draschan, Vienna
Der nackte Mann, Kunstmuseum Lentos Linz, Linz - 4th exhibition of the NV Art Foundation, Niederösterreichische Versicherung AG, St. Pölten - Montag ist erst übermorgen | Junge Kunst auf Papier, Ankäufe des Kupferstichkabinetts 1997-2012, Kupferstichkabinett der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Vienna - 3. Trienal Internacional de la Acuarela, Santa Marta, Colombia - Das kleine Spiegelkabinett, curated by Lucas Cuturi, Apartment Draschan, Vienna - SESSHAFT, Galerie Steinek, Vienna
Nature as Inspiration, Selected Works from the Essl Collection, Sparkasse Academy, Bolzano - Reality and Abstraction I, Figurative and Expressive Concepts from 1980 to the Present, Museum Liaunig, Neuhaus/Suha - >Live Painting!<, Young Art from the Essl Collection, Schömer Haus, Klosterneuburg - A History of the Body. The Nude in Austrian Art from 1900 to 2011. Lanserhaus Gallery, Eppan/IT - Portrait, Gallery 422, Gmunden
Ringturm.Kunst, Vienna Insurance Group Collection, Leopold Museum, Vienna - A Touch of Eden - Masterpieces and Contemporary Positions, Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery, Bielefeld - FOUND-Wanted, Artists of Styria, Kon-temporär Gallery, Graz
The 50th Annual Japan Print Society (JPS) Exhibition, Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo - Brand New. Acquisitions 2007-2008, Essl Museum, Vienna/Klosterneuburg - Get Connected. Alexander Reznikov Collection, Künstlerhaus, Vienna - Spotlight. New acquisitions since 2006, Museum der Moderne Salzburg
System Mensch, works from the collection of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg - Essl Collection on Tour: KOMPLEX - Austrian Contemporary Art from the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg. Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund - narrated: Moment - Incident - Myth, DOK, St. Pölten
Neue Arbeiten / New Works, Lukas Feichtner Gallery, Vienna - Large Paintings, Lentos Art Museum Linz - Latest Works by ..., Lukas Feichtner Gallery, Vienna
New Acquisitions - Young Painting, Essl Museum, Vienna/Klosterneuburg - Austria: 1900 - 2000. Confrontations and Continuities, Essl Museum, Vienna/Klosterneuburg - Sweet Slumber - Sleep in Art from the 16th Century to the Present, Residenzgalerie Salzburg
Art in the T-Center, T-Mobile Collection, Vienna - natur-raum-kunst, Museum der Moderne Salzburg - HangART-7, Red Bull Hangar-7, Salzburg - Coming Out. real. thing, Kunstverein Kärnten, Klagenfurt - Daysleeper, BA-CA Kunstforum, Vienna - sometimes lovers, sometimes friends, contemporary art from the Lentos collection, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz - vom bild // zum bild . metamorphose, Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg - Figur und Wirklichkeit, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck
Visions of a Collection, Museum der Moderne Salzburg
New Spaces, Feichtner & Mizrahi, Vienna - Draught. Contemporary Art from Vienna, Kunst Zürich 2003 - Life is hard and so am I, Galerie Schafschetzy, Graz - Opening of the Austrian Sculpture Park, Graz - Young Viennese Art, Galerie Storms, Munich
Graz intern, Forum Stadtpark, Graz - Figure-counter-figure, Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg
The Cabinets of Dr. Czerny, Neue Galerie Graz
Opening exhibition T19-Gallery for contemporary art, Vienna - Summer stage open Art, Vienna (with Herbert Brandl and Heinrich Dunst)
Storm echo, Forum Stadtpark, Graz
Biennale "Intergraf Alpe-Adria", Centro Friolani Arti, Udine - Trans Cycling, Gallery Lendl, Graz
Anniversary exhibition of the Würthle Gallery, Vienna
18th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Zagreb
Young Austrian Artists, Pécsi Galerija, Pécs - 27th International Painting Symposium, Neue Galerie Graz - Transformations - 13 Positions of Austrian Sculpture of a New Generation, Neue Galerie Graz and Mestna Galerija, Ljubljana - Czerny Collection, Neue Galerie Graz
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Youth Works at Schillerplatz, Vienna - Young Austrian Artists, Keptar Muzeum, Szombathely