Leopold Strobl

Austria, 1960

Leopold Strobl, born in Mistelbach, Lower Austria, and who from a scarce biographic record comes across as a Kafka-esque figure—yet one who found definitive solace and redemption in artistic practice; the focused contemplation that keeps mental demons at bay. Strobl has devoted himself exclusively to art for more than 35 years, and for the past 12 he has been a guest of the Open Studio program at the Gugging House of Artists in Vienna. He draws in the morning and single-mindedly finishes a new piece per session. This aspect of his routine relates directly to his chosen format (most works are approximately 4.2 x 3.9 in.). Strobl always renders his drawings—or the component parts of his paper collages—on carefully selected newsprint clips, which he then adheres onto clean drawing paper. He signs the back of every finished work with a personal symbol, notes the technical specifications, and— remarkably—records how long it took him to complete it.