Gerhard Altenbourg

(1926 - 1989)

Many of Gerhard Altenbourg's works bear witness to his close connection to nature, which he had explored in the surroundings of Altenburg from 1958. Nature served him as a metaphor for human existence, the abysses of which he had become acquainted with in an inhuman way as an infantryman during the Second World War. After the end of the war, he initially pursued a journalistic education. Private drawing lessons led him to study at the Hochschule für Baukunst und Bildende Kunst in Weimar. He adopted the pseudonym in reference to his hometown in the mid-1950s. (EW)

LITERATURE: Gerhard Altenbourg. Monograph and catalog raisonné, edited by Lindenau-Museum Altenburg, with contributions by Willi Heining, Annegret Janda and others, catalog raisonné edited by Gudrun Schmidt, 3 volumes, 2010.

Vita

1926
Born as Gerhard Ströch in Rödichen-Schnepfenthal (Thuringia)
1929
Relocation of the family to Altenburg (Thuringia)
1944 - 1945
War service
1946 - 1948
Writing activity, also first oil paintings and drawings
1948 - 1950
Studies at the Hochschule für Baukunst und Bildende Kunst in Weimar
1955
Artist name Altenbourg
1956
First solo exhibition
Purchases by Lindenau Museum in Altenburg
1957
First sculptural works
1959
First wood cuts
Participation in documenta II in Kassel
1960
Sells a work to the Museum of Modern Art, New York
1964
Indictment and conviction for failure to comply with alleged regulations on shipments of his drawings to exhibitions in West Germany
1966
Receives Burda-Prize for graphic in Munich
1967
Prize of the II International of Drawing, Darmstadt
1968
Will-Grohmann-Prize
1969
Comprehensive show in Hanover, Düsseldorf, Baden-Baden, West Berlin and Nuremberg
1981
Turning to the art of etching
1986
First official exhibition in the GDR (Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig)
1989
Dies as a result of a car accident