Bruno Goller

Bruno Goller

Bruno Goller was born in Gummersbach on November 5, 1901. The work of the German painter is of a special significance because his works cannot be clearly assigned to a specific era.

Bruno Goller’s Artistic Career

Goller began his artistic training in Düsseldorf in 1919, under the direction of the landscape painter Julius Jungheim. Just three years later, the young artist participated in the Große Kunstausstellung Düsseldorf (Great Art Exhibition Düsseldorf).

From 1927 onward, Goller lived and worked exclusively in Düsseldorf. One year later he became a co-founder of the Rheinische Secession. The epicenter of this artists’ group was the gallery Junge Kunst – Frau Ey in Düsseldorf’s old town.

Bruno Goller’s Life from 1933 to 1945

The painter married Elsbeth Nipshagen in the summer of 1933. His first solo exhibition was held at the Rudolf Stuckert Gallery in Düsseldorf in 1936. With the onset of National Socialism, Bruno Goller retreated further and further into a state of “inner emigration,” as his paintings were considered degenerate. He eventually hid his paintings and painted hardly any new works. Goller was conscripted in 1940. In 1943, while he was still serving in the war, an air raid destroyed his studio and the works inside. Upon his return from American captivity in 1945, he began to paint once again.

Bruno Goller’s Pictorial Subjects

Goller’s choice of motifs remained the same throughout his painting career. Inspired by childhood memories of his mother’s millinery store, his primary motifs include store windows, decorations, and female figures. The nudes and portraits painted during the postwar period are particularly reminiscent of flatly portrayed display mannequins.

Significant Moments and Honors for Bruno Goller

In 1949 the painter joined the Neue Rheinische Secession and was appointed to the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. He was a professor of painting there from 1953 to 1964. His students included Blinky Palermo, Konrad Fischer-Lueg, Konrad Klapheck, and Gerda Kratz. He was awarded the Cornelius Prize of the City of Düsseldorf in 1950. The first retrospective devoted to him was organized by the Kestner Society in Hanover in 1958 and curated by Werner Schmalenbach. In the following year, Goller took part in documenta II. From 1960 onward Bruno Goller received numerous awards, including the Great Art Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Lichtwart Prize of the City of Hamburg. In 1965 he represented Germany at the 8th São Paulo Biennial. In 1967 he became a member of the Berlin Akademie der Künste. In the same year, the artist received the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Kunstakademie Düsseldorf made Bruno Goller an honorary member in 1984. Two years later, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Bruno Goller died in Düsseldorf on January 19, 1998.

Bruno Goller’s Position in Art History

Goller’s works are a tour de force of the relationship between figuration and abstraction. The artist never joined any artistic movements and remained true to his unique style until the end of his life. Goller developed a subtle viewer’s gaze towards painting. His strict composition and experimental brushstrokes resulted in the clear tone found in the artist’s paintings. His unique position in art may be one reason why Goller is not well known to a wider audience. His estate is managed by his biographer Volker Kahmen and the Bruno Goller Archive in Cologne. Bruno Goller Haus was opened in Goller’s hometown of Gummersbach in 1989 as a municipal cultural center, but closed at the end of 2013 in favor of a new cultural venue.

1901 — Bruno Goller is born in Gummersbach on November 5.
1916 — Goller leaves secondary school at the end of compulsory education. Begins his first autodidactic attempts at painting.
1919 — Goller becomes a student of the landscape painter Julius Jungheim in Düsseldorf (until 1922).
1922 — Takes part in the Große Kunstausstellung Düsseldorf.
1927 — Goller gives up his studio in Gummersbach and now lives in Düsseldorf.
1928 — The Rheinische Sezession is founded, which Goller joins.
1933 — Marries Elsbeth Nipshagen.
1936 — The cultural and political pressure from the National Socialists causes Goller to increasingly retreat. He hides his paintings and paints hardly any new ones.
1940 — Conscription and military service in France.
1943 — Goller’s studio and around 100 paintings stored there are destroyed in an air raid.
1949 — Membership of the Neue Rheinische Sezession. Goller is appointed to the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf.
1950 — Cornelius Prize of the city of Düsseldorf.
1953 — Appointment as professor. Goller leads a painting class. His students include Konrad Klapheck, Blinky Palermo, and Konrad Fischer-Lueg.
1958 — First large solo exhibition at the Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover, curated by Werner Schmalenbach.
1959 — Takes part in documenta II.
1965 — Goller represents Germany at the VIII. Bienal de Sao Paolo with 35 paintings.
1967 — Membership of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
1980 — Awarded the Lichtwart Prize of the city of Hamburg.
1984 — Honorary membership of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
1986 — Retrospective in the North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection.
1995 — Exhibition at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
1998 — Bruno Goller dies in Düsseldorf on January 19.

 

© Copyright Galerie Utermann 2020

© Copyright Galerie Utermann 2020

© Copyright Galerie Utermann 2020

Galerie Utermann, Silberstraße 22, 44137 Dortmund

Galerie Utermann, Silberstraße 22, 44137 Dortmund

Galerie Utermann, Silberstraße 22, 44137 Dortmund