Konrad Klapheck

Konrad Klapheck

Konrad Klapheck (*February 10, 1935 in Düsseldorf) is a German graphic artist and painter. Today he is considered as a classic representative of the post-war avant-garde and object painting.

Konrad Klapheck and His Career

Konrad Peter Cornelius Klapheck was born in Düsseldorf on February 10, 1935 to Richard and Anna Klapheck, both professors of art history. The events of the Second World War had an impact on the young Konrad at an early age. His father died in 1939, and his mother subsequently moved to live with Konrad’s grandparents in Leipzig, where the young boy witnessed the city being bombed and going up in flames on December 4, 1943. This experience mesmerized Klapheck and later became his artistic inspiration. In 1954 Konrad Klapheck began to study art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf; his teacher was Bruno Goller. In 1955, he created his first painting, a picture of a typewriter. This machine picture earned him Goller’s approval and Klapheck decided to pursue object art.

Konrad Klapheck in Paris

The artist spent the winter months of 1956/57 in Paris with his future wife Lilo Lang, where he was encouraged by his painter friend Christian d'Orgeix to devote himself more fully to his machine motifs. He also met the artists Yves Klein, Max Ernst, and René Magritte.

After his return to Germany, his first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf in 1959. That same year, the New York gallerist Georges Stümpfli bought six of Klapheck’s paintings and showed them together with works by Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana. Konrad Klapheck enjoyed an international reputation from this point, and his works have been exhibited in many renowned contemporary art galleries. Lilo Lang and Konrad Klapheck married in 1960, the same year that he was awarded the Förderpreis zum Großen Kunstpreis (Grand Art Prize Advancement Award) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the only award the artist has ever accepted. Thanks to the art critic José Pierre, Klapheck was able to join the circle of Surrealists in Paris and took part in the final major Surrealist exhibition at Galerie L’Oeil in Paris in 1965. The following year, the Kestner Society in Hanover presented the first retrospective of Klapheck’s oeuvre. The artist participated in documenta 4 in Kassel in 1968.

Konrad Klapheck, documenta, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

The hyperrealism art movement (also known as superrealism) lent the artist’s work a new currency. Klapheck’s works have been shown in several exhibitions dedicated to this art movement. In 1976 the artist was appointed as a professor of free painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, a position he would hold until 2002. In 1977 the artist took part in documenta 6. From 1992, the artist began to turn away from the machine motifs that had previously defined his work and began to draw portraits of his friends, colleagues and notable figures from the art world. He eventually abandoned his primary motifs of objects and machines and devoted himself entirely to painting nudes. His depictions of machines and devices are often precise, large in scale, and seemingly realistic. The ironic and somewhat alienating titles of the works, however, suggest a surreal interpretation and iconization of the subject. Konrad Klapheck lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Sources: • https://www.nrw-museum.de/kuenstler/konrad-klapheck.html (last accessed: 08/12/2020)

lives and works in Düsseldorf.

 1935 Konrad Klapheck is born in Düsseldorf.
1954–1958 Studies at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie under Bruno Goller.
1957 Becomes acquainted with Yves Klein, Max Ernst, and René Magritte.
1959 First solo exhibition at Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf.
1968 Takes part in documenta 4 in Kassel.
1977 Takes part in documenta 6 in Kassel.
1976–2002 Professorship in free painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldof.

© 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