Art Term

Fantastic realism

The term fantastic realism refers to the work of a group of painters working in the late 1950s in Vienna who combined the painterly precision of the old masters with an interest in modern art movements and psychoanalysis

Johann Muschik first used the term ‘Phantastischer realismus’ (Fantastic Realism) in the late 1950s to describe the group of painters working in Vienna who had met at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste after the Second World War. Their images were dreamlike visions from the subconscious painted in a realistic manner. Much of the art was rooted in the traumatic experiences of the war, from which the artists attempted to escape in their fantastic paintings.

The group consisted of Arik Brauer, Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter and Anton Lehmden, who were inspired by their teacher Albert Paris Gütersloh.