1914 . vienna . austria

1979 . psychiatric hospital of gugging . austria




Josef Bachler grew up in an orphanage, his mother having probably died following a difficult birth. He lived in several foster homes, one of which was a farm where he had to work hard after school. Going back to the orphanage, he became an apprentice roofer, a job that would continue for a few years. During the invasion of Austria by the Nazis in 1938, he was sent, for an unknown reason, to the Dachau concentration camp where he remained until 1945. After the war, he resumed his job as a roofer and married. Problems with alcohol and violence led to his hospitalization in the psychiatric hospital of Gugging, where he spent the last nine years of his life. While the incentive to draw came from the Prof. Leo Navratil, according to the latter, he continued independently, inspired by his imagination or following a model. He drew on a small scale in pencil (colored pencil rarely), and did not try to fill the surface. His drawings, apparently in contrast to his psychological state, give a feeling of control and formal strength.