Richard Gerstl
Artist / Painter

Gerstl (1883-1908) was an extremely original artist whose psychologically intense figure paintings and landscapes constitute a radically unorthodox oeuvre that defied the reigning concepts of style and beauty during his time.

He is frequently referred to as the first Austrian Expressionist, since his work developed slightly ahead of that by the somewhat younger Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele.

Over his brief six-year career, he pursued a range of styles, including a sober realism befitting portrait commissions but enlivened by texture and chromatic daring; a somewhat stiff, regimented Impressionism; a scaled-up airy pointillism; and a loose Post-Impressionism indebted to Edvard Munch and van Gogh, whose influences run throughout his work. Most startling is an unprecedented Expressionism that reveled in paint’s sheer materiality, achieved with wide, loaded brushes or a vigorously wielded palette knife.

He committed suicide in 1908 at the age of 25.

[via Neue Galerie + The New York Times]