Born in 1948 in Lunz am See, Hans Kupelwieser is active in a number of artistic fields, from sculpture, graphic art and photography through to media art. He is one of the most prominent representatives of post-media sculpture in Austria. He developed his idea of sculpture during his student days at the University of Applied Art in Vienna, influenced by his teachers Bazon Brock and Peter Weibel. His oeuvre revolves around a multimedia conceptual approach through which the transitions between material, object, image and space come to the fore.
It is foremost with his sculptural works – although his photography can also be mentioned here – that Kupelwieser pushes the boundaries of materials and genres. The choice of material often refers to the respective space or indeed integrates this space. Kupelwieser frequently uses polished metal as the material for his sculptures, for they then mirror the setting of the work. In the mid-1990s the artist develops pneumatic aluminium sculptures, known as ‘gonflables’. As Kupelwieser describes it, these sculptures emerge from a process of a “guided coincidence”. Thin aluminium sheets welded together are inflated with high air pressure, whereby various shapes can result depending on the respective intensity of the pressure.
In 1994 Kupelwieser was awarded the Prize of the City of Vienna for Art, in 2008 he received the Honorary Prize for Media Art as part of the Lower Austria Culture Prize. In the mid-1990s he taught at the TU in Graz. Working at the interface between art and architecture, Kupelwieser developed the lake stage in Lunz, which was awarded the Austrian Building Prize in 2005.