Walter Pichler
20 Sketches from the Archives 1961–63

‘Architecture,’ said Walter Pichler, ‘is a brutal matter … It crushes those who cannot stand it.’ Between 1961 and 1963 the sculptor and designer, working in collaboration with the architect Hans Hollein and drawing on conversations with Raimund Abraham and Friedrich Achleitner, introduced a radically adventurous new plasticity to architecture, putting forward imaginary prototypes in which cities might be buried underground as single units or dispersed as continuous sculptural topographies in the landscape; whose dwellings might consist of communication cells, emotive caves or watch towers; and where sacred spaces would be constructed from the interstices between colliding monumental forms.

Walter Pichler, Study for underground city, 1960-64, DM 2327.19 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study for an Underground City, 1960 – 1964. Pen and ink and photo collage on wove paper, 300 × 350 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 1, DM 2327.1 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on paper, 230 × 300 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 2, DM 2327.2 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 210 × 295 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 3, DM 2327.3 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pencil, pen and ink on wove paper, 280 × 235 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 4, DM 2327.4 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 161 × 169 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 5, DM 2327.5 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 279 × 235 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 6, DM 2327.6 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 222 × 256 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 7, DM 2327.7 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 279 × 235 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 8, DM 2327.8 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 284 × 215 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 9, DM 2327.9 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 287 × 431 mm.

As some years later with Superstudio (whose proposals were greatly influenced by Pichler’s drawings), these are propositions of studied ambiguity. Questions rather than solutions, they are made to fall on a deliberately uncertain line between art and architecture, the mechanistic and the biomorphic, the domineering and the humane, the ironic and the ideal.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 18, DM 2327.1 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink and wash on trace, 145 × 250 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 10, DM 2327.10 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 210 × 292 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 11, DM 2327.11 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Black and blue ink on paper, 349 × 300 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 12, DM 2327.12 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on trace, 227 × 290 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 13, DM 2327.13 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on trace, 302 × 228 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 14, DM 2327.14 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on trace, 216 × 190 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 15, DM 2327.15 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on trace, 228 × 302 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 16, DM 2327.16 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 209 × 298 mm.

Walter Pichler, Study sketch, untitled 17, DM 2327.17 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Walter Pichler (1936–2012), Study sketch, untitled, 1961 – 1963. Pen and ink on wove paper, 209 × 298 mm.

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