Josef Holzinger was the son of the painter Moritz Holzinger and his wife Katharina. Following her husband’s death, Katharina married the painter Domenico Cocconi.
Holzinger’s early works show a strong reliance on the sculpture of Josef Straub, for whom it is likely that he initially worked as his assistant. Following Straub’s death in 1756, Holzinger acquired and took over his workshop complete with all its equipment (drawings, models, tools, useable stone and wood). He worked in wood, producing altars, pulpits and oratoria. His documented works are found in Maribor, Spodnja Voličina, Jarenina, Slovenska Bistrica, Malečnik, Slovenske Gorice and elsewhere. An important element of wooden baroque statues and their final appearance is gilding, which was usually the work of painters. Recent research indicates that the gilding on Holzinger’s works was done by the Maribor painters Franz Beinlich, Franz Anton Wideman and Anton Geringer.