Helmut Grill


Helmut Grill was born 1965 in Salzburg, he lives and works in Vienna. Since 1991 he fully devotes his time to the arts, leaving behind his previous profession as a "digital manipulator" of advertising visuals. Grill experimented in his artistic career with many different materials in diverse techniques: He worked with natural rubber in combination with metal, he coated items with liquid rubber, he manipulates digital images and composes virtual landscapes, with his series "refuge" he enters finally also the 3rd dimension. In the recent 22 years his works have been presented in more than 80 international exhibitions, festival and museum shows.

Artists Statement
Since 1991 I fully devote my time to the arts, leaving behind my previous profession as a “digital manipulator” of advertising visuals. Quickly understanding that a wide horizon inspires my work I started to explore different urban environments.
Over the last 25 years I have learned a lot about my individual, conscious and subconscious approaches to values and emotions that influence my thinking. These conclusions about my inner priorities, threats to my ideals and anxieties have pushed me to search for ways to express the conflict of imminence and protection.
It started with natural rubber and attempted to compress it between metal pieces. Ultimately the seemingly soft rubber would succeed over the “predominant” metal and altered its shape.

From there I started to coat valuable, random or frightening items with liquid rubber to either eliminate the danger, change the meaning or protect the vulnerable. An online-based opportunity for visitors to remotely initiate a coating session marked my first step towards interactive art projects.
My search continued on to photographic media choosing “almost” random images from the web. I then digitally enhanced them and put them into different environments, looking for controversy of beauty and war or harmony and destruction, adding an additional layer by partially “coating” the people’s skin with writings.

The writings are subconscious without literal meaning or poetry. I try to channel possible thoughts of people in pictures on to their skin without deliberately editing the meaning.

They symbolize a different awkward threat we have to deal with everyday in form of media and information overflow. At same time the visually appealing coat of letters rather wraps the individuals into my personal armour of words. My photographic exploration of invasion continued with digitally altering graphic relations in interpersonal situations, increasing or decreasing the size of the aggressor versus the defender.

This work sometimes left me astonished by the fact of how much people trust in the power of images and how impossible scenarios can be, while people still think it truly happened.
Still partially unsatisfied with only 2 dimensional solution of photography, I started to look into video installations, initially expressing my ideas in a simplistic/minimalist, but very meaningful way. This is how I came up with my project “Rocket Fish.” A little fish symbolizing men's everlasting strive to rise above the ordinary. The stubborn aim to achieve the seemingly impossible. Endless attempts without reason or eventually the only path to transcendence? www.rocket-fish.com

The next project I called “The Refuge”. A concept based on the fascination of secrecy. The lack of people is part of creating the seclusion. Any reflection and correlation with humanity purely originates from the play with what has been left behind or the meaningful placement of elements seemingly added over the course of time. The “house” (home, hotel, refuge, ...) itself, neon signs, strange wild postings, drawings or graffiti and the environment are all “lit” intentionally in obscure ways to create the specific atmosphere I desire. 

Following this concept are the “sceneries”, virtual landscapes waiting for a discoverer. Hidden in this beautiful places, you can discover many things, related to the man being. it is like people have disappeared from earth and left strange and normal stuff behind. It is yours to create the story, all the necessary information is there. Above all it is the secrecy and the limitation of obvious information, which should inspire to go for a journey into a mysterious world. 

My latest series „temples“ is reacting to what happens around us. religions are changing, they always were. they disappear and others pop up. it is just a matter of time. but what is your religion now ? are you still surfing on the ruins of our history, or did you step into the new faith generation. do you „believe“ in yourself ? more than you should, bringing it up to a big ME, ME, ME ? are you full of desire, dying for sex, money, luxury, fashion or even the arts ? is it never enough ? do you literally kneel in front of your desires, do you feel lonely without them ? go close and watch the temples, maybe find yourself, maybe your biggest enemy. and then, if you think you understood, start thinking the opposite. 

