Alexander Camaro

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Alexander Camaro (born September 27, 1901 in Breslau , † October 20, 1992 in Berlin ) was a German painter and dancer .


Alexander Camaro (real name Alphons Bernhard Kamarofski) spent his childhood and youth in Wroclaw. At a young age he joined a circus troupe and performed as a tightrope artist.

Between 1920 and 1925 Camaro studied painting at the State Academy for Arts and Crafts in Breslau , with Otto Mueller among others . From 1929 to 1930 he attended the "Wigman School" of Mary Wigman in Dresden as a dance student . In Wigman's choreography for Albert Talhoff's "Totenmal" from 1930, he appeared as a soloist. As a painter, Camaro was banned from working and exhibiting from 1933 until the end of the Nazi dictatorship , so that during this time he could only make a living by dancing. Together with his partner Liselore Bergmann, Camaro danced on various stages in Germany. During the Second World War , tours on front stages in Russia and Crete followed. Camaro went into hiding in 1944 to evade military service.

Back in Berlin in 1945, Camaro began a productive painting phase. Several exhibitions followed in the immediate post-war years. In 1949, Camaro was one of the co-founders of the legendary, surrealistic Berlin artist cabaret The Bathtub . He worked conceptually and as an actor, including as a painter, dancer and pantomime artist . He joined the re-established German Artists Association in 1950 and took part in its first annual exhibition with four oil paintings, including the large-format Pink Lady (1949).

After a comprehensive exhibition of his previous works in the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin, Camaro received the Berlin Art Prize of the Academy of Arts in 1951 . A year later he was appointed professor of painting at the Berlin School of Fine Arts .

In 1966 Alexander Camaro and Renata Gentner (* 1934 in Herrenberg ) married. From 1971 the couple moved into a studio in Kampen on Sylt. He worked alternately in Kampen and Berlin.

Alexander Camaro died in Berlin in 1992 at the age of 91. His grave is in the forest cemetery in Zehlendorf .


Camaro's extensive work includes painting, graphics, drawings, collages, dance, film and text. His early artistic work mainly encompassed the subjects of circus, variety, stage and theater - components of Camaro's world at that time. They remained an important point of reference throughout his life and found their way into his work again and again.

With the picture cycle “Das Holzerne Theater” from 1945/46, Camaro was finally able to establish itself in the Berlin post-war art scene. This exemplifies his view of space: artistically implemented in staggered, overlapping forms, bold image cuts and inclined surfaces. In his works up to the end of the 1940s, Camaro mainly worked figuratively, his pictures are characterized by a narrative, sometimes subtle, but also melancholy poetics. In the rather restrained colors, brown tones dominate with contrasting light color accents.

From the 1950s onwards, Camaro increasingly devoted himself to abstract painting . Sharply outlined forms and symbols of mathematical precision determine his work, the colors remain little differentiated. With the "Instrument Pictures" from the 1960s, Camaro returned to figurative pictorial elements. In search of a life in harmony with nature, Camaro found a special source of inspiration for depicting natural landscapes and light on Sylt. Light colors, especially white tones, dominate the large-format canvases of his late work, on which he uses collage techniques, among other things, to bring his paintings to life.

Camaro has received commissions for public art since 1955. For example, in collaboration with the ceramic artist Susanne Riée, the colored glass blocks of the Berlin Philharmonic (1963), the Berlin State Library (1974/75), the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum (1980/81) and the Berlin Chamber Music Hall (1986) were created.

Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation

The Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation, founded by Renata Camaro in 2009, manages the work of the artist couple. It is made accessible to the public through publications and exhibitions in the “Camaro House” as well as exhibition participation in other locations. In addition, the foundation supports contemporary painting, dance, literature, film and music in connection with Alexander Camaro's diverse work.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • 1946: Pictures by Alexander Kamaroff and sculpture by Gustav Seitz , Gerd Rosen Gallery , Berlin
  • 1949: Art in Germany 1930–1949 , Kunsthaus Zürich
  • 1951: Haus am Waldsee , Berlin
  • 1952: Kestner Society Hanover
  • 1955: documenta 1 , Kassel
  • 1955: The 1955 Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting , Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
  • 1955: Peintures et Sculptures non figurative en Allemagne d'aujourd'hui , Cercle Volney , Paris
  • 1959: documenta II , Kassel
  • 1969: Camaro. Pictures, watercolors, graphics , Academy of the Arts , Berlin
  • 1975: When the war was over. Art in Germany 1945–1950 , Akademie der Künste, Berlin
  • 1983: Camaro. Oil paintings, watercolors, drawings , Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Berlin
  • 1992: Works on canvas from 1991 , Brigitte Wagner Gallery, Gotha City Museums
  • 2004: Alexander Camaro (1901-1992). The world as a stage , Art Forum Ostdeutsche Galerie , Regensburg (catalog)
  • 2011: Camaro in the Philharmonie , Berlin, from May 15th to June 23rd
  • 2012: Camaro Circus Pictures 1918–1987 , May 12 to October 18, 2012, Berlin
  • 2014: Berlin Surreal… Camaro and the artists' cabaret The Bathtub , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from April 25th to July 24th, 2014
  • 2014: here to stay. Camaro and Sylt , Galerie im Kaamp-Hüs, Kampen, from July 4th to August 27th, 2014
  • 2014: In the reeds. Camaros Sylt in Berlin , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from August 21 to October 2, 2014
  • 2015: Im Schilf , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from August 29th to December 8th, 2015
  • 2016: Unica Zürn - Camaro - Hans Bellmer. Works from the 1940s to 1960s , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from February 27 to May 28, 2016
  • 2016: Alexander and Renata Camaro. Playing with shapes and figures , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from September 20 to November 4, 2016
  • 2018: "... and I love wood" , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from December 8, 2017 to May 18, 2018
  • 2018: painter. Mentor. Magician. Otto Mueller and his network in Breslau , Berlin Hamburger Bahnhof , Berlin, from October 12, 2018 to March 3, 2019
  • 2018: Alexander Camaro and Wroclaw. A homage , Schlesisches Museum zu Görlitz , Görlitz, from October 19, 2018 to March 10, 2019
  • 2018: The Wooden Theater. Alexander Camaro and the stage , Camaro Haus, Berlin, from November 3rd to December 22nd, 2018

Bibliography (selection)

  • Camaro. Pictures, watercolors, graphics. An exhibition by the Akademie der Künste from October 25 to November 30, 1969. Akademie der Künste, Berlin 1969. (exhibition catalog).
  • Camaro. Oil paintings, watercolors, drawings. Catalog on the occasion of the exhibition in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Berlin from September 3 to October 12, 1983, NBK, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein eV Catalog design: Lucie Schauer . NBK, Berlin 1983.
  • The world as a stage. Alexander Camaro 1901-1992. Edited by Gerhard Leistner . Stiftung Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg 2004, ISBN 3-89188-104-5 . (Exhibition catalog Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg from November 21, 2004 to January 30, 2005).
  • Berlin Surreal… Camaro and the artists' cabaret The Bathtub. Published by the Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation and Dagmar Schmengler. Nicolai, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-89479-857-4 . (Exhibition catalog Camaro House from April 25 to July 24, 2014).
  • Dagmar Schmengler, Agnes Kern: "The ring closes". About Alexander Camaro's artistic beginnings in Wroclaw . In: Dagmar Schmengler u. a. (Ed.): Painter. Mentor. Magician. Otto Mueller and his network in Breslau . Kehrer, Heidelberg a. a. 2018, ISBN 978-3-86828-873-5 , pp. 344–356.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Petra Hölscher: The Academy for Art and Applied Arts in Breslau. Paths to an art school 1791–1932. (= Construction + Art. Volume 5). Ludwig, Kiel 2003, ISBN 3-933598-50-8 , p. 453.
  2. The world as a stage. Alexander Camaro 1901-1992. Stiftung Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg 2004, p. 13f.
  3. s. Alexander Camaro , in: Alexander von Plato , Almut Leh : An incredible spring. Experienced history in post-war Germany 1945–1948 , Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 1997. ISBN 3-89331-298-6 (p. 394)
  4. Berlin Surreal… Camaro and the artist cabaret The Bathtub. Nicolai, Berlin 2014, pp. 137f.
  5. s. Catalog of the Deutscher Künstlerbund 1950. First exhibition in Berlin 1951, in the rooms of the Bild University. Arts, Hardenbergstr. 33 , complete production: Brüder Hartmann, Berlin 1951. (without page numbers. Fig. 6: 20; 21-23 were coal dump in the snow , harlequin on a white surface and aviation , all 1950.)
  6. ^ Foundation: Chronology.
  7. ^ Foundation: Renata Camaro.
  8. Atelier in Kampen on Sylt.
  9. Come to stay - Camaro and Sylt , exhibition 2014 in Kampen, exhibition information.
  10. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende: Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 632.
  11. ^ Location of the foundation
  12. ^ Markus Krause: Gerd Rosen Gallery - The Avant-garde in Berlin 1945–1950. Ars Nicolai, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-89479-070-9 , pp. 65-66.
  13. Exhibition information from the Camaro Foundation
  14. Exhibition information from the Camaro Foundation
  15. Exhibition information from the Camaro Foundation
  16. Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  17. Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  18. Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  19. Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  20. Alexander and Renata Camaro Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  21. "... and I love the wood". Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  22. Home. In: PAINTER. MENTOR. MAGICIAN. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  23. Alexander Camaro and Breslau. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .
  24. The Wooden Theater. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .