Hilmar Udo Fister Gottesthal
Artist and sculptor Hilmar Udo Fister Gottesthal was born on
Christmas Eve 1942 in Carinthia, Austria. He studied at the "University
of Vienna" and the "Vienna Academy of Fine Arts"
where he graduated in 1966 winning two art awards. He partially
restored the Neo-Gothic Votive Church in Vienna before his interest
in Byzantine art took him to Greece and Turkey where he spent
30 years painting and sculpting as well as capturing the ancient
ruins, myths, and religious icons.
He arrived in Istanbul in 1966 having received an Austrian-Turkish
Cultural Exchange Grant. His earliest One Man Shows were exhibitions
at the Istanbul City Gallery, the State Museum for Painting and
Sculpture, the American Robert College and American Cultural Institute.
It was at that time that Nancy Hanks, later Chairman of the National
Endowment for the Arts discovered and invited Gottesthal in 1968
to his first American showing in Rockefeller Center, New York.
In 1972 he moved to Greece following an exhibition in Athens.
It was here that he first developed his own Sepia made from squid
and produced Black and White drawings which drew international
attention. Meanwhile he lived in the fishing village of Stomion
and later the mountain village of Karitsa. In 1978 he was an "Artist
in Residence" for Berkeley School For The Arts for four months
painting archaeological sites around Oaxaca, Mexico and in the
provinces of Tabasco, Chiapas, and Yucatan. The resulting works
were shown at the Governors Palace in Oaxaca.
Back in Greece Gottesthal continued to develop his own style,
painting with oil and watercolors works which often contained
spiritual elements using his complex pointillist and sometimes
mosaic-like style. Among many unusual artistic activities he painted
murals in the Bell Tower Chapel of a Greek Orthodox Church in
Karitsa near Mount Olympus and restored two Byzantine chapels
working with American art students in a summer internship program
on Mount Kissavos.
In 1986 he moved back to Turkey where he was asked to record
the nautical archaeological recovery and finds of the 11th century
Byzantine shipwreck at Serce Harbor. These works are on permanent
display along with the various artifacts at the Bodrum Nautical
Archaeological Museum. The artist then conceived and executed
an enormous Plane Tree sculpture measuring 22 x 12
x 8 that was donated to the Hasanbaba Forestry Recreational
Park, "To The Children of the World" to be used as a
hands on climbing sculpture. During those same years he had exhibitions
in London, Paris, and returned to the United States for exhibitions
in Winnetka on the North Shore and at the Gruen Gallery in Chicago.
He took these opportunities to tour the U.S. and did some watercolor
paintings of the American Southwest.
In 1993 before leaving Europe to make his home in the USA he
celebrated a 25 years retrospect in Ankara at the Turkish National
Museum for Anatolian Civilizations and was awarded a medal for
his cultural contribution to Turkey. In 1995 he started a Fine
Arts Program with the International Summer Music Courses in St.
Paul, Austria. In 1998 he accepted a special commission for another
new artistic challenge, 26 Stained Glass windows for Priestfield
Pastoral Center in West Virginia. The major component of the project
was the production of 15 Stations of the Cross, two large circular
windows and a 6 x 6 map of W. V. in Stained Glass.
Since completing this project he has issued his first U.S. print
and held exhibitions in London, England, St. Paul, Austria, Dorset,
England and several locations in the U.S. In May 2003 he completed
a 9 by 12 stained glass for a Cumberland Maryland
church. Gottesthal now resides in Western Maryland on a mountain
top across from his new woodland gallery called, "Sanctuary
Studios" where you are invited to visit after he returns
from June 2003 exhibition and teaching in Vienna, Austria. Hell
be honeymooning until August 1, 2003. Contact - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone to arrange a visit (301) 478-2735.
Museums with Permanent Collection of Sculpture or Painting(s)
Alberta Graphic Arts Collection, Vienna
Belvedere, Austrian National Collection, Vienna
City Council of Vienna
Museum for Applied Arts, Vienna
Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, Amsterdam
British Council for the Arts, London
Mural: Bell Tower Chapel for the Greek Orthodox Church of Karitsa
Museums of Ephesus, Antalya, and Side
Nautical Archaeology Museum, Bodrum
State Museum "Paintings & Sculptures", Istanbul
Nancy Hanks, former NEA Director
Robert D. Rothschild, France
Alex Dabcovitch, Istanbul, Turkey
Menelaos Andonopoulus, Greece
Robert Huber, Lugano, Switzerland
Siegfried Tagesen, Vienna, Austria
Louise Scott Ingersall, Chicago
Lieberman Collection, Chicago
St. Paul's Benedictine Monastery, Austria
Municipal Gallery, Vienna, Austria
Moon Wolf Gallery, Charleston, West Virginia
International Protestant Center, Vienna, Austria
Castle of Drauhofen, Austria (Farewell Exhibition)
Drian Galleries, London, England
Roman Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
Panselinos, Thessaloniki, Greece
National Museum of Anatolian Civilization, Ankara, Turkey
Neos Morphees, Athens, Greece
Archaeological Museum, Crusaders Castle, Bodrum, Turkey
Ile St. Louis, Paris, France
State Galleries in Ankara and Atalya, Turkey
Governor's Palace, Oaxaca, Mexico
Gruen Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Fine Arts Museum, Izmir, Turkey
Ephesus Cultural Festival, Turkey
Agapi, Blankenese, Hamburg, Germany
Roman Temple of Domitian and Hadrian, Ephesus, Turkey
Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland
2002 Spring Art Fair, London England
Alpha Art Gallery, Dorset, England
The Parlor Gallery, Towson, Maryland
Medal from Turkish Ministry of Culture "Commemoration of
Artist's Work in Turkey"
Greek National TV: 35 minute film of Artist's Life in Karitsa,
Vienna Academy of the Arts: "Fuegerpreis" and "Meisterschulepreis"
Austrian Cultural Exchange Grant