‘Green Group of Four’
Acrylic on paper
22cm x 33cm
8¾” x 13″

Click images to enlarge


Ernst Eisenmayer was born in Vienna in 1920. Forced into exile from Nazi occupied Austria at the age of eighteen, Eisenmayer was granted admission to Britain in 1939. Once in Britain, working as a trainee toolmaker, he was classified a ‘Refugee from Nazi oppression’ and interned as an ‘enemy alien’, eventually reaching the Isle of Man in the autumn of 1940. After his release in August 1941, he moved to London, where he lived and worked, establishing his artistic career as a painter and then a sculptor. The young Viennese-born artists Erich Deutsch (Eric Doitch) and Heinz Inländer (Henry Inlander) became his close friends throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and Eisenmayers paintings and graphic work at this time explored the cityscapes and inhabitants of war-time and post-war London. He made acquaintance with Oskar Kokoschka and formed a friendship with Victor Pasmore, who he first met at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. Doitch and Inländer became full time students here in 1946 and Eisenmayer joined his friends at the Saturday classes from 1947 to 1948. From the late 1950s he continued to produce paintings of London alongside a series of paintings which responded to wider political issues of power, coercion and individual and collective aggression.

From 1961 onwards Eisenmayer had solo and group shows as a painter and sculptor at galleries in London and internationally, exhibiting in group exhibitions alongside the likes of César, Alberto Giacometti, Helen Chadwick, Robert Adams and Lynn Chadwick. He worked for some time at the studio of Elizabeth Frink.

In 2010 he took part in an important exhibition held at the Ben Uri Gallery ‘Forced Journeys, Artists in Exile in Britain 1933-45’. In 2012 a Major retrospective exhibition of his work ‘Ernst Eisenmayer: Art Beyond Exile’ was held at the Austrian Cultural Forum, London, before being re-curated at the Sayle Gallery, Douglas, Isle of Man.

He left England in 1975, and now lives in Israel.