German Painting Now: contemporary German painters at Telegraph Gallery

14 9 2021

In the last century, German Expressionism dominated European painting. It challenged the conservatism of the time with its distinctive distorted forms, which opened the door to abstract expressionism.

Two world wars, the Cold War and the geopolitical divide between East and West essentially ended the dominance of European painting. The entire art world turned its attention to New York. This period was not exactly favourable for figuration. Abstract Expressionism flattened its scope, while movements such as Pop Art and Postmodernism focused more on consumer culture. In the East, figurative painting was associated with socialist realism, which served as a tool of communist propaganda.

After the reunification of Germany in 1989, German painting revived. Artists of this movement also began to thrive thanks to their unique position. They could finally travel between East and West again.

The interest of the art world was aroused by the painters of the so-called Leipzig School. Many of them, such as Tim Eitel, Christoph Ruckhäberle and Matthias Weischer, learned painting in Leipzig but came from West Germany. Tilo Baumgärtel or David Schnell never left their native Leipzig. And others, such as Martin Eder, were not really connected to the Leipzig Academy at all, but their galleries had spaces in the city.

The revival of interest in figurative painting was mainly due to Jonas Burgert,Volker Hüller, Michael Kunze and Daniel Richter. Together with artists of the younger generation Dennis Scholl and Christina Schuldt, they combined in their work various influences of German Romanticism, Symbolism, Socialist Realism and the discontinued modernist movements of the early 20th century: surrealism, tubism, pop art and postmodernism.

It was time to re-examine German painting. See its most important contemporary representatives in the exhibition German Painting Now at the Telegraph Gallery. We introduce them through the following medallions.

Tilo Baumgärtel

Tilo - nahled

Jonas Burgert

Burgert - naked

Tim Eitel

Tim Eitel - naked

Martin Eder

Eder - nahled

Volker Hüller

Hüller - nahled

Michael Kunze

Kunze - nahled

Daniel Richter

Richter - nahled

Christoph Ruckhäberle

Ruckhaberle - nahled

David Schnell

Schnell - nahled

Dennis Scholl

Scholl - nahled

Kristina Schuldt

Schuldt - nahled

Matthias Weischer

Weischer - naked

GERMAN PAINTING NOW (23 Sep - 28 Nov 2021)

Curated by Jane Neal

Opening reception 23 Sep 2021 at 6pm