Helmut Grill 



OSME Gallery – Vienna (S)

Nordart 2016 – Büdelsdorf (G)

Aaartfoundation – Kirchberg / Kitzbühel (G)


3punts Gallery – Berlin (S)

Juan Ruiz Gallery – Miami (G)

Aaartfoundation – Kirchberg / Kitzbühel (G)

Galerie 2C – Salzburg (G)

Aaartfoundation – Kirchberg / Kitzbühel (G)

Lisa Bird Contemporary – Vienna (S)
Galerie 2C– Salzburg (S)
Wagner Extase, curated by Peter Bogner – Vienna

Olyvia Fine Arts – London ( S)
Gallery Lili Ubel – Paris(S)
Künstlerhaus Wien – Vienna (S)


Gallery Uberl – Paris (G)
Galerie Supa Contemporary – Vienna (S)


Fundacion Antonio Perez / Photo Espany – Cuenca (G)

Museum der Moderne – Rupertinum / Salszburg (G)

Museumspavillion / Galerie der Stadt Salzburg – Salzburg (S)

Masion des arts Malakoff – Paris (G)

Aaartfoundation – Kitzbuhel (G)


Galerie Suppan – Vienna (S)

Austrian Cultural Forum – London (G)
„Eyes on Photography“ with Suppan Contemporary / RZB – Vienna (S)

„maravee domus“ in San Daniele / Italy curated ba Sabrina Zanier (G)


Galerie Peithner–Lichtenfels – Vienna (G)

Photan Gallery – Leipzig (S)

Suppan Contemporary – Vienna (G)

Galerie Andreas Brüning – Düsseldorf (S)

FAF Fotoartfestival – Bielsko-Biala (S) 


Galerie H17 – Vienna (G)
Galleria 3g Arte Contemporanea – Udine (G)

Aaartfoundation – Kitzbühel (G)


Project Tristerstrasse – Vienna (S)
International Print Triennial – Krakow BIS 2007 – Kattowice (G)

Galerie H17 – Vienna (S)


Künstlerhaus Wien – Vienna (G)

Artmosphere Galerie – Salzburg (G)

Remy Toledo Gallery – New York (S)

Artmosphere Galerie – Salzburg (G)


Fournos Centra for Digital Culture –Athens (G)
Web Biennial 2005 ba Istanbu Contemporary Art Museum (G)

Project30 – www (G)
Salzburger Kunstverein – Salzburg (G)


Artcore Gallery – Toronto
Artmosphere Galerie – Salzburg (G)

Galerie Andreas Brüning – Düsseldorf (G)

Artmosphere Galerie – Vienna (S)
Galerie Bruno Empty – Amsterdam (G)


Palais Lichtenstein – Collection Rupertinum – Feldkirch (G)

Artmosphere Gallery, Salzburg (S)
Scope –New York (S)
Artmosphere Gallery, Vienna (G)

Westwood Gallery – Westwood Gallery (G)

Rupertinum (spotlight 02) –Salzburg (S)


ArtcoreGallery – Toronto (S)

Galerie eboran – Salzburg (S)

Juan Ruiz Galeria – Maracaibo (S)

Galeria Gianluca Lipoli – Rome(G)

Scope – Miami (S) 


Sex Sells, Galerie Wohleb – Vienna (G)

Transgression –Künstlerhaus Vienna (G)

Galerie Arttrend – Graz (S)


Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain – Nizza (G)

Galerie Art Trend – Vienna (S)

Kunstverein Salzburg (G)

Galerie der Stadt Salzburg im Musumspavillion (S)

Galerie Art Trend – Vienna (S)

Kunstverein Horn Sammlung Morgenbesser (G)


Steirische Landesausstellung 68-98 (G)

Galerie Art Trend Rudolf Budja – Graz (S)


Galerie Pimmingstorfer – Peuerbach (S)

Galerie Art Trend Rudolf Budja – Graz (S)


Galerie Art Trend – Graz (S)

D’art–Nizza (S)


ACP Galerie –Salzburg(G) 


Dream within a Dream, 2013

The Refuge, 2010

Astarte. Beauty, War and Love, 2004

Faces – Surfaces, 2004

Writings, 2001
Works 1997 – 2000, 2000
Pressungen, 1995 

Museum collections:

- Museum of Modern Art / Salzburg

- MUMOK / Vienna

- Art Gallery of Novia Scotia / Halifax


Art Fairs:

SCOPE Basel, SCOPE New York, SCOPE Miami, Cutlog Paris, Art Beijing, Wallartfair Lyon, OFF Brussels, Chic Artfair – Paris, Art Wynwood Miami, Art Monaco, Artbo Bogota / Colombia, Art San Francisco, SCOPE New York, Art Miami, SCOPE Miami, Art Toronto, Art Cologne, Art Palm Beach, Art Palm Springs, Art Moscow, Art Insbruck, Residenz Salzburg, Art Jonction Nice, Kunst Wien MAK, Fia Art Caracas, Art Ibiza, Art & Antique Hofburg Wien, Lineart – Gent, Artissimo – Turin, Nordart, St’Art – Strasbourg, Aiart –Mailand, D’Art – Nizza, Art Asia – Hongkong, Art Caracas