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Matthias Laurenz Gräff
Austrian artist, political activist and historian

Matthias Laurenz Gräff

Matthias Laurenz Gräff
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Austrian artist, political activist and historian
Is Painter Activist Historian Political activist
From Austria
Field Activism Arts Politics Social science
Gender male
Birth 19 July 1984, Gars am Kamp, Horn District, Lower Austria, Austria
Age 37 years
Star sign Cancer
Mother: Martina Maria Gräff
Father: Helmuth Gräff
Relatives: Richard HenkeRichard Gach Rudolf GräffFlorian GachMatthias Kimmerl
New Design University St. Pölten
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Matthias Laurenz Gräff
The details (from wikipedia)


Matthias Laurenz Gräff (also known as Matthias Laurenz Gräff Ilpenstein; born 19 July 1984) is an Austrian academic painter, private historian political activist and organizer of the non-partisan platform Dialog im Kamptal from Gars am Kamp. His political paintings are published by national and international books, magazines and blogs.



Matthias Laurenz Gräff was born into an Austrian family of several artists. He is the child of Helmuth Gräff, an academic painter, and Martina Maria Gräff (née Gach), art professor at Vienna's Sacre Coeur, daughter of the architect Richard Gach and granddaughter of the chemist Richard Henke.

Art and projects

At the age of 17 Matthias Laurenz Gräff began to study illustration and graphic at the private New Design University St. Pölten, and in the following years he took part at the summer academy of Geras of Bernhard Hollemann and Arthur Redhead. From 2002 to 2008 he studied at Wolfgang Herzig's masterclass of painting at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

In 2010, at the 64th annual fair of St Pöltens Künstlerbund (Art union), he received the "Adolf Peschek Preis" (Adolf Peschek Public Award) in the Museum of the City of St. Pölten. Two years later Gräff created the painting for the vine etiquette of the Red Cross in Lower Austria. In 2013 he and his girlfriend Georgia Kazantzidu organized a concert of the Mojo Blues Band in his own hometown, Gars am Kamp. In the same year, upon the occasion of the celebration of the sister city Gars am Inn in Germany he created the officiel twin city painting. The same year Gräff became a Co-founder of the worldwide Graeff-family association (Familienverband Gräff-Graeff e.V.), and in the following year he organized the worldwide family reunion "530 Jahre Graeff" at the ancient Von Graben castle Kornberg, Styria.

In 2014, he received from the mayor's bureau of Gars am Kamp a contract to create three paintings for the vine etiquettes "Garser Wein 2014". A local businessman boycott the publishing of the etiquettes about the illustration of a half naked woman, and this led to a little media scandal in Austria. Two years later, Gräff again received from the mayor's bureau of Gars am Kamp a contract to create three paintings for the vine etiquettes "Garser Wein 2016" (10 years Garser Wein).

In 2015 and 2017, Gräff organized artist meetings with Nick Simper and Don Airey, musicians of Deep Purple in Vienna. In the same year together with Roger Glover he take part at "50 Years Deep Purple. Art and History" at Cologne.

Gräff and his Greek-born girlfriend, Georgia Kazantzidu, are involved in the Austrian-Greek cultural exchange of Vienna. In 2015 he organized an exhibition for the Austrian-Greek community in the "Embassy districy of Vienna". In 2018 he gave an interview and a presentation about his work and life to Irene Gavala at the Greek radio station Poets radio.

Since 2015 Gräff is also working on time policy and social criticism paintings, which get multiple used by national and international political magazines and blogs such as the US-American The Armenian Weekly and A Washington Babylon, the European eurojournalist.eu, the Israel-German haolam.de, the Italian Treccani, the German Die Achse des Guten (Ramin Peymani) (Peter Grimm) and other columnists, the Austrian hephaestuswien.com (Heinz Gstrein), and Unzensuriert.at, the Swiss Untergrund blättle and the German Demokratisch - Links. Kritische Internet-Zeitung. Some of his paintings were also published in political books.

In relation of the 2019 European Parliament election, Gräff created a pro-European painting in collaboration with the Austrian party NEOS.

