Helmut Langeder, "Layers of Fog," 2013
Helmut Langeder, Layers of Fog, 2013, oil on canvas, 16” x 20”
Montreal artist Helmut Langeder was born in Austria, and came to Canada with his family when he was 13. He started painting as a teenager, then worked for 40 years as a commercial artist and illustrator, producing everything from posters and billboards to packaging and magazine ads. While his commercial work won industry awards and paid the bills, he kept painting for his own pleasure.
When Langeder retired at 60, he started painting seriously again, heading into the countryside to make quick works outdoors. That was 12 years ago and he shows no signs of slowing down. “I probably work more now than I did at the office,” he jokes.
He generally goes for drives, stopping when something catches his eye. “It’s just something that happens to hit me,” he says. His paintings are fairly true to reality, though he admits to moving the odd telephone pole or tree to improve the composition.
At its best, Langeder’s work shines with an honesty that seems echoed by his humble attitude. “I do not make fairy tale scenes,” he says.
Still, he’s able to capture the quality of light and atmospheric effects, as in Layers of Fog, which so effectively evokes a wintry day, or Chemin privé, which pegs the hues of a rutted country lane and the bare trees among the pines on a distant hill.
Helmut Langeder is represented by Gainsborough Galleries in Calgary. He will be part of a group show there that runs Sept. 26 to Oct. 9. His work sells for $350 to $3,000.