The 80s at the Städel Museum
The 80s at the Städel Museum
Werner Büttner, Maliciously Destroyed Phone Boxes, 1982, Detail

In the early 1980s figurative-representational painting experienced a revival in the West German art scene. Soon painting described as “vehement” or “wild”, conquered the market and museums.

Three decades later the paintings have lost none of their vividness. Directness and intensity are the common denominators of this painter-phenomenon, which – in its richness and diversity fascinates still today.

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In the 1960s and 1970s, movements like the simplified Minimal Art and dematerialised Concept Art dominated the art scene. The medium of painting was considered untimely and outdated. At West German art colleges the focus was on installation and performance as well as photography and film.

In the works of painters such as Georg Baselitz, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke an interest in figurative art began to show after the war. They were the precursors of the so-called “Junge Wilde (Wild Youth)”, who in the 1980s began to focus on painting anew.

Berlin, Hamburg, Köln and Düsseldorf were the centres of this development in West Germany. At art schools, in flats and studios the generation of those artists born around 1950 created paintings of unusual expressive strength and topicality, which in their diversity and directness were equally provocative and fascinating.

Although they successfully exhibited and sold art in the early 1980s, nobody anticipated the immense hype, which was soon to spring up around the artists.

Soon the term of “Junge Wilde” gained currency with critics and the media. Much like most art groups the so-called “Junge Wilde” were not a homogenous unit – they were rather a multifaceted and partly contradictory coexistence of different artists. The loose groupings that formed in Hamburg, in Berlin in the Galerie am Moritzplatz or in Cologne at the studio “Mülheimer Freiheit” were mostly short-lived. There were also mavericks like Volker Tannert and Andreas Schulze. Both were represented at the important exhibitions, but it is difficult to assign them to a group. Frequent changes of location make it impossible to actually locate this type of painting.

Rundschau Deutschland 1, Lothringer Straße 13, Munich, 1981: Milan Kunc, Walther Dahn, Albert Oehlen, Ina Barfuß, Thomas Wachweger (concealed), Achim Schächtele, Matrin Kippenberger (kneeling), Andreas Schulze, Markus Oehlen, Stefan Szczesny, Daniel Nagel, Brigitta Rohrbach, Peter Angermann (lying), Hans Peter Adamski and Volker Tannert
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The name “Junge Wilde“ refers to the title of the exhibition “Les Nouveaux Fauves – The New Wilde One’s”. The show opened in 1980 at the “Neue Galerie – Sammlung Ludwig“ in Aachen and focused on the parallels with French Fauvism of the early 20th century and the Neo-Expressionist tendencies in contemporary painting.

Works by painters such as Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, K. H. Hödicke, A.R. Penck, Anselm Kiefer and Jörg Immendorff were on view. They belonged to the post-war generation born around 1940. The artists who became known as the “Young Wilde Ones” in the 1980s all were roughly ten years younger and were not represented in the Aachen exhibition. Nevertheless the makeshift name was to stay.

ARTISTIC INFLUENCES AND PRECURSORS

Given its expressiveness art critics soon considered the vehement painting of the 1980s in the tradition of German Expressionism and French Fauvism. Both art movements had evolved at around the same time in the beginning of the 20th century.

EXPRESSIONISM
The term Expressionism (lat. expressio = expression) describes the painterly expression of a way of life rather than a group of artists. Directly and unadulterated the painters reflected their subjective sentiments on canvas. The liberal treatment of colour and shape, the reduction of motifs to striking wood-cut-like elements and foregoing any perspective are characteristic of their paintings.

FAUVISM
The Fauves were a heterogeneous group of artists, which existed no more than a few years. A critic had ridiculed them as “les fauves” (Fr. for wild animals) referring to the bright colours of their paintings and the rough, seemingly undeveloped style. The artists did not identify with the title.

