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After a long career in the petroleum industry, Bernhard Cociancig pursued an artistic career later in life. A contemporary artist with a great sense of socio-ecological responsibility, his artwork comes with a message. Bernhard tries to incorporate concerns about for instance discrimination, corruption, global warming, and endangered wildlife, into his artwork.
Interested in learning more about Bernhard, his work, and what inspires him? We interviewed him on a nature hike in the beautiful Kananaskis area of Bragg Creek, AB (Canada). A full account of this meeting is available on our Meet the Artist Blog page.
Contemporary artist Bernhard CociancigContemporary artist Bernhard Cociancig lives and works in Vienna. After a forty-year-long career in the international petroleum industry, he successfully pursued a rewarding artistic career.
Africa's Big Five "Skin of the Game" artworkBernhard now proudly holds a diploma from the Vienna Art School, with majors in painting and process, print graphic and graphic design. One of his more impressive works is his exam work is Africa's Big Five, “Skin of the Game”. This work consists of 10 individual artworks, each representing one of Africa's big five in a bi-fold. While their skins are portrayed in semi-abstract oil paintings, their footprints are represented in Mokulito prints on canvas. The work's message pertains to the threat of extinction of our wildlife and serves as an allegory for the entire global fauna. A stunning series, that we are proud to have in our collection.
Social responsibilityWith a great sense of social responsibility, Bernhard performs art therapy for coma patients as well as holding print graphics workshops for drug and alcohol addicts.
International acknowledgmentHis contemporary paintings, print graphics, graphic designs, and installations are shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world.
Exhibitions (past and current)
- 2nd Annual "Taste of the World" Exhibition, Try it ART Gallery and Back to the Picture, San Francisco, CA (G)
- “Running Gag”, Gallery Modern Schloss Piber (Austria) (G)
- Artist in residence – “Once Upon Water”, ArtScape, Gibraltar Point - Toronto (Canada)
- Solo exhibition at the Haus der Barmherzigkeit, Vienna (Austria)
- Group exhibition woodcuts – Gallery “El Paradiso”, Venice (Italy)
- “Flags on Tour” – time-space-nature, exhibition in public spaces in Laa/Thaya, Voitsberg, Mödling, Herzogenburg (Austria) and Vodnjan (Croatia)
- Curator exhibition “Nach Strich und Farbe” – physiotherapy practice “LebenBewegen”, Vienna (Austria)
- Group exhibition “Realize” – Kunst Volkshochschule KVH, Vienna (Austria)
- Installation in public space “micro-plastic::mega-problem“ – SOHO in Ottakring, Vienna (Austria)
- Solo exhibition “Bewegtes Leben” - physiotherapy practice “LebenBewegen”, Vienna (Austria)
- Solo exhibition“Drüba und Drunta“ – Halterhaus Leobersdorf (Austria)
- Art fair Bergheim (Austria)
- Solo exhibition“Weit Weg und Dahoam“ – Stillfried (Austria)
- Solo exhibition “Gleichen::Stücke“ – Bad Gleichenberg (Austria)
- Solo exhibition ”Tandem in Color and Form“ – Pula (Croatia)
- Solo exhibitions – Bayreuth (Germany) and Bad Goisern (Austria)
- Solo exhibition – Bad Goisern (Austria)
- Solo exhibition “BC paints AB” – Calgary (Canada)
During the early phases of my artistic activity, I have performed autodidactic painting - impressions gathered from many different countries in which I lived and worked. The formal art education at the Vienna Art School as a more recent experience has not only provided me with the opportunity to experiment with all forms of visual arts but has, in particular, sparked my interest for print graphics techniques such as Mokulito (which is similar to litho but uses plywood instead of stone).
Exposure to the often challenging work and life environments during the forty years in the international petroleum business has sharpened my awareness of social and environmental issues. Art can -and must- play a pivotal role in communicating cross-faculty and socio-ecological problems. Any Form of discrimination, corruption, refugee issues, global warming, access to clean water, plastic waste, endangered wildlife is just some of the many concerns I try to incorporate into my artwork. Meant as constructive criticism it shall also instigate participative reactions from the viewers.
Art as social engagement has led me to bring painting therapy to vegetative coma patients as part of their basal stimulation program. While in contrast to deep coma these patients have a wake-sleep rhythm, their motoric control and ability to communicate is restricted. It is rewarding to experience how art is capable to evoke minute yet clearly detectable reactions.
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