AWAKENING BEAUTY IN EVERYDAY OBJECTS AND MOMENTS AND THEN CAPTURING IT IN HIS WORKS OF ART IS THE MAIN CHALLENGE FOR THIS ARTIST. THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN HARMONY, BEAUTY, AND LIGHTNESS IS EXPRESSED IN HIS WORKS JUST AS MUCH AS THE ONE BETWEEN DISHARMONY, DARKNESS, AND ALLEGED UGLINESS.
Aesthetics talk to people, yet one can find unexpected beauty even in alleged ugliness; even darkness can provide unexpected peace. He can create such settings because he works intensively on his pieces and thus awakens emotions in the viewers which reflect the true essence of the paintings or sculptures.
Augustin Schütti can’t be pigeonholed: he doesn’t belong to one artistic genre, and his works reflect different phases in his life when he consciously didn’t curtail his creativity and fantasy, nor narrow his horizons.
‘As an artist, I feel this inexplicable inner urge. It’s a pulsion to transform the image I see before my ethereal eyes into reality. At the very best I could describe it as an obsession, for want of a better word – an obsession to capture an aesthetic moment. An obsession that won’t leave me until I’ve completed the piece.’
As he creates, he plucks elements from both classic and modern narratives. The urge to research every artistic form and techniques speaks of a restless soul looking for materialisation. The artist uses this talent to channel the urge and express it in his works. He doesn’t try to build ideal societal figures nor to depict them. He’s more concerned with producing an image reflecting reality on the strength of his relation with nature. Schütti’s versatility is embodied by his selection of themes and techniques. From landscapes reflecting the simple beauty of an ephemeral moment of a transient nature, abstract geometric and cubist shapes, bright colourful still natures, impressionist snapshots of everyday life to religious topics to name just a few, as there are countless more topoi in his repertoire.
A leitmotif emerges upon intense scrutiny of his works: the nude figure of a woman in its various stages of composition. Schütti detects peace and sensuality in the female nude. Natural proportions as well as broad hips occupy the foreground. Such an image is used to consciously counter current ‘ideals of beauty’ conveyed by our society. The artist often doesn’t feel the need to complete his works, rather deliberately decides to work with less. Many of his pieces have become so iconic because of their rarefied elegance delivered by overlapping lines, rather than favouring extravagant movements or gestures. Augustin Schütti works with numerous materials, but he has a passion for oil paintings. These allow him to brush layers and structures onto the canvas, create shapes, convey three dimensions, and give birth to new colour schemes and shades.
Oil colours meet his artistic demands and are ideal for transposing his ethereal content on canvas. Using the right technique is essential for Schütti. What use is a specific idea if you can’t use the countless techniques at one’s potential disposal to create it? However, picking the perfect technique also means embracing a certain amount of order and method because abstraction requires the same planning as realism. When Schütti speaks about his work, he says, ‘I don’t only care about what I paint, but also how I paint. I find unnoticed beauty in everyday routine and it’s important to me that I capture and immortalise it. I try to direct the gaze on to the hidden beauty of these objects and figures by using and modifying their shape.’
Augustin Schütti was born in 1953 and studied how to sculpt and paint at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana. He’s been working and living in Vienna since 1990.