NEOEXPRESSIONISM
With reference to Fauvism and Expressionism the painters of the 1960s and 1970s, like Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, Bernd Koberling and K. H. Hödicke were called “Neoexpressionists” (lat. neo = new) and “Neue Wilde (New Wildes)”. Their painting paved the way for the younger generation of painters of the 1980s. Their “provocative and in parts coarsely painted art works [...] attracted curiosity and attention precisely because of their oddness.” 1

BAD PAINTING
The return to figurative painting was not confined to West Germany, by the way. In the USA young artists also picked up brush and paint again. There the term “Bad Painting” gained currency. This does not refer to the quality of painting. It was very much intended that the painting was not aesthetically appealing; instead it was to provoke and “to rub against the canvas”. 2

“That was painting, but not good, beautiful and true in the classical sense of Renaissance, but Bad Painting as the expression of mean reality.”

Werner Büttner 3

Rainer Fetting, Van Gogh and Wall-Sun, 1979

VAN GOGH AND WALL

With a striding gait the figure moves along the wall, the shoulders drawn up, the face half hidden by the yellow sun hat’s rim. A wide gap in the wall affords a view of the red evening sky.

The title “Van Gogh and Wall-Sun” clearly hints at the contents of the painting. However, the combination of Van Gogh – archetype of the misunderstood artist – and the highly symbolic wall cause irritation. The initial hints of the title prove to be misleading.

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To Rainer Fetting the wall, symbol of the Cold War and the exceptional situation of West Berlin, was part of the every-day. At home and at work at Moritzplatz, Berlin, he saw it from his window. Fetting made use of the wall as projection space for his painting and realised several versions of a pictorial idea. Doing so he tested the effect achieved by various stylistic means.

The type of execution, that is: colour, gesture and composition were at the focus, instead of the subject. In comparison to his early days as a painter, Fetting achieved a much more liberal, dynamic brushstroke in his series of wall-paintings. With his Van-Gogh-series he extended his repertoire by the human figure.

GALERIE AM MORITZPLATZ

The artists Salomé and Rainer Fetting moved together into a house in Berlin Kreuzberg in 1975. This is where in 1977 the Galerie am Moritzplatz opened, which became a meeting point for the young art scene. The artists Fetting, Salomé, Helmut Middendorf and Bernd Zimmer among others belonged to the exhibition group.

Their exhibition “Heftige Malerei (Fierce Painting)” in Haus am Waldsee in Berlin in 1980 marked the breakthrough of the four artists. Over night they became stars of the art scene. However, with the success arose tensions. Soon everyone went their separate ways. In 1981 the artists presented their work together at the Galerie am Moritzplatz for the last time.

Rainer Fetting, Salomé and Bernd Zimmer in the Galerie am Moritzplatz, Berlin, 1978

BETWEEN FIGURE AND INFORMEL

G. L. Gabriel, View to the East, 1982

On the horizon of the metropolis, the sky is tinged in red. A person sitting on a wall is outlined before this panorama.

The television tower alludes to the then divided city Berlin, which was also a major subject for the female artist G. L. Gabriel. From her studio at the Potsdamer Platz looking across the wall she had an extensive view of East Berlin. In this painting the artist allows just enough “shape” to detail the outlines of objects and persons. Thus she unites a non-objective informal way of painting with the outlined figure.

G. L. Gabriel, View to the East, 1982, Detail

Like Salomé and Middendorf, G. L. Gabriel had studied with Professor K. H. Hödicke at the School of Fine Arts in Berlin. 1979 she first participated with a group exhibition at the Galerie am Moritzplatz. Like other female painters Gabriel regularly showed her works at this time. However, the group dynamics between the male colleagues did affect the female painters. They were less affected by the hype of 1980s painting.

I just wanted to show them that women can paint with vehemence, too. There weren’t so many women who had exhibitions.

