Fritz Wotruba

Fritz Wotruba

Austrian sculptor.
Date of Birth: 23.04.1907
Country: Austria

Biography of Fritz Wotruba

Fritz Wotruba was an Austrian sculptor, known for his contributions to the fields of cubism and abstract art, often combining them with elements of archaism. He was born into a poor family as the youngest of eight children. His father, a tailor's assistant from Bohemia, and his mother, a maid from Hungary, struggled to make ends meet.

Wotruba initially trained to become an engraver before studying under the renowned sculptor Anton Hanak. However, after the assassination of Engelbert Dollfuss and the resulting mass disturbances in Vienna in 1934, Wotruba decided to move to Zurich with his wife. They returned to Vienna in 1945.

Thanks to a recommendation from Herbert Boeckl, Wotruba was invited to teach at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1952, and his works were exhibited at the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th Documenta exhibitions in Kassel. Wotruba's most famous work is the Holy Trinity Church in Vienna, also known as the Wotruba Church, although he did not live to see its completion. He also created the "Crucifixion" sculpture in the church of Bruck an der Leitha. Many of his works can be found in public parks in the Austrian capital.

Wotruba received the prestigious Austrian State Prize in 1958 and is widely recognized as one of the greatest masters of Austrian art in the 20th century. Esteemed authors such as Elias Canetti (1955) and Eugène Ionesco (1975) have written essays about him. In honor of Wotruba's centenary in autumn 2007, the Museum Brandhorst in Munich held a major exhibition showcasing the sculptor's works. He is buried at the Central Cemetery in Vienna.