As an artist, academy teacher, collector and critical participant in the art scene, Peter Dressler has helped to influence Austrian photography since the 1970s like few other personalities. Our relationship with him goes back to the early founding years of FOTOHOF – first shown in a group exhibition in 1985, followed by the solo exhibition »Zwischenspiel« in 1989 and others thereafter. We were also able to publish most of his artist books with FOTOHOF>EDITION. Two years after his death in 2013, we were able to get his entire artistic estate as part of FOTOHOF>ARCHIV. »Wiener Gold« was the title of his 2016 retrospective at the Kunsthaus Wien, which was compiled from his estate and included an extensive catalog book.
Dressler’s interest in photography has always been based on (art) history. His early departure from the single-image principle, the development of his own pictorial language and, by extension, associative and narrative sequences − complex and witty in equal measure −, the insistence on formal definitions − image format, cropping, print quality, form of presentation − stand for a sovereign artistic attitude in dealing with the possibilities of the medium.
The current exhibition reflects Dressler’s lifelong interest in our neighboring Eastern European countries and their photography. In previously unseen groups of works, we follow Dressler to Prague, Bucharest, or Chisinău and experience his sensitivity to the »spirit of the place«, his humor and sense for sometimes absurd comedy.