SOLEMNITY OF THE KING
AT NOEDOK, ST. PÖLTEN, AUSTRIA
The 2023 Award for Fine Art in Lower Austria goes to Florian Nährer (*1976). He studied under Markus Prachensky and Walter Obholzer and has exhibited his artistic work, which includes painting, drawing and objects, extensively since the mid-1990s.
High-contrast colors and geometric forms are typical. Florian Nährer's pictorial inventions are characterized by diamonds and lines, sometimes strictly, sometimes more loosely placed. The artist always develops his work in series and spontaneously, placing his color segments together in an almost meditative process without much preparatory work. Florian Nährer's works captivate with their order, which acts as a haven of peace in the chaos of everyday life. He is close to American hard-edge painting and also draws a strong influence from pop culture.
"I want my art to touch people like a good pop song, deep inside," says the artist. Florian Nährer's artistic work always conveys a critical claim: he embroiders "to whom it may concern" in colorful Fraktur font on a monumental textile surface and mixes New Economy jargon with typography reminiscent of National Socialism.
It is not surprising that he studied theology as well as fine art and that social, spiritual and philosophical questions always lurk beneath the colorful, seemingly "harmless" surfaces. He proves this particularly with his works for public spaces: For St. Pölten Cathedral, for example, he developed a monumental Lenten cloth made from a reflective fabric, such as that used for life jackets in road traffic, or covered imposing, 17-metre-high silos in St. Peter/Au with paint and then called them "joy sticks". In 2019, Nährer created a memorial for the murdered patients of the Nazi era on the grounds of the former Mauer-Öhling mental hospital near Amstetten, using gravestones from abandoned graves to create a stairway to heaven.
photo credits: Ulrich Ghezzi / Florian Naehrer
F L O R I A N N A E H R E R