Markus Prachensky is born on March 21st in Innsbruck, Austria, the son of Wilhelm Nicolaus Prachensky and Henriette Hnidy. His father, whose family originally comes from Poland, is an architect and painter.
Graduates in Innsbruck. Moves to Vienna in the autumn and enrolls at the Academy of Fine Arts to study architecture.
In addition to architecture classes decides also to take painting classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. Meets the painters Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl and Arnulf Rainer who all become friends.
rents studio on Lobkowitzplatz in Vienna. Paints a series of geometrical-constructivist pictures with the title Lobkowitzplatz. (In the years to come the titles of Prachensky‘s paintings, mostly done in series, refer to the names of streets or cities where they are painted.) Beginning of friendship with sculptor Fritz Wotruba; meets the catholic priest Monsignore Otto Mauer.
Paintings by Prachensky are shown in a group exhibition at the Galerie St. Stephan, a gallery recently founded and subsequently run by Monsignore otto Mauer. In the following years Prachensky travels extensively throughout Europe, participates actively in shaping and determining the direction of the gallery by establishing contacts with foreign artists and organizing exhibitions in Vienna.
Receives diploma in architecture, however, does not take up the profession. Shares a studio with Hollegha in Vienna on Liechtensteinstrasse. Hollegha, Mikl, Prachensky and Rainer become known as “the Group of the Galerie St. Stephan”. Prachensky paints a series of abstract-expressionist pictures with strong gesture elements (splashes of bright red paint on grey, later on black background) entitled Liechtenstein. Marries Gerti Fröhlich; son Nikolaus is born. Beginning of friendship with Rudolf Schönwald.
Werner Hofmann curates an exhibition in Vienna of “the Four”: Hollegha, Mikl, Prachensky and Rainer at the Wiener Secession. Prachensky sees show of American art and is especially impressed by the work of Mark Tobey and Franz Kline. Moves to Paris; lives and paints in a hotel in St. Germain des Prés for five months. Participates in a show at the Galerie Arnaud. Travels to Hamburg, Germany, where he stays for several months and has an exhibition at the Völkerkundemuseum. receives commission to design a stained glass window for the church of Hasloch, a town near Würzburg, Germany. Returns to Vienna. Beginning of friendship with John Sailer and the sculptor Andreas Urteil.
Paints the series Rouge sur noir-Gainfarn and Rouge sur blanc-Gain farn in Arnulf Rainer‘s house in Gainfarn, a village twenty miles south of Vienna. Visits the Bauhaus in Ulm, Germany; is dismayed by the functionalist approach to painting taught there. Travels to Paris, where he stays for some months. Has contact with Jean Arp, Pierre Soulages, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Degottex, Georges Mathieu and Yves Klein. Returns to Vienna. Between 1958 and 1960 Prachensky lives and works in studios of various friends. Paints series Rouge sur blanc-avant Seckau.
Paints series Rouge sur blanc-Sebastianplatz in Fritz Riedl‘s studio in Vienna and Rouge sur blanc-Wiesbaden in Germany. Prachensky is instrumental in bringing Georges Mathieu to Vienna, who paints a large scale picture before an invited audience at the Theater am Fleischmarkt. On this occasion Prachensky creates the first Peinture liquide, done on a 365 x 1100 cm canvas.
Paints the series Rouges sur blanc-St. Stephan, including a large scale canvas (280 x 1000 cm) in the Galerie St. Stephan where the pictures are subsequently exhibited. From 1960 to 1966 Prachensky “shuttles“ between Germany and Austria, residing part of the year in each country. Lives and works in Aschaffenburg for six months and completes the series Rouges différents sur blanc. The Gallery 59 in Aschaffenburg organizes a retrospective exhibition. On the occasion of the opening of this show Prachensky paints the second Peinture liquide, this time on a canvas 790 x 1200 cm on the stage of the town theater. This event is extensively covered by the media and causes reverberations through out the German speaking art world. Receives a commission to create stained glass windows for the church in Ruhstorf, Germany. Friendship with the art critic and writer Peter Iden.
