Christian Scherrer




Studies in Philosophy, Psychology and Art Education (BA/Mag.phil.) at the University of Vienna, the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the University of Helsinki (2007-2016). Graduation with a diploma thesis carrying the title “Technik Motiv Sensation – Expressivität in Paul Cézannes Malerei“. March 2016 till January 2018, pre-doc assistant to Prof. Sebastian Egenhofer at the Department of Art History, University of Vienna. Since September 2018, member of the graduate school of eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image, University of Basel. Since June 2019, fellow of the ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Sciences) DOC Fellowship Programme. Currently, PhD candidate at the Universities of Vienna and Basel.

Research interests: Artistic and philosophical concepts of abstraction in Europe since the early 19th Century. Expression (and subjectivity) in painting of the modern age and the history of this notion in aesthetics, philosophy and the human sciences. Conflicting notions of the relation between cladding and construction in modern architecture, and their ideological backdrops. Early history and procedures of photographic documentarism. Modern primitivist discourses on childrens’, prehistoric or non-western art.

Current research project: “Critique of Abstraction – Inquiries concerning the discrepancy between Abstraction and Non-figuration in modern European Art and Art Theory (ca. 1910-1940)” (working title).
At its most basic, my project aims at a re-evaluation of European modernist art’s relation towards historical understandings of “abstraction”, taking as its premise a fundamental discrepancy between abstraction and non-figuration in discourses before the mid-20th Century. From within a range of possible case studies concerning canonical strands of modernist art that usually serve as paradigms of so-called “abstract art” (such as Neo-Plasticism, Suprematism or Concrete Art), I have chosen to focus on the history and ideological backgrounds of early Cubism. I am trying to understand the advent of Cubism and its formal evolution in relation to intertwined political, psychological and aesthetic discourses in France of the “Belle Époque”, and as driven by a pluri-vocal and multi-layered “critique of abstraction”.


  • „Farbtreue“, in Markus Krajewski, Antonia von Schöning und Mario Wimmer (Hrsg.), Enzyklopädie der Genauigkeit. Konstanz, Konstanz University Press [erwartet für Frühjahr 2021].
  • „Der Stoff aus dem die Räume sind: Das Prinzip der Bekleidung in Adolf Loos’ Haus für Goldman & Salatsch“, in Burcu Dogramaci (Hrsg.), Textile Moderne/Textile Modernism, Köln/Wien, Böhlau,2019, S.193-204.
  • „Albert Oehlen - postungegenständliche Abstraktion“, in: all-over | Magazin für Kunst und Ästhetik, Nr. 8, Frühjahr 2015. URL: