* 1982 Helnwein was offered a chair by the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, which he declined.
* 1985 Rudolf Hausner, recommended Helnwein as his successor as professor of the master-class for painting at the University of Visual Art in Vienna, but Helnwein leaves Vienna and moves to Germany.
* The film "Helnwein", produced by the German and Austrian National televisions, received the Adolf-Grimme prize for best television-documentary.
* Besides his realistic work, Helnwein also began to develop abstract, expressive styles of painting during this period.
* 1988, In remembrance of "Kristallnacht", the actual beginning of the Holocaust - 50 years earlier, Helnwein erected a 100 meter long installation in the city center of Cologne, between Ludwig Museum and the Cologne cathedral.
Since then large scale installations in public spaces became an important part of his work.
* 1990 Helnwein began to focus on digital photography and computer-generated images which he often combines with classical oil-painting technics.
* 1997 Moved to Ireland.
* In the same year the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg organizes a Helnwein retrospective and publishes a monograph of the artist.
* 2000 The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and other American museums show Helnwein's work.
* 2001 Stage and costume design for the Hamburgische Staatsoper of Igor Strawinsky’s opera "The Rake's Progress".
* 2002 He established a studio in Los Angeles.
* Premiere of the Helnwein documentary Neunter November Nacht (Ninth November Night) at the Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles. *Collaboration with Marilyn Manson on the multi-media project "The Golden Age of Grotesque". Also video and film projects with Sean Penn.
* 2004 "The Child" one-man show at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum.
* Collaboration with Maximilian Schell for the Richard Strauss opera "Der Rosenkavalier” at the Los Angeles Opera.
* 2005 Helnwein retrospective at the National Art Museum in Beijing.
Gottfried Helnwein currently lives and works in Ireland and Los Angeles.