Franz Senkinc (1902-1956)


Franz Senkinc is born on October 26, 1902 in Vienna. Little is known about his training as an artist. He finishes an apprenticeship as a lithographer and is said to have also attended the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Education and Research Institute for Graphics) and the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) in Vienna. The first works by Franz Senkinc we know are from the 1920s with nocturnal, evacuated cityscapes showing the influence of Egon Schiele. In the 1930s, experiments on a formal level follow, in the shape of collages, assorted materials compositions and overpaintings. Additionally, Surrealist and Constructivist tendendies begin to show. In 1940, he weds his long-term partner, gymnastics instructor Mia Riegler (1908 - 1966). This profound relationship is reflected by his artwork, and he creates numerous portraits of his wife. However, only one year after the wedding, the couple is divorced.


The artwork of Franz Senkinc is ahead of its time, aesthetically and in terms of content. The response of the art-buying public is limited. This may have been one of the reasons Franz Senkinc persues a career in the fields of photography and public relations. In the 1930s he works as a graphic artist für Otto Exinger. In the years 1938 to 1945, supposedly due to the political development, Senkinc's artwork shifts stylistically towards Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) and Romantic Realism. He seems to adapt to the taste doctrine of the time, turning to traditional painting and, above all, to landscape paitning. At the same time, however, hidden from public view, he accomplishes a great amount of collages and overpaintings, informed by a much more critical, modern and aggressive tone. In the 1950s, Senkinc sets his wit to the formal language of Surrealism.
Franz Senkinc dies on November 23, 1956 in Vienna, of injuries sustained in a fall down the stairs.

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