G. L. Gabriel4

RUSH OF BLOOD

The naked bodies of the two male figures look as though they are lit by bright spotlights in a dark space. While one of them, covered in blood, is bound by his wrists and turning his back towards the viewer, the other is bent over on the floor at the standing man’s feet.

Salomé’s dynamic, expressive and aggressive pictorial language inevitably provokes strong reactions. In “Haematorrhoea” he confronts the viewer with a situation that is intimate as well as violent. In the late 70s Salomé’s painting is unequalled in terms of radicalism and directness – his colleagues at the Moritzplatz were challenged to depart from their modes of painting to seek similarly intense ways of expression.

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In his art Salomé was not simply interested in provoking reactions. His paintings are aiming for an open confrontation of the topic of homosexuality. West Berlin was more open to the strengthening gay movement than most other German cities. In the mid-70s Salomé joined the Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (HAW). Like many men there, Wolfgang Cihlarz – this is his civilian name – chose a pseudonym: Salomé. Thus he alluded to a cruel Biblical story: Salome, daughter of Herodias, delighted her public with her ecstatic dance to such a degree that her father granted her one wish. Solicited by her mother, Salome demanded that John the Baptist be beheaded.

Salomé, Haematorrhoea, 1979

It was a sense of life. And out of this my figurative work evolved. Also out of a political battle, the will to emancipate and to represent male sexuality differently. Before there was nothing quite as aggressive to be found in painting.

Salomé5

GEILE TIERE

In 1978 the young Swiss artist Luciano Castelli visited one of Salomé’s exhibitions at the Galerie am Moritzplatz. Soon after they began to collaborate in music and painting.

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Geile Tiere, „Geile Tiere“ 6
Luciano Castelli, Berlin Nite, 1979
Poster of the band Geile Tiere, 1982: Salomé and Luciano Castelli

Salomé and Castelli founded the punk rock band “Geile Tiere”. Eccentric performances and martial outfits became their trademarks. The final image of their performance “Big Bird” served as template for the poster of their band and Castelli’s painting “Berlin Nite”.

If you do a show think of something totally crazy, which you can later use in your painting.

Salomé7

COLOUR FIELD PAINTING

Bernd Zimmer, Field, Rape, 1979

Bernd Zimmer’s large-scale landscapes provide a contrast to his colleagues’ works. In the Berlin subculture of the 1980s – a more and more emancipated gay movement, Punk and New Wave – they did appear very provocative, however. Zimmer sought to test the boundaries of painting.

Colour fields in deep yellow, warm reddish brown and ochre meet in “Field, Rape” on the 205 × 300 centimetre canvas. Even without knowing the title, they recall a landscape of fields. The thin, deep blue strip at the upper edge of the canvas, which is reminiscent of a clear sky, intensifies the impression. Zimmer’s oeuvre is referring to Colour Field Painting. This movement developed in the mid-1950s in the environment of the New York School in the USA.

Helmut Middendorf, Electric Night, 1979, Detail

NATIVES OF THE BIG CITY

The sketchily outlined figures look like people dancing away at night. The depth of the colour, the nocturnal atmosphere and the vehement brushstroke imbue the painting with intensity.

Helmut Middendorf produced an entire series of works called “Natives of the Big City”. In his art he brings together music and painting, which he considered essential. The intensity and purity of Punk music and subculture are transferred directly onto the large-scale canvas. Thus the music is reflected in the paintings as “expression of power”.

Art and Punk

In the 80s, the SO36 was a well-known and popular place in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The club opened in a former cinema in 1978 and advanced to the main centre for Punk and New Wave. Many painters came here seeking inspiration for their art activities. They transferred the violent and harsh atmosphere of the concerts to their paintings.

Many of the artists made music and founded bands themselves. In the 70s the painter Markus Oehlen was the drummer of the punk band Mittagspause, famous in Germany. One of their first gigs was at the SO36.