Currently he is working on CD-covers for the music group Cloven Hoof and for the Jim Dandy & Sammy B. Seauphine project.

Dialog im Kamptal

In 2019 Matthias Laurenz Gräff and Georgia Kazantzidu created the non-partisan platform Dialog im Kamptal (Dialogue in Kamptal) as a private initiative for political communication and participation in his art studio. The events aim to inform, exchange and dialogue on relevant political and social issues.

Dialogue Attendees
2020: "Politik, Diplomatie im 21. Jahrhundert" Emil Brix, Hannes Swoboda, Eric Frey and Philipp Jauernik (Paneuropean Union)
2019: "Dialog im Kamptal – Politik näher bringen" Werner Gruber and the members of the national council of Austria Martina Diesner-Wais, Alois Kainz and Martin Litschauer
2019: "Europa-Dialog im Kamptal" Wolfgang Petritsch and the members of the national council of Austria Douglas Hoyos-Trauttmansdorff and Werner Groiß

Work, exhibitions, collections

Selected works

"Devils Child", The Anti-Erdoğan painting by Matthias Laurenz Gräff
  • Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube. Sebastian Kurz, Der Große Diktator, Opportunist, Putschist (2019); political painting about Sebastian Kurz (used in several political articles)
  • Der europäische Altar (Wind of Change). Feuchte Träume. Perverse Schwärmerei (2018); political painting about Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán and Heinz-Christian Strache (used in several political articles)
  • Liebende Eltern (2018); painting showing Sebastian Kurz and Heinz-Christian Strache forcing a Muslim girl to acquire Germanic and Christian traditions (used in several political articles)
  • Blaues Blut für Österreich (2017); political painting about the 2017 Austrian legislative election (used in several political articles)
  • Trump. The Killing Machine (2017); political painting about Donald Trump (used in several political articles)
  • Allegorie auf Alexander van der Bellen und Norbert Hofer bei der Bundespräsidentenwahl (2016); political painting about the Austrian presidential election, 2016 (used in several political articles)
  • Devils Child (2016); political painting about the role of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (used in several political articles)
  • Der österreichische Altar. Fāṭima und Strache als Nagelprobe unseres Gleichgewichtes (2015/16); political painting about Heinz-Christian Strache and the muslims, the social mood and the political society in Austria
  • Der griechische Altar. Merkel und Schäuble als falsche Caritas (2015); political painting about the German role during the Greek government-debt crisis (used in several political articles)
  • William, Giuseppe, Desdemona (2011/2016); wine etiquettes Garser Wein 2016 of the community Gars am Kamp
  • Garser Wein - Freischütz, Eros, Pathos, Agape (2014); the three censored paintings of the vine etiquettes
  • Partnerschaftsgemälde (2013); twin city painting Gars am Kamp and Gars am Inn
  • Kinderburg Rappottenstein (2012); wine etiquette of the Red Cross of Lower Austria
  • Großes Stillleben mit Elephant und Muschel (2008); won the Adolf Peschek public award at the Museum of the City of St. Pölten
  • Weltinnenschau-Weltaussenschau (2007/2008); seven paintings for the diplom at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna
  • Coat of arms Baron Eberl (2006), collection of the Austrian Barons Eberl
  • Allegorie der Malerei (2005); Part of the Advent at the City Hall of Vienna; this painting has been showing at the Austrian broadcaster ORF
  • Porträt von Isolde und Ernst Hiesmayr (2004), drawings of the Austrian architect and his wife.

From an art historian point of view

Dr. Elisabeth Voggeneder, Austrian curator and art historian wrote about the artist:

  • In Matthias Laurenz Gräff's paintings one finds the expression of Baroque elements. With the early age of 29 he has a huge extensive and varied Oeuvre. In observing his works one thinks of his paragons as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet. In his still life paintings one can realize that he even rises above Cézanne in his target and design vocabulary. Gräff interprets this traditional theme in a new way and carries it in a new era.

