Franz Sedlacek (1891-1945)


Franz Sedlacek was born on January 21st 1891 in Breslau (now Wrocław) as the son of a refrigerating machine producer. In 1897 the family moved to Linz – already as an adolescent Franz started to draw caricatures and showed a big artistic talent. After graduation he moved to Vienna in 1910 and, contrary to his predilection for painting, studied architecture there – though switched to chemistry one year later. On the side he continued drawing and for the first time participated in an exposition in Linz in 1912. He learned painting autodidactically and belonged to the founders of the Linz based artist association “MAERZ”.  


After military service in World War I he finished his chemistry-studies. He started to work at the Technical Museum and later became head of the department “Chemical Industry”. Artistically, he more and more started to switch to oil painting. In 1927 he became a member of the Viennese Secession and regularly participated in Secession-exhibitions. In 1929 he participated in the exhibition “Neo-Romanticism and New Objectivity in Upper Austria” in Linz. His work, however, was difficult to categorize – commonly it was received between “New Objectivity and “Magical Realism”. In 1930 Sedlacek-paintings were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


The artist received many national and international awards – such as the Austrian state award in 1937. He produced drawings for the journals “Die Muskete” and “Simplizissimus”. From 1939 on he was a member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus. Also in 1939 Sedlacek was called up for military service again, which led him to Stalingrad, Norway and finally Poland. From February 1945 on he is considered as missed in Poland.

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