Heinz Trokes

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Heinz Trökes in his Hamburg studio (1957)

Heinz Trökes (born August 15, 1913 in Hamborn am Rhein , † April 22, 1997 in Berlin ) was a German artist .


After graduating from high school in 1933, Trökes was a student of Johannes Itten in Krefeld from 1933 to 1936 . In 1934 Trökes took a bike ride through Italy and visited a. a. Florence , Rome , Naples , Palermo and Venice . From 1936 to 1939 Trökes lived as a painter in Augsburg and earned his living through textile designs at the JP Bremberg company. In 1938, his first solo exhibition at the Nierendorf gallery in Berlin was closed at the instigation of the Nazis . Afterwards expulsion from the Reich Chamber of Culture and no exhibition opportunities until 1945. 1937 meeting with Wassily Kandinsky in Paris . In the following year trips to Vienna , Budapest , Yugoslavia and again Italy. In 1939 Trökes moved to Zurich in order to emigrate to Dutch India ( Indonesia ). However , this was prevented by the outbreak of World War II . Return to Germany. From 1940 he studied with Georg Muche in Krefeld and was drafted into the Wehrmacht , until 1942 as an anti-aircraft soldier in Berlin . In his free time he attended Max Dungert's art school . Friendship u. a. with Oskar Huth .

In 1945 Trökes co-founded the Gerd Rosen gallery in Berlin , the first private art gallery in Germany after the war, of which he was artistic director until 1946. From 1946 to 1948 he created a series of cosmonautical pictures such as "The Moon Cannon", "Terrain of the Cosmologists", "Spherical Contrasts", "Two Worlds". In 1947 he was appointed to the State University for Architecture and Art in Weimar (today Bauhaus University ) together with the painter Mac Zimmermann . End of teaching after one semester due to excessive external influence. Participation in the exhibition L'Art Allemand Moderne, German contemporary art in Baden-Baden . During the Berlin blockade from 1948 to 1949 he stayed in Rodenbach near Neuwied am Rhein, then back in Berlin. 1949 marriage to Renata Severin. Trökes published an article in the magazine Les Temps Modernes , Paris (Dir. Jean-Paul Sartre ) on “La peinture et le public en Allemagne. L'inflation d'expositions et le scandale qu'elles provoquent ”. 1950 to 1952 laureate at the Blevin Davis Competition in Munich , stay in Paris and friendship with Wols and Paul Celan . Trökes joined the Rixes group with Roberto Matta , Jaroslaw Serpan , Jean-Paul Riopelle , Zañartu u. a. on. Participation in the weekly jour fixe around André Breton ( Benjamin Péret , Marcel Duchamp , Toyen , Ernst , Rufino Tamayo and Gérard Hérold ).

In 1952 Heinz and Renée Trökes moved to Ibiza . Numerous island images were created here, often of a topographical nature. He was a winner of the Hallmark Competition, New York . 1954 birth of the son Jan Manuel. 1955 big tour of Spain u. a. to Madrid , Alicante and Toledo . Also in 1955 he received the German Critics' Prize and courses offered by the art colleges and academies in Berlin, Karlsruhe , Zurich , Stuttgart and Frankfurt , which he did not accept. In 1955 Heinz Trökes was a participant in documenta 1 in Kassel . (He also took part in other documentes in 1959 ( documenta II ) and 1964 ( documenta III ).)

1956 Travels from Ibiza to Andalusia and Morocco . Trökes received the Berlin Art Prize . From 1956 to 1958 Trökes headed the department for free graphics at the State University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Lithographs and etchings were created. In 1957 he showed a mosaic at the Triennale in Milan . In 1958 he made a three-month trip to Ceylon and visited a. a. Cairo , Djibouti , Aden and Bombay . On a rubber plantation , watercolors were created for the volume “Sinhalese miniatures”. Participation in the Biennale di Venezia . At the Interbau in Berlin-Hansaviertel in 1957, he realized a glass window for the Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtnis-Kirche. Return to Ibiza. From 1959 to 1960 Trökes lived with family on the island of Aegina in Greece . After the strong colourfulness of the Paris and Ibiza years, silent pictures in reduced and atmospheric colors were created in the differentiated light of Greece and until 1966. Travels to Crete , Rhodes , the Peloponnese and Istanbul . 1960 to 1961 via Berlin, Wameln (etchings "Wamelner series"), Paris and Barcelona back to Ibiza. During this time three carpet designs were created. Execution by the company Anker-Teppiche , Düren .

