Herbert Stattler


new drawings released

Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene [Drawings for Children and Adults] (2011-2020)

M. F. Die Ordnung der Dinge [M. F. The Order of Things] (2006-2020)

Where do little children come from? [Woher kommen die kleinen Kinder?] (2018)

Grundkurs im wissenschaftlichen Definieren [Basic Course in Scientific Definition] (2009-2020)

Klandestine Geschichten [Clandestine Stories] (2015-2016)

W. B. Gesammelte Schriften [W. B. Selected Writings] (2007-2020)

Reserve Shelf [Handapparat] (2011-2021)

Ornament Stadt [Ornament City] (2014)

So many Questions [So viele Fragen] (2010)

Stadtleitbilder [Ideals of Urban Models] (2009-2010)

Depot [Storage] (2009)

Heimliche Bräute. Eheliches Glück. [Backdoor Brides »Marital Bliss«] (2009-2020)

Sup.Supri.Suprema, Familie [Sup.Supri.Suprema, Family] (2006)

Letter 652 [Brief 652] (2007)

Schreibtische [Desks] (2004-2006)


Pencil drawing of the series »Stadtleitbilder« [ideals of urban models] by Herbert Stattler.

Pencil and Graphite

The pencil is a wonderful implement and my most important tool. Be it a simple lead pencil, a propelling pencil or a clutch pencil, I find it the best means to draw lines, regardless of whether they are slow and precise or quick and expressive. I can pause and then, if need be, continue the line later, smoothly and seamlessly, without any evident sign of a join. 

Of the three pencils I select the simple one most often, as I can use it for everything: with a pencil that is very hard — a 6H, for example — and sharpened to a fine point, I can produce fine, extremely delicate lines; with a very soft pencil, like an 8B, I can create strong black lines. One minor disadvantage of the pencil is that I have to keep sharpening it. And so as not to be constantly interrupted while drawing, I have a dozen pencils of the required grade ready-sharpened that I then use in sequence until they have lost their point. When the last pencil eventually goes blunt, I gather them all together, put them through the sharpener and start the process over again. A decent sharpening machine that can take pencils of different thicknesses and be adjusted to produce points ranging from blunt to sharp is a fixture on the drawing table.

I use the propelling pencil if I want to draw lines of the same thickness. Compared to the lead pencil, there is less leeway for varying the degree of hardness and width of the line — I have never managed to produce a really black or really delicate light line with it, although it has no rival in terms of its reliability. Even after the lead has changed automatically. the thickness and hardness remain exactly the same.

The ultimate tool for hatching is the clutch pencil. It has thicker leads than the propelling pencil and can be used to apply large, even areas of grey to the paper. It has sizeable leads with diameters ranging from 2 to 3.15 mm, while the fine leads of the propelling pencil are between 0.35 to 1.4 mm in diameter. You can produce smooth lines by regularly turning the pencil after each stroke to round the thick lead. By drawing these lines close together, you can create a homogeneous area with a very precise tonal value. In order to increase the homogeneity, between the lines of the cross-hatching, in which all the strokes run in the same direction with a single degree of hardness, I typically do a second application with a pencil that has a difference of at least two or three grades. Using this method, the graphite lines can be run together and blurred — almost like an aquarelle effect.

By layering the lines — in other words, by superimposing many separate areas of hatching — it is possible to produce a special silky lustre generated by the wax in the lead. The wax is used for impregnation, with clay added as a binding agent and graphite as a colour pigment. The more graphite, the greater the lustre. However, repeated drawing of a line runs the risk of damaging the surface of the paper with the lead, or even tearing it. This means that the only way to achieve an even glossy tonal value is by applying careful pressure that is as constant as possible.

Drawing of the Series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for children and adults] by Herbert Stattler

Ink and Pen

For the series »Drawings for Children and Adults«, which I have been working on intermittently since 2011, I am using black document ink, also called archive ink. The special feature of this ink is that it tends not to fade when exposed to light — even after many years it loses none or almost none of its intensity. It cannot be corrected or erased. Even when it comes into contact with water, the ink only runs somewhat, and the lines still remain visible. I use document ink in my old fountain pen, a sturdy implement with a heavy hexagonal shaft, equipped with an extra-fine (EF) nib with a pointed tip. Before using it, I rounded the end on a piece of metal emery paper so that ideally I can draw a line in any direction that has a constant breadth.

For me, when I am drawing with fountain pen and ink, the key difference to the pencil is the time factor. When I’m drawing with a pencil it makes no difference how long I apply the tip to the paper, but with ink this plays a major role. If I want to produce a line of constant thickness from beginning to end, it is essential to draw with an even tempo — provided, of course, that there is a proper flow of ink from the barrel through to the nib. Because my pen is extremely heavy, I only need to place it on the paper, just touch the paper with the nib — in other words, I don’t exert any pressure of my own and simply glide across the paper to draw a line.

The ambient humidity in the studio has an important influence. In summer and winter the humidity is low to normal (40 to 55 per cent); unfortunately, in spring and autumn it is always higher. In unpleasant periods with 60 to 70 per cent I try to counteract the humidity with a dehumidifier, but this still changes the lines I draw at such times: they are not as razor-sharp, and under a magnifying glass they look a little dissipated. Even the gentle scratching of the nib on the paper that I am otherwise so fond of is barely audible. I miss this acoustic support at such moments.

Different samples of natural-white drawing paper, free of acid


I mostly use fine, natural white, acid-free drawing paper with high opacity and excellent non-fade and anti-ageing properties. I prefer heavy coated fine-art paper for drawing — it has been double-sized, which gives it a robust surface smoothness that also makes it possible to overlay a number of lines one on top of the other. This kind of paper has no grain and a sealed surface with minimal roughness. This means that I can predict the results I will achieve drawing very fine and precise lines. The paper can completely absorb graphite and ink and render rich contrasts.

I use paper not only as a medium for drawing on but also as a material for my paper objects. To make them, I first determine the form and then construct a cutting pattern for the individual objects, ideally consisting of a single piece of paper. I gently score the contours of the objects with a scalpel to ensure clear edges and create little equilateral triangles at the glued joints that later serve as adhesive flaps. To prevent bumps appearing in the surfaces, I carefully fold the creases along their entire length using the hard edge of my straight tweezers. Cyanoacrylate has proved successful as a glue. It sticks the paper permanently within a few seconds so that there is no way the joints can then accidentally slip out of place. Applying one drop per flap reduces the risk of glue oozing out. This adhesive allows me to work quickly and without any mess. Once the entire object, consisting of numerous individual paper shapes, is ready, I coat the paper with hot beeswax until it is fully impregnated. At the end, I completely remove any surplus wax. The effect of this procedure, a stressful process for the paper and glue flaps, is to produce a silk-matt, translucent paper surface that causes the individual objects to gleam diaphanously when light falls on them so that they shimmer like marble.


Photo by Katherina Lochmann © kalo.at

Katherina Lochmann © kalo.at

»For me, drawing is one of the most fascinating artistic media. Its vocabulary and materials are limitless. Drawings are the visible traces of the artist’s imagination and creative hand that remain after the work has been executed. I am fascinated by the perfection of the hand. How precisely can I render a line, how much control do I have over the paper? If you look at my drawings, you might almost think they have been produced by a machine. This aspiration to perfection forces me to go slowly and enables me to explore the limits of drawing, objects and my own hand.

Order on the desk, the ideal of the city and sex education are some of the themes of my work, which I develop into work series after detailed research. Here the procedure is always the same: preliminary work on the content and experiments with the paper are carried out in parallel until I have found a form that is valid for me. This may be geared, for example, to the form of the geographical map, to a pattern repeat or dot matrix printing. Over the course of months and years this gives rise to my series of drawings.«

Herbert Stattler

Solo Exhibitions

›Spitzenwaren‹ Galerie Wiedmann; Stuttgart, Germany, 2022

›Stadtleitbilder‹ Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin; Berlin, Germany, 2014

›Stadtleitbilder‹ Herbert Stattler in the studio of Karin Sander; Berlin, Germany, 2011

›Depot‹ Stadtmuseum Tübingen; Tübingen, Germany, 2009

›Schreibtische‹ Kunstverein Nürtingen; Tübingen, Germany, 2008

›Sup.Supri.Suprema(Familie)‹ Akademie Schloss Solitude; Stuttgart, Germany, 2007

›Schreibtische‹ 8. Kunst- und Kulturfestival 48 Stunden Neukölln; Berlin, Germany, 2006

›skin‹ Theaterhaus Stuttgart; Stuttgart, Germany, 2004 *

›skin‹ Opera de Lille; Lille, France, 2004 *

Group Exhibitions

›Paperworks. Skulptur aus Papier und Pappe‹ Kunstmuseum Heidenheim; Heidenheim, Germany, 2023

›Papier‹ Stadtgalerie Villa Dessauer, Kunstverein Bamberg; Bamberg, Germany, 2021

›Gegen Blicke‹ COPYRIGHTberlin; Berlin, Germany, 2020

›Best of 2018!‹ Galerie Druck & Buch; Vienna, Austria, 2019

›Lustgarten‹ Kunstverein Neuhausen; Neuhausen, Germany, 2018

›Freud on the Couch – Psyche in the Book‹ San Francisco Center for the Book; San Francisco, USA, 2018

›Freud on the Couch – Psyche in the Book‹ Perlman Teaching Museum; Minnesota, USA, 2018