Paints the series Rouges sur blanc-Lausanne, Rouges sur blanc-Wolframs Eschenbach and Retournons à la peinture-Karlsruhe. Solo exhibition at the Galerie Rottloff in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Paints the series Rouge sur blanc-Sebastianplatz in Vienna and a series of large scale pictures Rouge sur gris-Karlsruhe in Germany. Rents studio in Stuttgart, Germany.
For the next three years Prachensky lives primarily in Stuttgart and Berlin. Paints the series Berlin I bis X in the Galerie Springer.
Begins the series Solitude in his studio in Stuttgart. one man show at the Galerie St. Stephan in Vienna.
Returns to Berlin and completes the series Rot und rot-Berlin and Rot und blau-Berlin. In Stuttgart continues the Solitude series. Works on stained glass windows for the St. Ulrich Kirche in Stuttgart (architect Franz Brümmendorf).
During the summer, Prachensky visits Wolfgang Hollegha in his farm house on the Rechberg in the Austrian province of Styria and paints the series Rechberg. After returning to Vienna he makes a set of etchings in Rudolf Schönwald‘s studio.
Produces a portfolio of six etchings for the edition Widrich in Salzburg, Austria. Paints the Vienna series. Decides to move to the United States; meets the art critic Clement Greenberg in New York. Travels to Los Angeles. Rents studio in Westwood Village. Begins Los Angeles-cardboard series.
Paints the california-paintings, Red on white-Los Angeles, Red on black-Los Angeles, Westwood. Frequently visits the saltlake flats and desert areas of Palm Springs. His paintings are presented at a group exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Makes several trips to Mexico.
Decides to return to Europe. Participates in an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Takes up residency in Hannover, Germany. Manfred de la Motte curates a major retrospective exhibition at the Kunstverein in Hannover.
Returns to Vienna. In January exhibits the california-paintings at the Galerie St. Stephan. Begins the Montanara series. Solo exhibition at the Galerie Defet in Nuremberg, Germany.
Decides to settle in Vienna. Marries Brigitte Neundlinger. Retrospective exhibition at the museum in Ulm. Paints the series Arsenal and produces a portfolio of five lithographs, Vienna Red Book. Rents a studio in Vienna‘s 6th district. Receives commission to design a tapestry 800 x 600 cm for the main auditorium of the Congress Hall in Innsbruck. Returns to Guadalajara, Mexico, where his friend Fritz Riedl weaves the commissioned tapestry. Travels extensively through the Jalisco and Colima provinces.
Upon returning to Vienna he paints the series Jalisco and produces the portfolio of seven etchings, Die rot-rote Reise des Markus P.
Participates in the opening exhibition of the newly founded Galerie Ulysses in Vienna, run by John Sailer and Gabriele Wimmer. Paints the Colima and Gumpendorf series.
Finishes the Wien series and receives commission to design stained glass windows for the church in Enns, Austria. First solo exhibition at the Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, which represents the artist since then. Spends several weeks in Apulia, Italy.
Paints the series Rot auf schwarz-Puglia, Rot auf weiss-Puglia, Pre-Urbino, Urbino, Monte S. Angelo. Exhibition at the Galerie Wentzel, Hamburg.
Completes the series S. Angelo-Duke and S. Angelo-Duke-raw canvas. Travels again to Apulia. One man exhibition at Galerie der Spiegel, Cologne, Germany.
Paints the series Puglia marina. Receives commission for a large scale painting for the new Austrian Airlines Headquarter building in Vienna.
A major retrospective is shown at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. One man exhibitions at the Galerie de France, Paris, Galerie Hennemann, Bonn and at the Kunstverein in Salzburg. Wolfgang Fleischer and Georg Madeja are commissioned by Austrian television to produce a 50 minute film, “Markus Prachensky”. Works on the series Puglia marina Murge.
Travels to Tuscany, Italy and to the Etruscan archeological sites in Umbria. After his return to Vienna begins the Etruria series of paintings. First one man show at the Galerie Elisabeth und Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck.
Continues the Etruria meridionale series. Solo exhibitions at the BAWAG Foundation, Vienna, Galerie Rottloff, Karlsruhe and the Forum Kunst in Rottweil, Germany.
Travels extensively in Italy. Works on the series Etruria Blues. One man shows at Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany and Galerie Dibbert, Berlin.
Appointed professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
Paints the Etruria orizontale series.
After further trips to Tuscany paints the series Maremma. Participates in the exhibition “Paintings for Frankfurt“ curated by Peter Iden for the new Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Germany.
Begins the Umbria series. Participates in the exhibition titled “Le Avanguardie in Austria” which travels to a number of museums in Italy. Solo exhibitions at Galerie Pels-Leusden, Berlin and Suzanne Fischer, Baden-Baden, Germany.
Paints the pictures Umbria Cantata. Participates in the group show “Since 1970“ at the Museum of 20th century, Vienna; takes part in the exhibition “Face à Face”, Europalia 87 Austria, at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.
Paints the series Umbria Rot.
Paints the series Umbria Quartetto. Exhibits at the Galerie Heimeshoff, Essen, Germany and Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck. Travels to Sardinia, Italy.
Solo exhibition at the Galerie Ulysses, Vienna and Ulysses Gallery, New York. Painted the series Gallura.
Works on the series Oliena. First trip to the temples in Paestum, Italy. Participates in the exhibition “l’art moral – Die Würde und der Mut” at the Galerie Nothelfer, Berlin.
Inspired by Paestum he paints the series Poseidon Stomp. Award of the Grand Medal of Honour in Gold by the City of Vienna. Further trips to southern Italy and Sardinia.
Second Paestum series is entitled Campania Shuffle. Numerous one man shows among others at Galerie Heimeshoff, Essen; Galerie Am Lindenplatz, Schaan; Liechtenstein; Kunstverein Aschaffenburg. Travels to Sardinia.
Ladas, Luras & Bilella is the title of the new paintings. Exhibits at the Galerie Jaspers, Munich, Germany. Back in Sardinia he visits the Necropolis of Anghelu ruju.
Impressed by the excavations of Sardinia he paints the pictures Sardegna – rot auf schwarz. One man show at the Kunstverein, Augsburg, Germany. Travels to the south of Corsica, France, to visit the cliffs of Bonifacio.
Paints the series Bonifacio – rot auf weiss. Exhibitions at the Galerie Academia, Salzburg and Galerie Heimeshoff, Essen. First trip to Egypt and visit of the temples in Aswan, Luxor and Kom Ombo. His work is presented at the exhibition “Malerei in Österreich 1945-1995. Die Sammlung Essl” at the Künstlerhaus, Vienna.
Travels to Bali, Hong Kong, Bangkok and the south of Thailand. Comprehensive retrospective at the Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, Wolfgang Gurlitt Museum, Linz, Austria; Kulturhaus Graz, Austria; Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck, Austria. The Egyptian impressions are reflected in Prachensky’s works Luxor Swing. He travels to New York, Madrid and Paris.
Paints the pictures named Bali trumpet.
Works on three engravings published by Peter Baum, Neue Galerie der Sadt Linz, Gabriele Wimmer, Galerie Ulysses and Ernst Hilger, Galerie Hilger. Paints the series Amanpuri. A retrospective of Prachensky’s works from the last ten years is shown at the Culture Institute in Bolzano, Italy. Travels to Hongkong and paints.
the series Hongkong Ramble. On the occasion of his retirement the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna organizes the exhibition “Markus Prachensky. Die Akademiejahre. Bilder 1983–2000”. Trips to Naples, the Emilia Romagna, Italy and California. Prachensky is invited to present his oeuvre at the Willy Brandt Haus, Berlin. Galerie Judith Walker at Schloss Ebenau, Austria, shows recent works.
Appointment to the Art Commission of the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art. Extensive trip through the western USA. He entitles the paintings of this year California revisited and
California Miles. The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna devotes a retrospective to Prachensky on the occasion of his 70th birthday. His work is also presented at the Galerie Am Lindenplatz in Vaduz, Liechtenstein; RLB Kunstbrücke, Innsbruck and the Galerie 422, Gmunden, Austria. Travels to Liguria to see the Cinque Terre.
