At only 16-years-old, Wilhelm Kaufmann was admitted as the youngest applicant to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wien (Vienna) under Rudolf Bacher. In World War I, he served three years at the Russian-Albanian front and was decorated with the Golden Cross of Merit. After the war, he worked as a freelance artist. Kaufmann took part in the exhibition of the Wiener (Vienna) Secession and was a member of the Sonderbund Ãsterreichischer KÃ¼nstler (Separate League of Austrian Artists). From 1927, was also a member of the Hagenbund, one of the most progressive associations. Both were liquidated after the 1938 Austrian Anschluss into Nazi Germany. From 1938-45 Kaufmann was subjected to a professional ban, and he was conscripted as an unskilled laborer in a gear factory.
From 1945-56 Kaufmann headed the painting section of the professional association of visual artists and participated in the Antifascist exhibition "Never forget!" in Wien in 1946. In the same year he became a member of the Wiener Secession. In 1948 he was commissioned by the municipality of Wien to paint two portraits of the gold medal winner in the javelin throw, [Herma Bauma]. In 1949, Kaufmann was promoted to Professor. Beginning in 1950, he became a member of the Vienna Visual Artists Association. He received an Honorary Diploma for Painting and Graphics on the occasion of the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, where he submitted four works to the exhibition that substituted for the previously contested art competitions: Skier, Ice Hockey, Soccer Scene in Indian ink and another oil painting entitled Soccer. Kaufmann died of the effects of a pneumonia.
Kaufmann based his paintings on the intrinsic value and expressive power of color, developing his dynamic line mostly after World War II. He preferred to paint outdoors, particularly on excursions to Italy, France and Croatia, creating views depicted in glowing colors. From 1948 he captured scenes from the world of sport, fascinated by the movement and dynamic, and a further important theme group was his depictions of everyday scenes. Kaufmann himself stayed active with speed skating and table tennis.
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