De Es Schwertberger
De Es Schwertberger (born Dieter
Schwertberger 1942, Gresten, Austria), commonly known simply as De Es
(since 1972), is an
Austrian artist, painter and modeller. His work has been shown in
exhibitions in New York City, where he lived for a short time, and
De Es was born in 1942 in Gresten,
Lower-Austria (then part of Nazi Germany) as Dieter Schwertberger, the
second son of two teachers. His father died during World War II, leaving
his mother to bring him, and his elder brother, up. He graduated from the
Engineering School of Vienna in 1962, aged 19.
His first decade as an artist began when
he was taught to paint by Ernst Fuchs, in the style of the 'Technique of
the Old Masters' from 1963 onwards. These initial paintings were shown to
the world in a one-man-show in the gallery of Professor Fuchs, in Vienna
1964. After this exhibition he went on to further study, and modify, the
'Techniques of the Old Masters' to his own purposes in a selection of work
he called Ideas of Truth, and his portfolio The Missing Weapon,
which was shown at the Gallery Bernard, in
Solothurn, Switzerland in 1968. After this he went on to develop more
on his art technique, with shows in Switzerland from 1968 to 1972.
In 1973 De Es went on to serve as the
assistant to Ernst Fuchs, at the Summer Academy in Reichenau. It was in
this time that De Es went through the Stone Period, in which his
art work consisted mainly of objects and people made from cracked rock and
stone (such as his famous 'triptych' painting The Joining, later
displayed in SoHo, New York City for an entire year in 1977). During this
period he held a series of exhibitions in Vienna and elsewhere in Europe.
His book Fundamental Images was published in this period.
De Es moved to
York City in 1975, continuing his Stone Period of art work. In the
1979 he opened his own Gallery, Studio Planet Earth, before ending
the Stone Period with a series of 'Time-Portals' paintings.
De Es' 1980s period of work opened with
his work on the vast Transformation cycle of paintings, depicting 'Planetarians'
(fictional beings invented by De Es), which were displayed at the Dome
of Peace exhibition in 1980. This was followed by the publishing of
his post-card book, Sharing the light in 1983. Three years later,
in 1986, De Es returned to Austria, the same year in which Sphinx Verlag
published the book The Philosopher's Stone in Basel. This book
contained images and work from Fundamental Images. He ended his
1980s period of work with his first Planetarian sculptures, from
1987 to 1989, and the publication of his Dome of Peace works in an
In the early 1990s he continued with the
Planetarian sculptures, with an outdoor exhibition of forty
Planetarians at Gurten Mountain, near Bern, Switzerland, marking the
800th 'birthday' anniversary of the city. In 1993 he published his book
Heavy Light, a selection of his work from throughout his life. He also
started work on another book, Prime Matter, which covered his
Stone Period, which was published over the following years.
He lives with his wife, Marilyn, in
Austria, where he continues to work.