The paintings by Martha Jungwirth are powerful, explosive, exciting, sensory, emotional and sometimes silent and tender: Loose lines and compressed pastose, but also transparent marks and areas of oil paint on cardboard.

In the 1960s, Jungwirth’s painting was more strongly related to reality. Everyday objects, landscapes and the self appeared in her works. In 1968, Jungwirth had her first large-scale exhibition, in which she presented her works together with five other painters in the legendary exhibition ‘Wirklichkeiten’ (Realities), curated by Otto Breicha in the Wiener Secession. Besides collaborating with this diverse group, Martha Jungwirth forged her own way in the Austrian art scene unperturbed by international trends and the art market.

In 1977 she was invited to the documenta in Kassel, she took part in exhibitions in smaller museums and, from time to time, the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg bought and exhibited her works. However, despite the constant, emphatic quality of her paintings, a large scale exhibition in an important museum remained absent.

When the well-known artist Albert Oehlen was asked in 2010 to curate an exhibition at the Essl Museum, he discovered Jungwirth’s works and immediately dedicated the entire exhibition room to her. Perhaps it is also thanks to Oehlen that in 2014 Jungwirth was finally appreciated by museums, with the Kunsthalle Krems putting on a retrospective of her work from the previous 50 years.

Today, Jungwirth has finally been recognised as a great Austrian painter. In 2018, she received the prestigious Oskar Kokoschka Prize awarded by the Austrian state. For the Albertina museum in Vienna, this was an ideal opportunity to present Jungwirth’s works in a comprehensive exhibition.