The Espace Hilger in Paris shows a selection of Prachensky’s works. exhibitions at Galerie Leonhard, Graz and Galerie Ulysses, Vienna. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Otto Mauer’s death the Collection Essl, Klosterneuburg, devotes a comprehensive exhibition to the four founding members of “The Group of the Galerie St. Stephan”, Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl, Markus Prachensky and Arnulf Rainer. The Austrian Institute in Istanbul, Turkey, organizes an exhibition of works on paper in the Culture Foundation of the AKBANK. Prachensky paints the series Cinque Terre.
Ingrid Mössinger presents a major Prachensky show at the Kunstsammlungen, Chemnitz, Germany. This exhibition is also shown at the Kunstverein Emsdetten, Germany. After decades of studies of Roman history and field studies in Rome he paints Senatus Populusque Romanus as well as
Senatus Consultum. Journey to the southwest of Sicily, Italy.
Finishes the cycle Imperium Romanum with the series Farnesina Dixie. Andrea Schurian’s film “ROT ist die Farbe meines Lebens” is made in Vienna and Rome. Prachensky participates with six paintings at the exhibition of Austrian Art at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia. In autumn Prachensky travels extensively through southern France. For the Albertina, Vienna, he designs a three-color lithograph printed by Christoph Chavanne and Gabi Pechmann.
On the occasion of Prachensky’s 75th birthday several institutions, among them the Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, dedicate exhibitions to him. The Austrian Federal President, Heinz Fischer, conferred the Grand Gold Decoration for Meritorious Service to the Republic of Austria to Prachensky. The paintings in this year are named Swing de Provence. Travels to Corsica.
Prachensky travels through the Provence, France, to see the massif of the Calanques between Marseille and Cassis. Solo exhibitions at the Kunsthaus Köflach, Austria, and at the Künstlerhaus, Vienna. Works on the series Korsika Bebop.
His impressions from the Calanques are reflected in the paintings and four lithographs Rythmes des Calanques. Studies extensively the Italian early Renaissance, especially the oeuvre of Paolo Uccello. To see the three paintings “La Battaglia di San Romano” Prachensky travels to the National Gallery in London, the Louvre in Paris and to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
Prachensky paints the series La Battaglia di San Romano – Omaggio à Paolo Uccello. Moves to a new studio on the Danube in Vienna.
Continues to work on the Uccello series. The Galerie Welz in Salzburg organizes an exhibition during the Salzburg Festival. Markus Prachensky dies on July 15th in Vienna. The Albertina Museum in Vienna and the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg show “In Memoriam Markus Prachensky” the works from their collections. The last paintings La Battaglia di San Romano are exhibited at the Galerie Ulysses in Vienna. The Municipal Gallery of the City of Villach, Austria, shows a retrospective exhibition.
Paintings and works on paper are shown at the Galerie Rieder, Munich and at the Galerie E. & K. Thoman, Innsbruck.
On the occasion of the artist’s 80th birthday the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, presents a comprehensive exhibition “Hommage à Markus Prachensky”. The Albertina Museum in Vienna dedicates one room to Prachensky’s work in the exhibition „Albertina Contemporary“.
On Prachensky’s 81st birthday the book „Markus Prachensky – Retrospective in red“ is presented at the Galerie Ulysses in Vienna, published by the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia. The Stamperia Carini in Italy edits a portfolio with six lithographs, titled „Etruria – In Memoriam Markus Prachensky“. An exhibition at the Galerie 422 in Gmunden, Austria, presents works from Prachensky’s last series together with paintings by Herbert Brandl. The European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany organizes an exhibition „Now and Then“ . Prachensky is presented with several paintings from the collection of the E.C.B. Art Collection. The Galerie Welz, Salzburg exhibits a selection of Prachensky’s graphic work. The Galerie Ulysses dedicates an exhibition to the four founding members of “The Group of the Galerie St. Stephan”, Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl, Markus Prachensky and Arnulf Rainer.
Works by Hollegha, Mikl and Prachensky are shown at the Galerie Kovacek & Zetter in Vienna, Austria. The Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria, organizes two exhibitions „Made in Austria“, showing some of Prachensky’s paintings from their collection. Solo exhibition „Last paintings“ at the Galerie Leonhard, Graz, Austria.