Landscape and boundary lines are central themes in the development of Karl Prantl’s work. At Pöttsching where he lives and works, his sculptures are laid out along the edges of a long thin field, emphasising the region’s history of strip farming, and leading the eye towards the distant hills of the border between Austria and Hungary.
All his life he has striven to break down barriers between different cultures and countries. This was particularly true during the fifties and early sixties when Prantl made contact with artists working in Eastern bloc countries, and established a series of stone carving symposia. This culminated in the development of the St Margarethen stone quarry Workshop in eastern Austria which acted as a catalyst for the organisation of many more symposia, often in troubled areas such as Berlin and the Israeli desert. Stone for Prantl provides the fabric of life. He would agree with the poet James H. White who wrote, “there are plenty of ruined buildings in the world but no ruined stones.” Stone has an eternal quality. It comes from the earth and returns to the earth. Stones reveal traces of previous existences and contain their own history and many of the stones Prantl has used have at one time had a different purpose or function.