Bernd Zimmer prior to the opening of his exhibition 1/10 seconds in Front of the Warsaw Bridge, SO36, Berlin, 1978

“A Punk song had to be done in two minutes – [...] speed was the form! [...] short, fast, hard. [...] We felt like the Rock ’n’ Rollers of painting! We brandished the paint-prush as though we were on stage playing the guitar.”

Bernd Zimmer 9

Once Martin Kippenberger had joined the management of the SO36, he attempted to integrate fine art as firm component of the club. Apart from concerts, performances and film screenings, art events took place, too. In 1979 the artist Elvira Bach presented her “Bathtub paintings”. Ina Barfuss and Thomas Wachweger exhibited a slide show of their works titled “Buenas Dias” (Dia = Ger. for silde). Bernd Zimmer accomplished a painting spanning three canvases encompassing the entire length of the room on location. Middendorf and Fetting went even further and at an art event they painted a kitsch sunset directly onto the walls of the club.

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Mittagspause, „Herrenreiter“ 8
Werner Büttner, Please wake at 8:00 p.m., 1982, Detail

LONG NIGHTS

Resting the head on a tablet top, a person is shielding their face with their hands in a tired or perhaps ashamed gesture. The tablecloth, an abstract patch of colour, is an interesting contrast to the drunk’s body.

Ironically Werner Büttner described the “working environment” of the artists of the 1980s in his painting “Please wake at 8:00 p.m.”. In-pubs and bars were among the favourite places to meet. In 1977 Büttner had moved from Berlin to Hamburg together with fellow painter Albert Oehlen; there they got to know Georg Herold. The rebellious and ironic undertone with which they reflected on daily events is typical of the artists.

TWO INVENTORS

Martin Kippenberger, Two Proletarian Women Inventors on Their Way to the Inventor’s Congress, 1984

In the middle of an abstract vortex of colour are two figures depicted in grey. The monochrome rectangular space behind the two figures may be read as a hint at Suprematism – an abstract movement originating in Russia around 1915, with Kasimir Malevich being its most prominent representative. Both figures vaguely recall the style of Socialist Realism, the official art doctrine of Communism from 1932, which became obligatory for the entire Eastern Bloc after 1945. The brushstroke in the background in turn refers to informel painting – the predominant art movement after the War in the West.

In this painting Martin Kippenberger combined various artistic styles. With great irony he thus directs attention to the contradictions within an art scene, following political requirements at the service of an ideology. Above all, however, he mocks the intention of playing off abstract against representational art.

Martin Kippenberger, Two Proletarian Women Inventors on Their Way to the Inventor’s Congress, 1984, Detail

The title forms part of the concept. It describes both women as “proletarian inventors”. Their destination: an inventors’ convention. In East Germany “new” achievements were presented on such occasions. Frequently they were outdated and had already been applied in the West. In East Germany “innovations” were invented and presented with awards in various cities and not just once. Kippenberger often focused on such absurdities and interpreted them in his art with the humour characteristic of him.

EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYONE, EVERYONE GETS IN ON THE ACT
Martin Kippenberger at his office, Segitzdamm, Berlin, 1978

As early as 1977 Kippenberger got to know Werner Büttner and Albert Oehlen at a bar in Hamburg. In the 80s they realised publications and exhibition concepts together. In 1978, Kippenberger moved to Berlin. With the subsequent gallerist Gisela Capitain he founded “Kippenberger’s Office” there, where he showed the exhibition “Elend (Misery)” in 1979. Werner Büttner, Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen, Georg Herold, Walter Dahn and Jiří Georg Dokoupil as well as Thomas Wachweger and Ina Barfuss among others were represented. A number of exhibitions in various cities were to follow: in April 1980 Büttner and Albert Oehlen opened “Aktion Pisskrücke (Initiative Piss-Crutch)” at the Hamburger Künstlerhaus. Five months later “Finger für Deutschland (Finger for Germany)” took place in Düsseldorf.

“It was also important to not just do something in Berlin, but also in Hamburg, in Düsseldorf, to disseminate across Germany, to try out things.”

