Kiki Kogelnik was born in 1935 in Bleiburg, a small city in the state of Carinthia in Austria.
After her studies at the Fine Arts Academy of Vienna, she moved to Paris in 1959 and later to New York in 1961.
Since the mid-1950s, she has been part of a group of avant-garde artists who gravitated around the figure of Otto Mauer.
Her early works were abstract but later her style was characterized by a re-discovery of the human figure and the use of very brilliant colors, displaying the strong influence of Pop Art on her work.
In addition to large-size pictorial works, Kiki Kogelnik created a powerful group of installations and sculptures in ceramics and in glass.
In particular, she began to experiment with the use of Murano glass in 1994, and created the highly regarded “Venetian Heads”.
Kiki Kogelnik started from the assumption that contemporary art has an artificial nature, the result of the great changes that profoundly modified man’s condition in the 20th century.
The loss of traditions and values and the increasingly oppressive domination of technology and mechanical processes have impoverished humanity and alienated individuals. In this sense, and with these thoughts, today’s art must express all this and, specifically, our artificiality.
Society’s new idols are unmasked by artists who unveil these anemic and inexpressive faces, which are far from real life. Through her works, Kogelnick depicts our time with a bitter irony and forces the observer to confront this reality.
Kiki Kogelnik died in 1997 in Vienna after having reached great fame and recognition in the world of art.