The exhibition leader (Steirerschlössl Zeltweg) and art curator of the Red Bull "project spielberg" Misses Sabrina Redhead stated about the artist:

  • In Gräff's artworks you can obviously realize the influence of the Austrian art history especially the classical modern Art. His style is distinctive and significant. He achieves combination of traditional and modern in such a way that has not been seen before. He very often uses "pure" colours; this reminds us of Henri Matisse. He tends to be enormously dynamic, he generates moods and every view of his works allows new points of view and experiences. Although the variety of his perspective underlies Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, his works are unique and peerless.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • "Deep Purple - Art and History - The exhibition". Celebrating 50 years of Deep Purple, Kunsthalle Köln-Lindenthal/Ger
  • "Benefizausstellung zugunsten Polyneuropathie", WUK, Vienna/AT
  • "Garser Wein 2016", 10 years Garser wine at "Weinfest '16", Gars am Kamp
  • "Der Anreiz des Seins, Allegorie - Stillleben - Landschaft", Kunst im Waldviertel, Kunst & Seminarhotel Geras/AT
  • "Liebreizendes Griechenland", KunstSalon im Wiener Botschaftsviertel, Vienna/AT
  • "Matthias Laurenz Gräff und Helmuth Gräff", Galerie Daliko, Krems an der Donau/AT
  • Steirerschlössl Zeltweg, Red Bull Project Spielberg/AT
  • Cityhall Korneuburg/AT
  • Erstes österreichisches Museum für Alltagsgeschichte, Neupölla/AT
  • Red Cross Lower Austria, Tulln an der Donau/AT
  • Gaming Charterhouse/AT
  • Siemens AG Headquarter, Linz/AT
  • St. Pöltner Künstlerbund, Museum of the City of St. Pölten/AT
  • Galerie Austria/AT
  • Advent im Wiener Rathaus 2008 and ORF (Austrian broadcaster), Vienna/AT
  • Diplom exhibition 2008, University of Applied Arts, Vienna/AT
  • Kunsthalle Wien-Karlsplatz project space, Vienna/AT

Collections (selection)

  • Don Airey (Member of Deep Purple), England
  • Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, 12th President of Austria, Vienna/AT
  • Community of Gars am Kamp/AT
  • Nick Simper (Founding member of Deep Purple), England
  • Embassy of Greece in Vienna/AT/GRE
  • Schloss Kornberg Castle, collection of the Counts of Bardeau/Grafen von Bardeau/AT
  • Community of Gars am Inn/GER
  • Interkultultureller Verein Makedonien, Vienna/AT
  • Community of Neupölla/AT
  • Red Cross of Netheraustria, Tulln an der Donau/AT
  • Austrian Red Cross, Vienna/AT
  • Mondi paper AG, AT
  • Art Collection University of Applied Arts, Vienna/AT
  • Geras Abbey, Geras/AT

Literature (selection)

  • Mag. Sabrina Redhead, Ausstellungskatalog Kunst im Murtal" 2014, "Kunst - Tradition und Aufbruch" 2014, Ausstellung im Steirerschlössl Zeltweg, Red Bull Projekt Spielberg; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
  • Univ-Doz Dr. Friedrich Polleross: Gemälde von Matthias Laurenz Gräff im Museum in Neupölla. In: Das Waldviertel, herausgegeben vom Waldviertler Heimatbund
  • Helmuth Gräff, "Zwischen den Welten", Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, pp. 134–35, 2008; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
  • Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Diplome Sommersemester 2007/08; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
  • "Parasite | Paradise", Interventionen zeitgenössischer Kunst auf Burg Forchtenstein, pp. 78–79; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
  • Vernissage. das Magazin für aktuelles Ausstellungsgeschehen (in German)
  • Vision magacine of China VISION Magacine, March 2006, "Metempsychosis of Art", p. 108/111; (Chinese)
  • Matthias Laurenz Gräff. Allegorie-Stillleben-Landschaft; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
  • STERZ, Zeitschrift für Literatur, Kunst und Kulturpolitik (in German)
  • Ausstellungskatalog Meisterklasse Herzig, "Die Figur als Aufgabe", Stadtgalerie Vienna; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 01 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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