Martin Kippenberger 10

Albert Oehlen, German in Rio, 1986

JUGGLING WITH MEANINGS

An eagle turned on to its back is lying on a mountaintop. The work’s title “German in Rio” inevitably provokes a number of associations: the eagle recalls the German heraldic animal and the rounded shape of the mountain is reminiscent of the Sugar Loaf Mountain of Rio de Janeiro.

Political and historical emblems like this almost automatically incite the impulse to interpret them as symbols of the attitude they imply. However, in the case of the paintings by the “Junge Wilde” this approach frequently leads to nothing. The desire of marking the world as good or evil is not satisfied.

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They do not aim for a finite declaration, instead the intention is to open up a space for associations removed from any ideology; any attempt of categorising is being mocked. Political, historical and personal topics are reflected in the pictures in an attempt of reinventing painting.

Juggling of meanings and content is typical. The artist relinquishes the responsibility of interpretation to the viewer – also a political statement.

In the mornings we read the paper and at lunchtime we paint. The state is responsible for the outcome.

Albert Oehlen11

Georg Herold, Brick Nigger, 1981

STONE-THROWER

A massive brick is flying through the air. It has not yet reached its destination. It is suspended between stillness and motion on “yellow”. The sketched agitated mob is approaching. One of them has already grabbed the victim’s arm.

Actually the painting of the stone-thrower represents the demonstrations of minorities, critical of the government. However, Georg Herold focuses on the victim of the aggressions: the ”Brick Nigger”. Using the derogatory term “negro” without any explanation, he adds to the title’s and the painting’s ambiguity.

NUDE WITH TRUMPET

Markus Oehlen, Nude Fallen Off a Chair With Trumpet, 1986

The dynamic connection of abstract fields and lines offers little to hold on to. Layered shapes in the background are evocative of the silhouette of a city. In the foreground orange and black lines interweave; they immediately dissolve any representational quality.

The painterly collage of different pictorial elements gives rise to new meanings. The original meanings and content are being dissolved. Markus Oehlen’s “Nude Fallen Off a Chair With Trumpet” is exemplary of such a multifaceted pictorial composition.

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Nude and still life – the title alludes to classical genres of painting; but they are ironized and subverted. Even though nude and trumpet can just about be made out, they do not make the narrative of the painting any more accessible. On the contrary, the surprisingly unequivocal title highlights that the majority of the painting defies a simple explanation.

Markus Oehlen skipped the destructive phase, which his colleagues experienced to begin with. He distanced himself from their political sarcasm and dedicated himself to painting. While he occasionally exhibited together with his brother Albert as well as Büttner, Herold and Kippenberger, his approach to contemporary painting was quite autonomous. Texture, contours, colour and canvas themselves became the subject of new painting.

MÜLHEIMER FREIHEIT
NO. 110

In the autumn of 1980 six artists moved into a studio in Cologne-Deutz. The group was named after the street Mülheimer Freiheit, where the studio was. In this painting the co-founder Walter Dahn depicted the painters of the group Hans Peter Adamski, Peter Bömmels, Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Gerard Kever und Gerhard Naschberger.

Walter Dahn, The Birth of Mülheimer Freiheit, 1981
DELIBERATLY BANAL

Within the artist group “Mülheimer Freiheit” the contemporary art scene and the banality of the everyday were recurrent topics for discussion. The debates sought to mutually inspire and instil productivity. Consciously used dilettantism and naïve representation played a key role here. The artists’ style was excessive and immoderate, just like the concept. The artists, above all Walter Dahn thus made an essential contribution to the basis of “Bad Painting”.

“The original spirit of the Mülheimer Freiheit consisted of absurd projects. And one of the most absurd of them was to become a painter.”

