Wolfgang Dieter Bauer’s work deals with the dichotomies between dreams and reality, and the surreal quality that conscious perception can sometimes take on. Dieter Bauer captures uncanny moments, where there is an underlying sense of mystery, and presents them to the viewer as such, without clarifying the situation on the canvas.
Wolfgang Dieter Bauer is an Austrian contemporary artist. He was born in 1977 in Vöcklabruck and completed his studies at the Kunstuniversität in Linz, graduating with a BA Honours and Master of Art. Dieter Bauer lives and works in Wolfsegg am Hausruck, in the mountainous region of Austrian Alps. The artworks created in his studio, located in his home overlooking a valley, have been displayed in several galleries and acquired by private collectors worldwide.
The work of Wolfgang Dieter Bauer is technically and conceptually well-developed. The artist works in acrylics on canvas, using vivid and smooth colours to convey thought-provoking scenes. He begins by creating his composition in Photoshop, combining parts of different photographs, images, film stills and motifs into a singular digital canvas space. From this initial image, Dieter Bauer transfers his piece onto a physical canvas. The methodical approach applied by the artist to his work allows for his compositions to carry a precision and specificity to the moment that they capture; each part of the composition is carefully placed in its position.
The blending of images from different sources gives this artist’s body of work a particular depth, as it recontextualises fictional narratives, film scenes, cultural points of interest, recognisable landmarks, known faces, books and day-to-day objects, placing them somewhere strange and unexpected. In Dieter Bauer’s work, the viewer sees something that they have seen before: there is an element of recognition that prompts one to think further. His close references to pop culture moments, which he separates from their original context, give his works a particularly poetic and dreamlike quality. Much like in dreams, where one might see a familiar face in an unidentifiable room somewhere, Dieter Bauer’s paintings create and narrate a partial story. The atmosphere gives away the fact that something is happening, but it is not defined or elaborated on. The artist explains that his works are intended to be atmospheric, so that even those who do not instantly recognise the cultural references in the works are able to recognise that there is an underlying story being told, or a dialogue taking place.
Thematically, Wolfgang Dieter Bauer’s work deals with the dichotomies between dreams and reality, and the surreal quality that conscious perception can sometimes take on. Dieter Bauer captures uncanny moments, where there is an underlying sense of mystery, and presents them to the viewer as such, without clarifying the situation on the canvas.
Much like the writing of Paul Auster, which he mentions as a key body of work that prompts his artistic themes, Dieter Bauer’s paintings are comfortable in their medium, they are realistic, but accepting of the boundaries of the canvas as the boundaries of the storytelling. Like Auster, who often comments on the act of writing in his writing, Dieter Bauer’s work implies a consciousness of the practice of painting, and a consciousness of the role of the artist.
Wolfgang Dieter Bauer’s artworks from the series ‘Lumberton’, ‘In Dreams’, ‘Mystery’, ‘Luxury’, ‘Moral’ are available in the catalogue of 508 Gallery.