In days long gone, painting was once a craft, like stone masonry or stained glass.The apprentice studied in the studio of a master, receiving the direct transmission of tradition and technique. Later, the academy emerged, to inspire the artist to the eternal quest for beauty, harmony and art’s highest ideals.
Today’s students enter art colleges with the high hopes of youth, only to realize that these schools teach a Contemporary art theory entirely lacking in beauty (emphasizing the ugly, ironic and provocative), while offering only the bare rudiments of painting methods.
The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art
As Academy Director, Laurence Caruana has developed a programme that encourages both technical mastery and creative genius. The curriculum, creatively shaped by the Faculty as a whole, emphasizes the direct transmission of painting, through the student’s creation of original compositions, based on their own ideas and designs.
The facilities of The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art are located in the Otto Wagner building at Neustiftgasse 40 (entrance on Döblergasse 2). It’s an ideal space – 150 square metres in size (1400 square feet) with a parquet floor, high ceilings, track lighting and eight tall windows facing the courtyard. Here, the artists of the Guild guide their students through a serious curriculum designed to support and inspire the artist’s own unique vision.
Throughout the three year program, the sacred and visionary aspects of painting are pursued in depth. The Western canon of art, while being greatly respected, is expanded to include Eastern and Ancient models. Vienna’s rich collection of museums offer sculptures in the Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian and Mayan styles, which the student will acquire through careful drawing and observation. Following Fuchs’ own studio practice, painting becomes a form of meditation and visualization.
Frequent field trips to the near-by Kunsthistorisches Museum, Museums Quartier and Albertina Collection allow for Drawing Practice. And The Ernst Fuchs Museum, located in the west of Vienna in the Otto Wagner Villa, also offers an extraordinary collection of Fuchs’ life-work.
Figure Drawing from the nude model is held once a week, with long poses (selected from classical works of art) alternating between male and female models. Local artists from Vienna, such as Michael Fuchs, De Es Schwertberger, Peter Gric and Otto Rapp are invited at the Academy as Guest Lecturers, and open their studios to students for visits.
The Master’s Studio
An internationally renowned artist, Professor Ernst Fuchs was one of the five founding members of a post-war movement called The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.
His rediscovery of the Old Master’s painting technique – the Mischtechnik – inspired the translation of his dreams and visions into an ever-evolving oeuvre of masterworks, infused with lyricism, beauty and grace. As architect, sculptor, author and engraver, he explored the innermost depths of the human spirit and raised them to profound heights of beauty and expression. Today, the Ernst Fuchs Museum in Hutteldorf houses his documents while exhibiting a rich collection of his paintings, sculptures, engravings and architecture.
Professor Fuchs was actively engaged in the founding of the Academy in 2013, and spent the last two years of his life, visiting its studio in the Palais Palffy and advising students on their works. He passed away in November 2015, and the Academy is dedicated to preserving his legacy.
The Visionary Guild
Having met many times over the years, the members of The Visionary Guild discovered a deep artistic and spiritual kinship, which inspired them to come together as both teachers and artists.
They have exhibited collectively in Los Angeles (Temple of Visions inaugeral exhibition), Paris (Questing the Sacred at Galerie de l’Art Visionnaire de Paris), Vienna (Transmissions at Galerie 10) and numerous other venues (The Alchemeyez Visionary Art Congress in Hawaii, The Chimeria Festival of Visionary Arts in France, the Ozora Festival in Hungary, etc).
Through The Expanded Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar, held each summer at the eco-village of Torri Superiore Italy, they have transmitted their love of art and craft to hundreds of students, drawn from all quarters of the globe.
Due to its immense popularity, the Seminar reached full capacity in its fifth year. The teachers took the next natural step of expanding the seminar into a full academy, rendering homage to their shared mentor. In this way, Ernst Fuchs was able to realize his life-long dream of founding an Academy, with the aid of his former assistants.
Today, the teaching members of The Visionary Guild share the Academy studio space while imparting their passion for painting to the students. Each continues to pursue their international career, travelling around the world to exhibit or teach. But, they also return on a rotational basis to the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art to share their creative adventure with colleagues and students alike.
Each member of the Visionary Guild is gifted in a unique way (as evidenced by their work), and guides the students through an original painting to directly transmit their artistic vision and their knowledge of craft.
Just like the early guilds, which grouped artists into a mercantile association, The Visionary Guild is also a developing commercial enterprise, which aids these artists in their joint and solo projects. Academy students profit from these facilities, by seeing and learning ‘hands on’ the commercial side of selling their work.
Through its imaginative curriculum, The Vienna Academy offers an in-depth and uplifting training in all aspects of painterly creation.