Jiří Georg Dokoupil 12

The Cologne gallerist Paul Maenz represented the artists. In 1980 he curated the exhibition “Mülheimer Freiheit & Interesting Paintings from Germany”. It was a great success. Suddenly the painters found themselves at the centre of the art scene, they had previously ridiculed. In 1982 the artist group dissolved.

Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Peter Bömmels, Hans Peter Adamski, Gerhard Naschberger, Gerard Kever and Walter Dahn on Mülheimer Freiheit, Cologne-Deutz, ca. 1980
Mülheimer Freiheit 110, Cologne-Deutz, ca. 1980
Walter Dahn and Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Untitled (Vomiter II), 1980, Detail

TWO PUKERS

The two heads at the centre of the painting are spewing red paint into the deep blue of the background. Most directly Walter Dahn and Jiří Georg Dokoupil express a mood, with which they react to themselves or society in general.

Dahn and Dokoupil met 1979 in Cologne. They painted their first paintings together under the pseudonym Klaus Hübner, the name of Berlin’s chief constable then. They made a perfect team. Dokoupil only rendered his ideas in a creative form after thorough contemplation. Dahn on the other hand worked in a direct, spontaneous way.

Walter Dahn and Jiří Georg Dokoupil at Work at Their Studio „Mülheimer Freiheit“:

Walter Dahn and Jiří Georg Dokoupil, 1982

From the beginning we were interested in producing a sort of honesty. We had an idea, a notion, and we had to find an adequate solution for it [...]

Jiří Georg Dokoupil13

COW AND CHERRY BLOSSOM

Hans Peter Adamski, Land of the Smile (Wolfgang), 1981

A woman dressed in clothes and with a hairdo of Japanese appearance is busy milking a cow. The front half of the animal is dissolving into the grey of the background.

A blossoming branch of cherry is reaching into the painting where the animal’s head should be. The painting looks as though the artist reassembled it from bits of a newspaper. The execution is evocative of Japanese ink painting. The two-dimensionality of the patterned red screen evokes another Japanese art from, the colour woodcut that had already inspired the Impressionists.

The filigree painting in emulsion paint and watercolour appears like a carefully executed paper work. The selection and arrangement of the objects on the other hand seems random. Faced with a world, where the potential of all media, styles and topics has already been exhausted, it seems as though Adamski sees the plausible solution in the destruction of styles – another type of Bad Painting.

PARALLEL SPHERES

As in the works by Adamski, Dahn and Dokoupil the paintings by Peter Bömmels deal with the style of Bad Painting, the questioning of painting. At a first glance the works are seeking a balanced aesthetic, where form and content harmonise. The result: surreal, irritating pictorial worlds, which specifically break with the painting tradition. Fantastic shapes, reminiscent of dream- or parallel spheres, in Bömmels’ paintings are particularly striking. Deriving and interpreting the work’s title is almost entirely left to the viewer. The artist developed a recognisable style, which he kept up.

Peter Bömmels, The Cologne Game, 1984

Figurative painting of the 1980s does not strive for unity of a painting. Contexts are consciously ruptured. The moment of dissolution becomes the content of the image. This method can be considered concept and common element of this generation of painters. It is one possible explanation for the radical change of painting in the 1980s.

Personal hint

PAINTERLY MONTAGE

This is only visible in the original

A red star is lying on the ground – amidst licking flames and wafts of smoke. The pictorial space is fragmented by numerous objects. At a second glance they turn out to be books that have been screwed onto the support and then painted. The heavily symbolic motifs bring to mind topics such as the Cold War and the burning of books. Yet the painting cannot be clearly read.

Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Star in Distress, 1982
Julian Schnabel, Circumnavigating the Sea of Shit, 1979

In a series of works, one of them “Star in Adversity”, Dokoupil cites the style of the US-American artist Julian Schnabel, who also works with ceramic shards, which he applied to the canvas.

Dokoupil also imitated the styles of other artist colleagues. His frequent change of style makes it difficult to recognise his works – a counter-plan to the strategies of the art market, where recognisable authorship is crucial.

A taboo would soon make me so nervous that I would have to deal with it.

Jiří Georg Dokoupil14

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Picture credits

Werner Büttner, Maliciously Destroyed Phone Boxes, 1982
Oil on canvas, 190 x 150 cm,
Museum Für Kommunikation, Frankfurt am Main
© Werner Büttner
Photo: Axel Schneider

Rainer Fetting, Van Gogh and Wall-Sun, 1979
Emulsion on untreated cotton, 212 × 271 cm
Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zürich
© Rainer Fetting
Photo: Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zürich

G. L. Gabriel, View to the East, 1982
Mixed media on duck, 200 × 300 cm (2-parts)
Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 201
Photo: Gabriele Thieler

Salomé, Haematorrhoea, 1979
Acrylic on canvas, 260 × 210 cm
Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zürich
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Foto: Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zürich

Luciano Castelli, Berlin Nite, 1979
Synthetic resin on untreated cotton, 240 × 200 cm
Luciano Castelli
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Luciano Castelli

Bernd Zimmer, Field, Rape, 1979
Emulsion and distemper on canvas, 205 × 300 cm
Bernd Zimmer Kunststiftung
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Bernd Zimmer

Helmut Middendorf, Electric Night, 1979
Distemper on untreated cotton, 200 × 300 cm (2-parts)
Sammlung Deutsche Bank im Städel Museum, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Städel Museum - ARTOTHEK

Werner Büttner, Please wake at 8:00 p.m., 1982
Oil on canvas, 170 × 210 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Werner Büttner
Photo: Städel Museum - ARTOTHEK

Martin Kippenberger, Two Proletarian Women Inventors on Their Way to the Inventor’s Congress, 1984
Oil and silicon on canvas, 160 × 133 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
Photo: Städel Museum - ARTOTHEK

Albert Oehlen, German in Rio, 1986
Oil on canvas, 260 × 320 cm (4-parts)
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK
© Albert Oehlen

Georg Herold, Brick Nigger, 1981
Emulsion on hardboard, 90 × 130 cm
Private collection
Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: def image

Markus Oehlen, Nude Fallen off Chair, with Trumpet, 1986
Oil on untreated cotton, 250 × 320 cm
Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt am Main
© Markus Oehlen
Photo: Wolfgang Günzel, Offenbach

Walther Dahn, The Birth of the Mülheimer Freiheit, 1981
Emulsion on canvas, 170 × 160 cm
Paul Maenz, Berlin
© Walter Dahn
Photo: Archive Paul Maenz, Berlin

Walter Dahn, Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Untitled (Vomiter II), 1980
Emulsion on fabric, 131 × 267 cm
Galerie Haas, Zürich
© Walter Dahn / VG Bild-Kunst 2015
Photo: Lea Gryze

Hans Peter Adamski, Land of the Smile (Wolfgang), 1981
Emulsion and watercolour on canvas, 178 × 266 cm
Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, permanent loan of Collection Tiefe Blicke
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Wolfgang Fuhrmannek

Peter Bömmels, The Cologne Game, 1984
Emulsion and hair on untreated cotton, 220 × 200 cm
Private collection
Courtesy Galerie Karl Pfefferle, Munich
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Benjamin Hasenclever

Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Star in Distress, 1982
Acrylic and pigment on jute, 200 × 370 cm (2 parts)
Collection Deutsche Bank at the Städel Museum, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Martin Url

Julian Schnabel, Circumnavigating the Sea of Shit, 1979
Oil and plate on wood, 243,8 × 243,8 × 30,5 cm
Collection Bischofberger, Switzerland
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Photo: Galerie Bruno Bischofsberger, Schweiz

