|1933 – 1997|
I Leherb often placed himself as a central figure in much of his work. Although Leherb was one of the first representatives of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, he later became heavily involved in the surrealist movement, and diverged from realists such as Arik Brauer and Ernst Fuchs.
His mythical creatures, mystical themes and his painted sexual obsessions were clearly committed to the Parisian and Belgian surrealist themes. In particular, Leherb oriented his work around iconography, as well as allegorical pictures, that were heavily influenced by Max Ernst, René Magritte, Paul Delavaux or Salvador Dali. André Breton called him the “black prince of surrealism”.
Mag. Harald Kreijci (Kurator Belvedere)
1933 Born as Helmut Leherbauer in Vienna
1948-1954 studied at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and at the Academy of Arts in Stockholm.
In 1955 he married Lotte Prohohs and moved to Vienna and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in the class of Albert Paris Gütersloh.
He joined a group of artists who later became known as the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.
1959 exhibited jointly with Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter and Anton Lehmden in the Upper Belvedere.
1960 birth of their only son, Anselm Daniel.
1963 created the Reactionaries Konfirmantentraum in Aix en Provence.
1964 Maitre Leherb is nominated with his Zeitzerstörungsmanifest (Time Destruction Manifest) for the Venice Biennale. After a cabinet reshuffle his participationwas prevented by the new Minister of Education.
He took refuge in the completion of his “Explosion of Silence”, a ceramic mural for the Central Savings Bank in the City of Vienna.
1964 he moved to Paris. After the disappointment of being deselected from the Venice Biennale, he became more ambitious and developed a reputation and fame that opened doors for him to the main galleries of Europe.
Galerie de la Madeleine and Isy Brachot in Brussels, Galerie C.A.W. in Antwerp, La Medusa in Rome; Gallery Mokum in Amsterdam, Peinther-Lichtenfels and Wolfrum in Vienna and Galleria Viotti in Turin.
1972 Leherb is tasked with designing four advertising posters to promote Austria.
1976 Due to his success with his designs for promoting Austria, he was also commissioned to create several works to promote the Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
1980-1992, it took him twelfe years in Faenza (Italy) to finish his masterpiece “The Continents”, the largest ever produced Faience, a 380qm mosaic for the WU Wien. The ceramic dust caused some serious health issues for him.
He then produced a Faience for the Rehab Center Weißer Hof with more than 17 meters in length.
1989 to 1991 created the oversized “Tor for an Imaginary Museum” in Burgenland, and from 93 to 94 the University Fountain, “A Door to Eurydice”, in Badgasse in Vienna IX.
Leherb died in 1997 of a stroke. He was buried in Vienna’s Central Cemetery.