Exposition Art Blog: Magic realism Paul Wunderlich

Magic realism Paul Wunderlich

Paul Wunderlich was a German artist best known for his Surrealist paintings and erotic sculpture, which secured his reputation as one of the most important members of the Magic Realist circle of artists. Wunderlich’s early representational subject matter included recent scenes of Germany’s oppressive history during World War II, but his imagery later turned towards Surrealist-influenced works, featuring sexual imagery and fantastic, floating forms. He was born on March 10, 1927 in Eberswalde, Germany and studied graphic art at the Landeskunstschule in Hamburg before becoming an art teacher there. During that time, he learned printmaking techniques from the well-known artists Emil Nolde and Oskar Kokoschka. Wunderlich also began painting using the free-form, Expressionist style of Tachism, but later abandoned it for more figurative imagery. In 1960, he moved to Paris and lived there for three years while working in the Deskjoberts workshop as a lithographer. From 1951 to 1960, he taught as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and from the 1970s on, his energies turned to sculpture. He lived between Hamburg and France before his death on June 6, 2010, in Provence, France.(artnet.com)

Wunderlich belongs to the second generation of Fantastic Realists, sometimes called Magical Realists. These artists have remained faithful to the tradition although the imagery has remained contemporary. Paul Wunderlich, the most prominent among them, has developed a style slightly cooler in temperament and more analytical. Often borrowing from classical mythology, he emphasizes the human form within a context that blends together contemporary and historical references. With cool aloofness, Wunderlich transports the viewer into a world of surreal eroticism and aesthetic symbolism. Again and again, Wunderlich spices his Fantastic Realism with a startling dose of irony. After Picasso and Max Ernst no other artist has contributed as much to the sculpture of painters as Paul Wunderlich. The themes for his sculptures and objects are closely linked to his paintings, drawings and lithographs. Wunderlich sculptures and objects combine the simplicity of an idea with the refinement of the material, and imagination with perfection in shaping something into a perfect form.

As an artist, Paul Wunderlich has remained faithful to his own artistic visions. Over a period of several decades, Wunderlich’s complex and comprehensive body of work has led to numerous exhibitions in museums worldwide. In 1994-95, he had retrospectives in several Japanese museums (Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Gifu). Wunderlich has been successful in numerous international print competitions and has received many awards. In 1964, he was awarded the Japan Cultural Forum Award, Tokyo; in 1967, he received the Award Premio Marzotti, Italy; in 1970, he was awarded the Gold-Medal in Florence, Italy; in 1978, he received Gold-Medals at the Grafik-Biennale in Taiwan and in Bulgaria.(rogallery.com)

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