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Altenbourg exhibition allows intimate insight - Boycotted in the GDR – on display in Berlin

02-22-2012 07:27 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Ketterer Kunst

Gerhard Altenbourg, In den Gefilden von Nysa. 1973. Woodcut in colors, 11 x 18,2 cm.

Gerhard Altenbourg, In den Gefilden von Nysa. 1973. Woodcut in colors, 11 x 18,2 cm.

Berlin, 21 February, 2012, (kk) – Gerhard Altenbourg counts among the most renowned artists of the second half of the 20th century. Even though his accomplishments are tremendous, he was officially boycotted by the GDR up until the early 1980s.

Some 100 works, among them 30 woodcuts in colors, almost 40 lithographs, a dozen woodcuts as well as drawings and India ink works from between 1953 and 1989 are on display in Berlin as of 12 March.

Apprehension of the big picture - Gerhard Altenbourg wouldn’t settle for less in his art. Allowing a quite intimate insight into his unusual world of ideas as well as the exceptional artist’s versatile art - Ketterer Kunst neither settles for anything less in its exhibition.

To Gerhard Altenbourgh, born in Thuringia in 1926, his œuvre is about comprehending the essence and to get to the bottom of things. Based on his experience in the war, the effects of the German Wall and the restrictions imposed on him by the GDR administration, the artist, who lived withdrawn from society, created an aesthetic counterworld to real life socialism. Despite the boycott in the GDR, Altenbourg’s works received numerous honors in West Germany from an early point on, for instance the Burda Prize for Graphic Art in 1966 or the Will-Grohmann-Prize in 1968. It was not before the late 1980s that his work was also acknowledged by the GDR, which had previously regarded him as a mere earner of foreign currency. In 1987 a grand retrospective in the East Berlin Nationalgalerie made for the deserved public recognition.

The complexity of Altenbourg’s œuvre illustrates the interdependence of all experience and confronts the observer with the challenge to follow his seemingly inaccessible meanderings of feather, brush and pen. Additionally, the works from a private collection in Saxony-Anhalt allow deep insight into their days of origin. Some on felt, on cloth or even on carpets in frames, the works are also an impressive contemporary document, illustrating the difficulties of obtaining material, both for artist and collector.

Works by Altenbourg are in possession of museums all around the world, for example the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the print rooms of museums in Stockholm, Tokyo and Warsaw.

The exhibition will be on display from 12 March to 12 April, 2012 at Ketterer Kunst, Fasanenstr. 70 in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Opening hours Mondays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. 4 p.m. All works can be purchased. Prices range between EUR 200 and EUR 10.000.

Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been firmly established in the front ranks of auction houses dealing in art and rare books, with its headquarters in Munich and a branch in Hamburg. Gallery rooms in Berlin as well as representatives in Heidelberg and Krefeld have contributed substantially to the company's success.. In addition, exhibitions, special theme and charity auctions as well as online auctions are regular events at Ketterer Kunst. Robert Ketterer is auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst.


Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 München
Tel. +49-(0)55244-444
Fax.: +49-(0)55244-177

For press inquiries:

Michaela Derra M.A.
Telefon: +49-(0)89-55244-152 (Fax: -177)

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