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A profile photo of Artur Nikodem

Artur Nikodem  (Trent 1870 – 1940 Innsbruck)


Artur Nikodem  was born in Trent, Austria. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich against the wishes of his parents, where he was a student of Franz von Defregger and W. Kaulbach He then served in the Austrian Navy before settling  in Paris, where he was strongly influenced by the works of Monet and Cezanne. Nikodem’s passion for painting was initially put on hold due to his military service during World War I. After the war, Nikodem returned to his home in Innsbruck where he began work as a freelance artist while also privately pursuing photography by testing cameras and film for a friend who sold photographic supplies. He agreed to test cameras and film for a friend who sold photographic supplies, privately pursuing this means of artistic expression. His photographs,which depict intimate subject matters and offer a glimpse into his life, remained unknown to the public until after his death.

Nikodem gained international recognition following several successful exhibitions, and became a prominent figure among Tyrolean artists. However, as the political climate in Germany changed, Nikodem’s paintings were banned and some of his collection was destroyed. Despite his attempts to secure a teching position in Viennese Academy, he was unsuccessful and chose to retreat from public life, living in isolation with his wife Barbara Hoyer until his passing in 1940.

Nikodem’s photographs, although less known, were just as creative as his paintings. His photography captured the rural beauty of the Austrian countryside, as well as portraits of women in his life, including his models and lovers, including Gunda Wiese, who died of tuberculosis and his wife Barbara Hoeyer. The erotic tension between the older artist and his much younger subjects his portrayed in his photography.
These portraits have been compared to the works of Egon Schiele and Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs of Georgia O’Keffe, characterized by both playful experimentation and meditation.



„Artur Nikodem's photographs represent a discovery, a parallel phenomenon, because what is done in painting by the medium is transformed and reality is transcended, i.e. painting, becomes in photography with the greatest intensity of things and bodies present in time."

Prof. Peter Weiermair, from Artur Nikodem's "Eros and Death"


„Nikodem made love to Barbara with his camera, taking marvelously casual pictures of her feet, her hands, her naked back, as she ate fruit or sat in a chair"

Margarett Loke, New York Times


„Above all, however, he captures the young woman (meaning Barbara Hoyer, his second wife) in numerous intimate photographs miniatures that are among the masterpieces of modern photography in Austria."

Carl Kraus, from Painters and Models


 „Small Wonders is an exhibition of photographs that are diminutive in size, yet masterful in execution. As the title implies, none of the pieces in the exhibition is larger than 4x5 inches. Although it has become fashionable to make massive photographs, the small- in some cases tiny - pictures in this exhibition offer a different kind of viewing experience. We must slow our pace and look more closely. As we do so, we can see how these artists have used elegant pictorial structure and exquisite control of detail to create quiet images that offer a concentrated form of visual pleasure. Featured artists include Brassaï, Wynn Bullock, Walker Evans,Lewis Hine, Andre Kertèsz, Dorothea Lange, Artur Nikodem, ringl+pit, Aaron Siskind, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, James Van Der Zee, David Vestal, Edward Weston, and Minor White."

Robert Mann, Gallery New York


„Nikodem's photographs are highly regarded because be objected to existing norms and the general atmosphere toward photography. He treated photography as separate from painting and worked with the photographic medium independently.
Furthermore, one must recognize that Nikodem's modernist viewpoint, based on modern sensibilities, paved the way for modern photography in Austria."

Mrs. Hong Eun Lee, Curator, Museum of Photography, Seoul, South Korea



1982 - The first exhibition of Prof.Kirschl organized and shown under the title "Light Pictures of a Painter".

2000 - Exhibition "Eros and Death" as a special show at the art and antiques fair in Innsbruck

2001 - Exhibition at the Neumeister auction house in Munich.Photographs from the 1920s and 1930s in the Photo Gallery Rupertinum Salzburg on the subject of "The New Vision."

2002 - The photographs were shown at America's premier photo gallery, the Robert Mann Gallery in New York.It follows the exhibition Arnulf Rainer - Artur Nikodem in the "m-fotografie-bochum"

2004 - Exhibition in Iserlohn with Andre Kertesz. This was followed by participations in the most well-known photography fairs, 2.B. Art Chicago 2001 and 2002, Art Cologne 2002, photo Paris in the Louvre 2002.

2005 - Largest solo exhibition to date after Cartier-Bresson at "The Museum of Photography in Seoul" South Korea, where 80 original photos were shown.

2012 - Opening of the NIMU in Mutters. (June 15, 2012)

2005 - 2013 Investments in Austria and South Tyrol.

2013 - 2023 Permanent exhibition in Mutters.

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