Friedrich Achleitner

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Friedrich Achleitner
FriedrichAchleitner80.AzW.MQ.C (square crop).jpg
Achleitner in 2010
Born(1930-05-23)23 May 1930
Died27 March 2019(2019-03-27) (aged 88)
Vienna, Austria
Education Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • Poet
  • Architecture critic
  • Academic teacher
Awards Schelling Architecture Theory Prize

Friedrich Achleitner (23 May 1930 – 27 March 2019) [1] was an Austrian poet and architecture critic. As a member of the Wiener Gruppe, he wrote concrete poems and experimental literature. His magnum opus is a multi-volume documentation of 20th-century Austrian architecture. Written over several decades, Achleitner made a personal visit to each building described. He was a professor of the history and theory of architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

The Wiener Gruppe was a small and loose avant-garde constellation of Austrian poets and writers, which arose from an older and wider postwar association of artists called Art-Club. The group was formed around 1953 under the influence of H. C. Artmann (1921–2000) in Vienna and existed for about a decade. Besides Artmann are Friedrich Achleitner (1930–2019), Konrad Bayer (1932–1964), Gerhard Rühm and Oswald Wiener regarded as members.

Experimental literature literary genre

Experimental literature refers to written work—usually fiction or poetry—that emphasizes innovation, most especially in technique.

The University of Applied Arts Vienna is an arts university and institution of higher education in Vienna, the capital of Austria. It has had university status since 1970.


Life and career

Achleitner was born in Schalchen, Upper Austria, the son of a farmer. [1] [2] He attended the Höhere Bundesgewerbeschule in Salzburg, [3] and then studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1950 to 1953 with Clemens Holzmeister. [4] [5] He supervised architectural projects until 1958, [4] such as the restoration of the Rosenkranzkirche in Vienna. [1]

Schalchen Place in Upper Austria, Austria

Schalchen is a municipality in the district of Braunau am Inn in the Austrian state of Upper Austria.

Upper Austria State in Austria

Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg. With an area of 11,982 km2 (4,626 sq mi) and 1.437 million inhabitants, Upper Austria is the fourth-largest Austrian state by land area and the third-largest by population.

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna art school in Vienna, Austria

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is a public art school of higher education in Vienna, Austria. The Academy is famous outside the arts community for rejecting Adolf Hitler twice, because of his "unfitness for painting".

In 1955, Achleitner joined the Wiener Gruppe, which had at its center H. C. Artmann, Konrad Bayer, Gerhard Rühm and Oswald Wiener  [ de ], henceforth participated in its literary cabarets, and wrote poems in dialect, montages, and concrete poems. [1] His experimental quadratroman was published in 1973. [5]

H. C. Artmann austrian poet

Hans Carl Artmann, also known as Ib Hansen, was an Austrian-born poet and writer, most popular for his early poems written in Viennese, which however, never after were to be the focus of his oeuvre.

Konrad Bayer was an Austrian writer and poet. A member of the Wiener Gruppe, he combined apparently irreconcilable elements—violence, hermeticism, pessimism, ecstasy, banality—and influences —into a bizarre linguistic solipsism which has held increasing fascination for German writers of the last few decades. His most important works are the novels Der Kopf des Vitus Bering and Der sechste Sinn, published posthumously in 1965 and 1966, respectively. Bayer committed suicide in October 1964 at the age of 32.

Gerhard Rühm is an Austrian author, composer and visual artist.

He began to work as an architecture critic for Austrian daily papers, from 1961 anonymously for the Abendzeitung , [3] then especially from 1962 to 1972 for Die Presse . [1] [6] He established a new quality of thinking about architecture. [4] From 1961, he lectured at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna about the history of building construction. [4] In 1983, he was appointed professor of the history and theory of architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, [1] a post he held until 1998. [7]

<i>Abendzeitung</i> newspaper

The Abendzeitung, sometimes abbreviated to AZ, is a liberal morning tabloid newspaper from Munich, Germany. A localized edition is published in Nuremberg. The paper is published six days a week; the masthead of the Saturday edition is held in light blue. Rivals on the Munich tabloid market are tz and a localized edition of the national mass circulation phenomenon Bild-Zeitung.

<i>Die Presse</i> daily broadsheet newspaper based in Vienna, Austria

Die Presse is a German-language daily broadsheet newspaper based in Vienna, Austria.

He began his magnum opus, Österreichische Architektur im 20. Jahrhundert, a guide to Austrian architecture in the 20th century in several volumes, in 1965. The first volume appeared in 1980 and the fifth shortly after his 80th birthday. [6] [8] A sequel about Lower Austria remained unwritten. [6] He visited each building personally and documented it. [1] [9] The archive is held by the Architekturzentrum Wien. [1] [9] The book is known as Der Achleitner among professionals. [8]

Lower Austria State in Austria

Lower Austria is the northeasternmost of the nine states of Austria. Since 1986, the capital of Lower Austria has been St. Polten, the most recently designated capital in Austria. Previously, Lower Austria's capital was Vienna, even though Vienna has not officially been part of Lower Austria since 1921. With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) and a population of 1.612 million people, Lower Austria is the country's largest state; it is the second most populous after the federal state of Vienna. Other main cities are Amstetten, Krems an der Donau and Wiener Neustadt.

Among his many awards, [3] Achleitner received the Schelling Architecture Theory Prize for 2008. [10]

Erich Schelling was a German architect.


Achleitner died in Vienna on 27 March 2019 at the age of 88. [1] [8] He was cremated at Feuerhalle Simmering. [11]


His works include: [3]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Koneffke, Jan (27 March 2019). "Eigensinnig, bodenständig, skeptisch – der Schriftsteller und Architekturkritiker Friedrich Achleitner ist gestorben". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. Furness, Raymond and Malcolm Humble; Rumble, Malcolm (1991). A Companion to Twentieth Century German Literature . Routledge. ISBN   0-415-01987-7.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Achleitner, Friedrich". TU Graz (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Friedrich Achleitner / Architekt und Autor". (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  5. 1 2 Kralicek, Wolfgang (27 March 2019). "Nachruf / Friedrich Achleitner tot". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  6. 1 2 3 Freitag, Wolfgang (27 March 2019). "Der Dichter, der für die Architektur lebte". Die Presse (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  7. 1 2 3 "Friedrich Achleitner". Hanser (in German). Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 "Autor und Architekturkritiker / Friedrich Achleitner ist tot" (in German). ORF. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  9. 1 2 "Friedrich Achleitner Archive". Architekturzentrum Wien. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  10. "Preisträger / Verleihung des Erich Schelling-Architekturpreises 2008 am 14. November 2008, Karlsruhe" (in German). Deutsche BauZeitschrift. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  11. "Friedrich Achleitner Archive".