The Great Walls – Kurt Schranzer

16 April – 19 June

Inspired by the expert joinery and object making undertaken by his father and grandfather between the 1940s and 1960s, Schranzer’s reconfigured classic patterns in wood and constructed veneers explore authorship, originality, style and tradition in architectural elements such as frames, windows and their views. A perfection of fine and applied arts.

Curatorial Essay

This exhibition is the culmination of a decade long passion for creating a body of work that draws together the ethos of both the fine and applied arts.

Drawing on traditional craftsmanship Kurt Schranzer grounds the conceptual rigor of his fine art practice within exquisite marquetry panels. Marquetry and inlay have been used to embellish walls, furniture, boxes, reliquaries and ceremonial regalia. Its traditions go back to ancient Egypt, Rome, Persia, 8th century Japan, 13th century Italy and 15th century Germany. Examples might emphasise vegetal, zoomorphic, abstract and geometric schemes, or showcase complex pictorial and perspectival effects.

Schranzer comes from a family of skilled craftsmen; his father, Josef Schranzer (born 1937, St Paul im Lavanttal, Austria), works as a cabinetmaker and his late maternal grandfather, Henry Moore, (born 1879, Manchester, England), worked as an engineer’s patternmaker.

Schranzer’s work pays homage to the skills and creativity displayed by his father and grandfather with a mix of motifs, techniques, style and tradition. The reconfiguration of classic patterns, such as checkerboard, diamond and cube, are matched with the aesthetic beauty of exotic woods and constructed veneers. The resulting panels, both pictorial and abstract in design, evoke an architectural presence that references the likes of Ancient Roman villas and Proto-Renaissance perspective.

The genesis for The Great Walls began in 2001 when Schranzer was creating large scale wall drawings that investigated the formal elements of pictorial space and ‘rejected the confining influence of the frame.’

In The Great Walls, Schranzer has explored the idea of pictorial space in relation to the architectural confines of the gallery space. Two dimensional works and high relief panels act as windows onto unscripted fantasies. Trompe-l’œil and architectural elements, such as courtyards, columns and towers, trigger both cultural and imaginative connections and set the scene for an unending series of poetic narratives.

In The Great Walls project, Kurt Schranzer lives up to his renowned identity as a superb draughtsman.

Click here to read Artist Kur Schranzer’s Biography Size PDF

Click here to read the Artist Essay


Foremost, thank you to Josef Schranzer for the hours he gave and the skills he brought to this project.

This exhibition was also made possible through the goodwill and contributions of: the management at Herbs Joinery, Dunheved, NSW, at whose premises most of the fabrication occurred; Nick Krsticevic at NK Fabrications; Jim Deal at Spray King Australia; Darren Clark; and Gerard Salkeld from The Laminex Group. As an itinerant, thanks to Kay Schranzer, Isolde Lennon, and Ken Patrick for their patience, and places to call home, during this undertaking.

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