Jürgen Waller

Year of birth, place
1939, Düsseldorf, Germany
Role at the ZKM
Artist of the Collection
Jürgen Waller was born in Düsseldorf in 1939. In 1959 he embarked on studies at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, but moved to France in 1960, only returning to live in Germany in 1968, when he settled in Berlin. Since 1978, he has lived in Bremen, where he has been Rector of the Hochschule der Künste since 1989.

Waller's work as a painter has varied considerably - from his realistic approach of the 1960s and 1970s to the entirely abstract black images that he has produced in the 1990s. Since the 1970s Waller's artistic activity has reflected his interest in, and engagement with, contemporary political developments; and he has evolved an objective pictorial style to which the human figure is central. He has produced several imposing mural and sculptural works for public spaces. Since the mid-1980s the principal motifs in his paintings have become increasingly concentrated and darker in tone to the point where they have assumed the character of monumental geometric forms drawn 'black on black' with charcoal on canvas. Waller's work of the last few years - its irregular surfaces derived from charcoal dust 'frozen' on the canvas with fixative - almost entirely resists adequate reproduction. 

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1982 Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin
1987 Städtische Galerie Schloss Oberhausen; Galerie Neue Meister im Alten Museum, Berlin
1994 Gerhard Marcks Haus, Bremen
1995 »10 Jahre Schwarz«, Haus Lesmona, Bremen
1996 Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin; Kunsthalle, Dresden; »Jürgen Waller by Michael Ropers«, Bremer Landesvertretung, Bonn
1997 »Jürgen Waller: Metamorphosen eines Bildes«, Städtische Kunstsammlung Schloss Salder, Salzgitter
Group exhibitions (selection)
1962 Kreuzberger Forum, Berlin
1967 »3 Réalistes à Vallauris«, Centre Culturel de la Ville de Vallauris
1968 Schöneberger Weltlaterne, Berlin
1972 Villa Hammerschmidt, Bonn
1985 Galerie Walther, Düsseldorf (with B. Altenstein)

[Frauke Syamken, 1997]