Karl Korab was born in 1937 in Austria, in the wine district of Falkenstein, in a family of foresters. As a child, he experienced the horrors of World War II, which influence his artwork even today. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1957 to 1964, under the master Sergius Pauser. He was part of the then highly influential “Vienna School of Fantastic Realism”. There he established an artistic dialogue with artists such as Arik Brauer, Ernst Fuchs, and Anton Lehmden, later called the Wiener Phantasten, with whom he held several exhibitions in the early 1960s. Right after the school, he focused on still life painting, characterised by a surreal-fantasist style, which gave him international recognition and major success at a young age. Temporality and transience became essential elements of his work. When he settled in Sonndorf in the 1970s his focus change to deal mainly with landscape. He developed an archaeological view of the landscape and expanded his painting by incorporating a diverse range of materials in a collage-like manner. Nature and landscape, including the modifications and traces left by civilisation, are also a typical hallmark of his subtle watercolours and drawings. Korab, who still lives and works in Sondorf, makes an impressive and unique contribution to the depiction of landscape in Austrian contemporary art. Korab is now a renowned Austrian painter, who draws upon the tradition of post-impressionism, abstract art, or the New Objectivity movement He is considered as a versatile artist and starting from Surrealism he evolved a simplified, enigmatic imagery. His works include oil paintings, graphics, collages, screen printing and lithography, mainly still life, mask-like heads and landscapes, but also postage stamps, bottle labels and book illustrations. His works stand out for their simple forms and contents. He also worked as a stage designer.
Karl Korab counts among the most important Austrian artists of the 20th and 21st century. His works have been exhibited in Austria, Europe, the United States and Asia. Besides his prolific work as a painter, Korab contributed to the stage and costume design of “Zum großen Wurstel” by Arthur Schnitzler (1968). Karl Korab has collected several accolades, such as the Golden Medal of Bolzano Biennale (1969), Art Prize of Lower Austria (1972), and the Sandos Prize (1975), later resulting in numerous collective and solo displays. Today his body of work is extensively exhibited and collected by institutions such as the San Jose Museum of Art, Museum Liaunig in Neuhaus, and the Strabag Kunstforum in Vienna. He also holds the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Province of Lower Austria (1997).