Photographs

Rundschau Deutschland 1, Lothringer Straße 13, Munich, 1981: Milan Kunc, Walther Dahn, Albert Oehlen, Ina Barfuß, Thomas Wachweger (concealed), Achim Schächtele, Matrin Kippenberger (kneeling), Andreas Schulze, Markus Oehlen, Stefan Szczesny, Daniel Nagel, Brigitta Rohrbach, Peter Angermann (lying), Hans Peter Adamski and Volker Tannert
From: Kunstforum Internat. Vol. 47, 1982, p. 41
Photo: Hartmut Rekort

Berthold Schepers, Rainer Fetting, Salomé and Bernd Zimmer at Galerie am Moritzplatz, Berlin, 1978
© Rainer Fetting
Photo: Rainer Fetting

Poster of the band Geile Tiere, 1982: Salomé and Luciano Castelli
© Luciano Castelli

Bernd Zimmer prior to the opening of his exhibition 1/10 seconds in Front of the Warsaw Bridge, SO36, Berlin, 1978
© Archive Bernd Zimmer

Martin Kippenberger in seinem Büro, Segitzdamm, Berlin, 1978
© Rainer Fetting
Photo: Rainer Fetting

Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Peter Bömmels, Hans Peter Adamski, Gerhard Naschberger, Gerard Kever and Walter Dahn at Mülheimer Freiheit, Cologne-Deutz, ca. 1980
© Benjamin Katz, Archive Paul Maenz, Berlin
Photo: Archive Paul Maenz, Berlin

Mülheimer Freiheit 110, Cologne-Deutz, ca. 1980
© Paul Maenz, Archive Paul Maenz, Berlin
Photo: Archive Paul Maenz, Berlin

Walter Dahn and Jiří Georg Dokoupil, 1982
© Roman Soukup, Archive Paul Maenz, Berlin
Photo: Roman Soukup

Quotations

1 Zdenek Felix in: “’Hunger nach Bildern’ – von heute aus gesehen”, in: Die Malerei der 80er. Figurative Malerei in der BRD, ed. by Martin Engler, exh.-cat. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Ostfildern 2015, pp. 20–26, p. 21.

2 Albert Oehlen, cit. from Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, “Alles in allem – Panorama ‘wilder’ Malerei”, in: Tiefe Blicke. Kunst der achtziger Jahre aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, der DDR, Österreich und der Schweiz, exh.-cat. Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Cologne 1985, pp. 17–95, p. 56.

3 Werner Büttner, cit. from Harald Falckenberg, “Gemeine Wahrheiten”, in: exh.-cat. Gemeine Wahrheiten. Werner Büttner, ZKM / Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe; Weserburg – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen, Ostfildern 2013, pp. 17–21, p. 18.

4 Gabriel, G. L. in E-Mail to Franziska Leuthäußer, December 1, 2014

5 Salomé cit. from an interview on http://db-artmag.de/de/87/feature/lets-talk-salome-martin-engler-ueber-performance-und-figurative-/, last reviewed on June 12, 2015

6 Geile Tiere, Geile Tiere, 1980, Composer: Luciano Castelli, Manuel Göttsching, Salomé, Flex Ton.

7 Salomé, zit. n. Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen 1985 (see footnote 2), p. 43

8 Mittagspause, Herrenreiter, 1979, Composer: Franz Heribert Bielmeier, Peter Hein, Markus Oehlen, Thomas Schwebel, Rondo.

9 Bernd Zimmer, cit. from Walter Grasskamp, Gespräche mit Bernd Zimmer, Munich 2008, p. 34.

10 Martin Kippenberger cit. from Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen 1985 (see footnote 2), p. 66

11 Albert Oehlen cit. from ibid., p 56

12 Jiří Georg Dokoupil, cit. from Wilfried Dickhoff, Jiří Georg Dokoupil im Gespräch mit Paul Maenz, Köln 1993, p. 41.

13 Jiří Georg Dokoupil, cit. from Dickhoff 1993 (see footnote 12), p. 36.

14 Jiří Georg Dokoupil, cit. from Dickhoff 1993 (see footnote 12), p. 74.

The 80s at the Städel Museum

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