›Freud on the Couch – Psyche in the Book‹ The Center for Book Arts; New York City, USA, 2018

›Time In – Zeit im Künstlerbuch‹ Galerie Druck & Buch; Vienna, Austria, 2015

›5th International Artists’ Book Exhibition‹ King St. Stephen Museum; Székesfehérvár, Hungary, 2013

›Fremde Heimat‹ Kunsthalle Mannheim; Mannheim, Germany, 2010

›Correspondence‹ Kunstverein Neuhausen; Neuhausen, Germany, 2007

›Sinne und Sinnlichkeit‹ Collegium Hungaricum; Berlin, Germany, 2003 *

›Moving Territories. Kunst – Öffentlichkeit – Neue Medien‹ Akademie Schloss Solitude Kronenstrasse; Stuttgart; Germany, 2003 *

›Lange Nacht der Museen‹ Akademie Schloss Solitude Römerstrasse; Stuttgart, Germany, 2003 ****

›snackonart‹ Experimental Video-Art Television; New York, USA, 2002 *

›6th International Festival for Architecture in Video‹ Florence, Italy, 2002 *

›Mega: Manifeste der Anmaßung‹ Künstlerhaus Wien; Vienna, Austria, 2002 ***

›Outer Limits‹ International Film and Video Series; New York City & Chicago, USA, 2001 *

›11. Internationales Bochumer Videofestival‹ Bochum, Germany, 2001 *

›Ovarvideo 2001‹ Ovar, Portugal, 2001 *

›Innere Szene Wien‹ MAK NITE, Museum für Angewandte Kunst; Vienna, Austria, 2001 *

›Innere Szene Wien‹ Russian Art Museum; Pärnu, Estonia, 2001 *

›Innere Szene Wien‹ Gallery NoMi; St. Petersburg, Russia, 2001 *

›Unsichtbare Architekturen‹ Museumsquartier; Vienna, Austria, 2001 *

›41 B16‹ Brno, Czech Republic, 2000 *

›IX Festival Internacional de Video y Multimedia de Canarias‹ Las Palmas, Spain, 2000 *

›XXIV Festival International du film d’Art et Pèdagogique‹ Paris, France, 2000 *

›5th International Festival for Architecture in Video‹ Florenz, Prato and Pistoia, Italy, 2000 *

›Experimentelle Tendenzen in der Architektur 2000‹ Orte - Architekturnetzwerk Niederösterreich; Krems, Austria, 2000 *

›Neues Bauen in Tirol 2000‹ Architekturforum Tirol; Innsbruck, Austria, 2000 *

›den fuss in der tür‹ Künstlerhaus Wien; Vienna, Austria, 2000 *

›hinter dem lärm‹ Galerie Grita Insam; Vienna, Austria, 1999 *

›Expo 2000‹ Sezession; Vienna, Austria, 1998 *


Stiftung Kunstfonds Grant Neustartplus for visual artists 2023

Stiftung Kunstfonds Grant Neustart Kultur 2022

Stiftung Kunstfonds Grant Neustart Kultur 2020/21

Artist-in-Residence-Program Akademie Schloss Solitude; Stuttgart, Germany, 2002-03


Longlist of Stiftung Buchkunst ›Die schönsten deutschen Bücher 2015‹ with ›Ornament Stadt‹ Germany, 2015

Artist Viewing Program, The Drawing Center; New York City, USA, 2012-

Joseph Binder Award, Räumliche Gestaltung; Austria, 2003 *

Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky Projektstipendium, BKA Sektion Kunst; Austria, 2001 *

Complimentary Award for ›Experimentelle Tendenzen in der Architektur 2000‹ BKA Sektion Kunst; Austria, 2000 *

Prize Winner of Eternit-Ideen-Wettbewerb; Austria, 1995 **

Scholarship for Studying Abroad; University of Michigan, School of Art & College of Architecture; USA, 1993

Lectures and Presentations

Artist Talk with Notburga Karl ›Papier‹ Stadtgalerie Villa Dessauer, Kunstverein Bamberg; Bamberg, Germany, 2021

Artist Talk with Beate Absalon ›Gegen Blicke‹ COPYRIGHTberlin; Berlin, Germany, 2020

Artist Talk with Margarete Vöhringer ›Woher kommen die kleinen Kinder?‹ galerie oqbo; Berlin, Germany, 2019

Artist Talk with B. Cella ›Woher kommen die kleinen Kinder?‹ Salon für Kunstbuch, Belvedere 21. Museum of Contemporary Art; Vienna, Austria, 2018

Artist Talk with Susanne Padberg ›Woher kommen die kleinen Kinder?‹ Galerie Druck & Buch; Vienna, Austria, 2018

