Gottfried Salzmann - Pictures, Art, Photography

Gottfried Salzmann

Background Information about Gottfried Salzmann




New York is more than an imposing city of skyscrapers and urban canyons. With his atmospheric compositions consisting of photography, collage, and painting, Gottfried Salzmann makes it possible to experience the fascinating diversity of the famous metropolis. These atmospheric snapshots do not claim to depict reality but still capture it more completely than documentary photographs are able to.

Instead of using the typical watercolour bleeding for the softer depiction of physical objects, the artist opts for surprisingly accurate and detailed illustration. With quick brushstrokes, Salzmann captures the urban architecture from an original point of view. Colourful dabs break through the picture’s grey foundation. Billboards become Salzmann’s playful accessories. In his compositions, headlines and poppy advertisements become a form of commentary.


The youngest of three siblings, Gottfried Salzmann was born in 1943 and grew up near Salzburg. Although he had never had much exposure to the art world, as a twelve year-old, he surprised his parents with a special Christmas wish: a book about painting. He received the book, and has been passionately dedicated to art ever since. Internationally, Salzmann made his mark with his extraordinary use of watercolour. Most of the time, he uses different techniques simultaneously, creating a bridge between watercolour and collage, between photography and drawing.

While studying art at the Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna from 1963 to 1965, he visited the major European museums and found the role model he was looking for in William Turner. From 1965 to 1968, he pursued another degree at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. These days, Salzmann has become a role model for many students. His work is famous and has won multiple awards. Salzmann lives and works in Paris and Vence, France.


Gottfried Salzmann constantly tries out new artistic disciplines and mixes photography with collage, acrylics with printed material, and much more. The underlying constant that ties his oeuvre together is detailed watercolour. Salzmann finds his source material walking through the streets of New York. As an observer with a camera, he searches for new sides of the city.

Afterwards, the resulting photographs are edited in a laborious process, often implemented on wood. Here, the editing and the multilayered superimpositions remain visible. Salzmann creates poetic montages from different parts of the city and urban elements such as billboards. Although he created the piece “Reflection 7th Avenue” with watercolours, the glass façade of the New York skyscraper appears contoured and the detailed reflections reveal a look at another street.


1943born in Saalfelden near Salzburg, Austria
1963-1965Studied under Sergius Pauser and Max Melcher at the Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna
1965-1968Studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris
lives and works in Paris and Vence, France


2011Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, Vienna, Austria
2006Opened the Gottfried-Salzmann-Saal in the Salzburg Museum Neue Residenz
1972Pierre David-Weill Drawing Prize, Paris, France
1972Theodor Körner Prize, Vienna, Austria
1975Grand Prize, Salzburger Chamber of Commerce, Salzburg, Austria
1977Gold Medal, International Prize for Watercolour, Rome, Italy
1970Theodor Körner Prize, Vienna, Austria


Gottfried Salzmann: Cityscapes – From Paris to New York, Salzburg Museum, München 2013.
Gottfried Salzmann, Pascal Bonafoux, Klaus-Albrecht Schröder und Nikolaus Schaffer, Paris 2006.
Nikolaus Schaffer: Gottfried Salzmann, Salzburg, Paris, New York ... , Works from 1967-2002. From a series of monographs on Salzburg Art, Volume 27, Salzburger Museum Carolino Augusteum, Salzburg, 2003.
Gottfried Salzmann: Watercolour landscapes and cities: from the idea to the pure watercolour, Munich, 2000.
Salzmann: Water Reflections, Nicole Bottet, Galerie Wenz, Salzburg, 1993.


2015Gottfried Salzmann in New York, Franklin Bowles Galleries, New York City, USA
2015Gottfried Salzmann, Joel Knafo Art, Arles, France
2015Gottfried Salzmann – Stadtlandschaften von Paris nach New York, Galerie Wolfgang Exner, Vienna, Austria
2013Galerie Welz, Salzburg, Austria
2013Franklin Bowles Galleries, New York, USA
2013Cityscapes, Galerie 48, Lyon, France
2013Recent works, Galerie Arcturus, Paris, France
2013Atmosphären, Salzburg Museum, Salzburg, Austria
2012Kubinhaus Zwickledt Museum, Wernstein am Inn, Austria
2006Salzburger Museum, Carolino Augusteum, Salzburg, Austria
2006Gottfried Salzmann. New York, New York. Print Works, Galerie Welz, Salzburg, Austria
2006Gottfried Salzmann. Book Presentation & New Works, Galerie Wolfrum, Vienna, Austria
2005Gottfried Salzmann, Galerie Welz, Salzburg, Austria
2003Salzburg Museum, Salzburg, Austria
2001Musée de St. Maur, La Varenne, France
1999Metropolitan Museum, Manila, Philippines
1999Museum of Modern Art, Rupertinum, Salzburg, Austria
1998Palais Bénédictine, Fécamp, France
1993Musée de la Seita, Paris, France
1991Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz, Austria
1987Schweinfurt Municipal Collection, Schweinfurt, Germany
1982Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria
1973Maison de la Culture, Amiens, France
2013Nicole Bottet, Gottfried Salzmann, Galerie22, Cabrières d’Avignon, France
2013Väter_Töchter, STRABAG Art Lounge, Vienna, Austria
2011NICOLE BOTTET - NIEVES - GOTTFRIED SALZMANN, Galerie Welz, Salzburg, Austria
2011Salzmann + Salzmann, Fischhorn Castle, Austria
2011The Schömer Haus in the Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria
2009Lentos Art Museum, Best of Austria, Linz, Austria
2008The City of Salzburg - Views from Five Centuries, The Salzburg Museum Neue Residenz, Salzburg, Austria
2008L'Espace Raymond Moretti, Paris, France
2007One Man's Tribute to September 11th, Austrian Embassy, Washington, D.C., USA
1996Nicole Bottet Gottfried Salzmann, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Rouen, France