Artist and writer Josef Strau employs the Surrealist technique of automatic writing and drawing on his lamps and cardboard constructions. Formerly an art critic for publications including Texte zur Kunst, Strau’s work is in dialogue with the very concept of “contemporary art” and the role of the artist as communicator. Strau describes his first automatic writing experience as completely surprising him: “After an hour I stopped the fluent process and had two or three pages done, and while writing I felt like someone else was doing it—I was just moving my hands and reading.” He fought his impulse to edit himself: “I later slowly developed the strength to not hesitate. That is the actual work I have to do.”
Strau has had solo exhibitions at institutions including the Stedelijk Museum, among many others. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, MoMA PS1, MoCA, and the Drawing Center.