Lecture Talk ›Stadtleitbilder‹ at symposium ›In/Visible City‹ Bauhaus-Universität Weimar; Weimar, Germany, 2016

Lecture Talk ›Depot‹ at symposium ›Salon Kunst & Wissenschaft: Archive‹ Experimentiertheater der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg; Nürnberg, Germany, 2012

Lecture Talk ›Schreibtische‹ at ›Aus der Praxis: Fotografische Kunst heute‹ Tübinger Kunstgeschichtliche Gesellschaft e.V.; Tübingen, Germany, 2007

Workshop ›Leerstellen‹ Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg within the 17. Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Stuttgart, Germany, 2004 *

Workshop ›Begehbare Räume‹ Pädagogisches Institut Salzburg, Teacher training; Salzburg, Austria, 2004 *

Lecture ›Works‹ Media-Space 03; Stuttgart, Germany 2003 *

Lecture ›Works‹ Architektur der Moderne - Interface zwischen Phantasma und Realität; Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna, Austria, 2002 *

Exhibition Designs

›inausnach salzburg‹ Architektur im Ringturm; Vienna, Austria; Curator: Sascha Pirker, 2003 *

›Global Tools‹ Künstlerhaus Wien; Vienna, Austria; Curators: Tulga Beyerle, Vitus H. Weh, 2001 *

* in collaboration with J. Augustinovic; ** J. Augustinovic and B. Brus, *** J. Augustinovic, E. Brand and M. Stauffer, **** C. Meisner


Book ›Woher kommen die kleinen Kinder?‹ Herbert Stattler, published by Spector Books, Leipzig 2018, ISBN DE 978-3-95905-216-0

Book ›Where do little kids come from?‹ Herbert Stattler, published by Spector Books, Leipzig 2018, ISBN 978-3-95905-217-7

Book ›Ornament Stadt‹ Herbert Stattler, published by Spector Books, Leipzig 2014,  ISBN 978–3–944669–40–3


Contribution Pia Müller-Tamm/Charles T. Dryer, ›Herbert Stattlers 'Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene' in kunsthistorischer und juristischer Perspektive‹ from: Gestaltung der Informationsrechtsordnung. Festschrift für Thomas Dreier zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. by V. Fischer, G. Nolte, M. Senftleben und L. Specht-Riemenschneider, München, Verlag C.H.Beck 2022, pp. 505-516, ISBN 938-3-406-77779-0

Contribution ›Herbert Stattler‹ from: Freud on the Couch – Psyche in the Book, The Center for Book Arts, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, San Francisco Center for the Book, ed. by Susanne Padberg, 2018, p. 49, ISBN 978-1-929646-13-5

Contribution ›Austria Kultur International, Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Auslandskultur 2014‹ ed. by Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres – Kulturpolitische Sektion, Wien 2015, p. 28, p.62, ISBN 978-3-9503655-6-6

Contribution ›Kreative Störfälle – (Un)gewöhnlicher Dingumgang in ästhetischen Bildungsprozessen‹, ed. by Christine Heil, Hannover, fabrico verlag, 2015, pp. 256/257, ISBN 978-3-946320-02-9

Contribution Levin Klocker, ›Komet – Persönlich: Interview mit Herbert Stattler‹, from: Kosmos Österreich 47, ed. by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin, Berlin, 2014, ISSN 2192-9254

Contribution ›Stattler Herbert‹, from: …A New Surprise… For Our Readers! Fifth International Artists‘ Book Exhibition, Bulletin of the King St. Stephen Museum, ed. by Katalin Izinger, 2013, p. 228, ISBN 978-963-9279-97-1

Essay Michael Hagner, ›Stadtleitbilder‹, from: Was ist ein Bild? Antworten in Bildern. Gottfried Boehm zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. by S. Egenhofer, I. Hinterwaldner und C. Spies, München, Fink 2012, pp. 82-85, ISBN 978-3-7705-5460-7

Essay Andrea Schmidt, ›Stadtleitbilder‹, from: Fremde Heimat, ed. by Ulrike Lorenz, Kunsthalle Mannheim. Verlag Das Wunderhorn 2010, pp. 164-167., ISBN 978-3-88423-344-3

Catalog ›Depot | Herbert Stattler, Kunst im Dialog mit dem Stadtmuseum‹, ed. by Evamarie Blattner and Karlheinz Wiegmann, Tübingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-910090-97-2

Catalog ›Schreibtische | Desks, Herbert Stattler‹ ed. by Kunstverein Nürtingen, Nürtingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-00-025807-7

Contribution ›Zwischen zwei Terminen oder in einer Pause‹, from: Ein Magazin über Orte, No.4 Herbst 2008, ed. by E. Bambach, J. Marquardt, B. Vogel, 2008, pp. 18-25, ISSN 1866-2331

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