Thomas Emmerling

Gabriela von Habsburg is one of the most important sculptors of contemporary art. Almost unnoticed by the noisy world of the art industry, which is busy with itself and its rules of the game, Gabriela von Habsburg had overtaken and made formative contributions to the further development of constructive-geometric sculpture.

This is most evident in the outdoor monuments such as “Betasith” at Munich Airport Terminal 2, “Five Continents” in front of the Franke Group’s headquarters in Aarburg, Switzerland or “The 3 Powers in The State” in front of the Georgian President’s palace in Tbilisi. But we also experience the same effect with smaller and medium-sized sculptures: that by lining up geometric shapes, treating the surface of the steel and enclosing a space with rods, plates, triangles, perforated plates, something new is created that defines a space, it represents something of its own, which can be viewed and rediscovered again and again, depending on how you turn the sculpture and from which angle you look at it.

We discover a deeply impressive imperial aesthetic that is simple and natural from the inside. There are clear angular “iron lines drawn in the room” as she describes it herself, at the core of which the round of warm warmth defines the newly created space. We find responsible discipline and understanding, respect and openness. All this is balanced by the artist in her own way, powerfully, courageously and carefully.

Gabriela von Habsburg has both feet firmly in the tradition of classic-modern art and in the tradition of her family. As a European politician, her father Otto von Habsburg (1912 – 2011), son of the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, was able to benefit from the experience of his ancestors and an almost 800-year reign of the Habsburgs over a Central European multiethnic state and this in bring coexistence to a democratic Europe today. We also find this translation into a current context in the work of the artist Gabriela von Habsburg, it seems to be part of the family tradition, to bring phenomena into contemporary, sometimes futuristic context. As the Munich art historian and critic Dr. Elmar Zorn 2016 in his foreword to the book “Gabriela von Habsburg” writes: “She completely lacks any trumpeting behavior, as the so-called” artist princess “sometimes show at their appearances. Although, she is very conscious of her social status as the granddaughter of the last Emperor of Austria and Archduchess. . . ”One might add, because leadership in politics, society and art always means first and foremost chivalric responsibility, something that very few conformist actors in the current art industry are aware of or even known about. This is expressed in the care with which Gabriela von Habsburg deals with space, body, geometry and balance. This is where the tension arise that leads to progression, especially when looking at the space in between, which leads to something new and unique. With this, the artist also describes the essence of the space in between, generating dynamics and tension from which the new is created by it-self.