Günther Schützenhöfer was born in Mödling, Austria. As a six-year-old, he arrived at the former Gugging Clinic and spent his life in various care facilities until 1999, when aged 34, he moved into the Gugging House of Artists, where he produced his first drawings. Over the past 15 years, Schützenhöfer has developed a unique, unmistakable style. He portrays elements from his surroundings in an abstracted, self-contained manner, which is joyfully unconcerned with perspective; nearly enigmatic yet always permeated by the artist’s subtle humor.
At first, Schützenhöfer worked very cautiously and mostly in small formats. Over time, the formats have grown larger; fine lines giving way to bold, determined strokes. He works in pencil and colored pencils on paper and cardboard. He sketches out his theme in a few lines, then uses stronger pressure with his pencil to bring it to life. Sometimes this pressure will break the pencil; for this reason, the artist keeps at least five sharpened pencils readily available, and once he has used them all, he will grab any other pencils lying around on the table. This constant change in pencils of different grades and the varying touch he applies, results in idiosyncratic shadings and a soft, almost furry texture.
Schützenhöfer chooses his themes spontaneously, often related to the current season or situation. His approach is entirely focused on the essence, the gist of his theme. Limiting himself to the vital elements, he produces drawings and compositions that are unique in their overall sophistication. Schützenhöfer’s works have been shown worldwide since 2001 and are represented in numerous private and public collections, such as the Lower Austria Regional Collection, the Museum of Everything, the Peter Infeld Private Trust, and the Arnulf Rainer Collection.