Copyright Nikolaus Korab

2000 - 2009

 

 

Acryl auf Leinwand, 155 x 115 cm

Hongkong Ramble, 2000

Acryl auf Leinwand, 165 x 130 cm

California Revisited, 2001

Acryl auf Leinwand, 130 x 165 cm

California Miles, 2002

Acryl auf Leinwand, 105 x 215 cm

Cinque Terre, 2003

Acryl auf Leinwand, 145 x 110 cm

SENATUS POPULUSQUE ROMANUS, 2004

(THE SENATE AND THE ROMAN PEOPLE)


SPQR – The Senate and the Roman People –one can find this inscription all over the city that I have always been drawn to since my childhood. I have been in treed on Rome, its buildings, its hills, its surroundings, the seriousness, yet joyousness of the city. The beauty of Roman antiquity, at first bashfully withdrawn, but eventually revealing itself to the knowledgeable observer, is a fascinating phenomenon with which I have been preoccupied over the years, intentionally and consciously.

The study oft he history of the city from the republic to the Ceasars, from the influence of other peoples and cultures, from the Greeks to the Etruscans, has sharpened my senses, my vision and my knowledge.
I have never been able to read the Nordic heroic sagas, yet as an atheist, I was amused by the convincing, naughty and playful Greek-Roman gods and goddesses. How familiar they are those old Roman buildings, beginning from the gigantic Coliseum and Pantheon up to the small temples and the countless ruins oft he Domus Aurea (Nero’s Golden House), the Area Pacis Augustae, the Forum Romanum, the Palatine Hill, the Forum of Trajan and the Forum of Hadrian.

I cannot and do not want to forget the superb views from the Capitoline Hill over the Forum Romanum, or other hills I climbed a dozen times, taking possession of every column and every stone. I know about the glory and decline oft he rulers, their greatness, triumphs and good deeds, but also about their excesses, brutality and cruelty. Already at prima vista I knew, the city would take hold of me – and so it did. I remained as a lover and painter and as I believe as a chronologist of Rome, far less knowledgeable than Theodor Mommsen, but better able to see than Goethe or Seume.
No matter where I was in the world I have lived in Rome, since my childhood. Today I still live in Rome, even though I am at home in Vienna, where I paint and cherish the memory of Rome, the Romains, eating Roman cuisine, drinking Roman wines, reading the history of the Roman Empire, the Roman view oft he world, and I am glad that I don’t have to be a strict and chaste Greek.

 

 

Acryl auf Leinwand, 130 x 115 cm

SENATUS CONSULTUM, 2005

S.C. – these two letters can be found on the reverse of all Roman coins. It means that the Senate gave approval and permission to mint the coins.

The ideas for the paintings from the series Senatus Consultum were the result through Roman experiences, observations, studies and perusal of these coins.

The actual paintings are fictitious, and any resemblance to real objects is purely coincidental.

 

 

Acryl auf Leinwand, 200 x 150 cm

Farnesina Dixie, 2006

Villa Farnesina was the house which Agrippa, the friend and companion of Augustus, built for the Emperor’s daughter Julia on the occasion of their marriage. The house stood in Trastevere and therefore Agrippa built a bridge across the Tiber, because at that time Trastevere did not belong to the preferred addresses of the successful and powerful Rome families.
Despite the fact that the villa had beautiful frescoes, some on a fine grey background which inspired me to paint my series Farnesina Dixie, it was inhabited only a short time and eventually even forgotten. Rediscovered in the late 19th Century , the villa was excavated and the frescoes were transferred to the Museo Nazionale Romano at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.

My preoccupation with grey as the base-coat for my mono-coloured and multi-coloured red paintings began in 1960 – 1962. The idea was developed in my mind during a visit to the Louvre in Paris where I was impressed by the fragments of Roman frescoes and mosaics.

The motifs shown in the paintings drawn from real and imaginary Roman buildings as well as from the symbolism of the Roman gods and goddesses - stroked me, although I am an agnostic, very lively, versatile and humorous.

 

 

Acryl auf Leinwand, 210 x 160 cm

Swing de Provence, 2007

Three years after having painted my Roman series „Imperium Romanum“ (Senatus Populusque Romanus – 2004, Senatus Consultum – 2005 and Farnesina Dixie – 2006), I followed the footsteps of the Romains and travelled to the South of France.

Originally I wanted to see the remains of Roman culture, the buildings in St. Remy, Aix, Orange and Arles. But I was so fascinated by the landscapes oft he Luberon, the Alpes Maritimes, the rocks of Les Mées, Sisteron, Les Beaux and Roussillon, that I decided to paint a series of the Provence, with all the bizarreness of the hills, rocks, canyons and the sky in the deep colours oft he area.

 

 

Acryl auf Leinwand, 110 x 150 cm

Korsika Bebop, 2008

In 2008 I returned to Corsica. This time not to visit the cliffs of Bonifacio in the South, but the North-West of the island, to the red ledge of L’Ile Rousse and La Scandola.

Bebop was the music I listened to in the late 1940s. It was frequently played on the AFN (American Forces Network). After the chaos of the Nazi dictatorship and the war, I considered it a powerful direction of force and a synonym for the liberation by the Americans.

I painted the Korsika Bebop series as a recollection of that time and of the cliffs of Corsica.

Acryl auf Leinwand, 200 x 150 cm

RYTHMES DES CALANQUES, 2009

In 2009 I revisited in autumn the South of France to see the Calanques, the over twenty kilometers of cliffs between Cassis and Marseille in the district of Bouches du Rhone.

As I wanted to see the Calanques from the seaside, which could have only been reached with great difficulty by boat I solved this logistical problem by chartering a helicopter. The flight started in Vence and we flew over the Cote d’Azur to Marseilles and then several times along the Massif des Calanques, and so I was able to experience the limestone cliffs and large parts of the flat hinterland from different heights. The impression of new colours and shapes was breathtaking. That is how came to be the paintings titled Rythmes des Calanques.