As a member of the German Association of Artists , Heinz Trökes took part in seven major annual DKB exhibitions between 1952 and 1971, including the 1961 traveling exhibition in Belgium. Since 1961 Trökes was a member of the Akademie der Künste , Berlin. From 1962 to 1965, alternating between Ibiza and Stuttgart . Teaching at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. In 1964 Trökes made extensive travels through Latin America : Curaçao , Caracas , Peru , Bolivia , Ecuador , Columbia , Panama , Guatemala , Mexico and New York. The illustrated book "Eldorado" was then created. Karl Ströher Prize of the 1st International of Drawing, Darmstadt. Solo exhibition at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas.

In 1965 Trökes was offered a professorship at the University of Fine Arts, today Berlin University of the Arts . Since then he has lived in Berlin again, but still on Ibiza. Church window in Leonberg near Stuttgart. Extensive travels through northern and southern Spain, to Madrid and Morocco. In 1966 Trökes experimented with Georg Muche on a Helio-Klischograph in Kassel to produce electrically controlled prints. The silent pictures were replaced by brightly colored ones. In 1967 extensive trips to Argentina , Brazil and Senegal . Solo exhibition in the Lehmbruck Museum , Duisburg . 1968 LSD painting attempts with Dr. Hartmann, Munich. Honorary member of the Accademia Internazionale " Tommaso Campanella " die Lettere-Arti-Scienze, Rome.

From 1968 to 1970 there were 64-color illuminations for the eight-volume complete edition of “Crébillon”. In 1969 he traveled to Cuba and Denmark , in 1970 to Ethiopia , Ankara and Anatolia . 1971 Replacement of multi-colored and often large-format pictures by two-color, smaller formats. Trökes made his second trip to Ethiopia and South America to Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Honduras , Guatemala, Mexico. In 1972 he gave a seminar for free painting at the International Summer Academy for Fine Arts in Salzburg . Travels to Tunisia , Algeria , Central Sahara From 1973 onwards, black and white collages and small china prints and several sketchbooks were created.

From 1974 to 1975 experiments with gold followed. Four-month trip to Asia: Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. 1976–1977 China inks, color etchings and mainly watercolors. Four months on a world tour: Israel, Thailand, Bali, Australia, South Pacific, Chile and Argentina. Lectures in the Tel Aviv Museum and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on "Art in Germany under Hitler and afterwards". Travel to South Yemen and to the mud skyscrapers in Wadi Hadramaut . In 1978 three tapestry designs were produced, executed by the Franconian tapestry manufactory. New oil paintings were created in Ibiza, and further sketchbooks in Berlin. End of teaching at the Berlin University of the Arts. Egypt trip.

From 1981 onwards numerous square pictures with wiped and glazed backgrounds were created. From around 1990 Trökes painted cheerful 50 × 50 cm pictures in the format that once again bundled his entire drawing and painterly experience and expressed great formal freedom. On August 15, 1993, Heinz Trökes was awarded the Mercator plaque by Mayor Josef Krings of the city of Duisburg on the occasion of his eightieth birthday . On April 1, 1997, Renée died and only a few days later, on April 22, Heinz Trökes died in Berlin. They were buried together in the forest cemetery in Zehlendorf .


Glass mosaic for the Hamburg Katharinenschule (1957)
  • Die Mondkanone (Berlin, Berlinische Galerie - State Museum for Modern Art, Photography and Architecture), 1946; Oil on canvas
  • Landscape afterwards , 1946; Oil on canvas, Chicago Museum
  • The Blind City , 1949; Oil on canvas
  • Spherical Contrasts , 1948; Oil on canvas, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • On Mars , 1948; Oil on canvas, Neues Museum , Weimar
  • In the Air and in the Water , 1950; Oil on canvas, The Busch-Reisinger Museum / Harvard Art Museums , Cambridge, USA
  • Between clouds and crystals 1951; Oil on canvas. Albright-Knox Art Gallery , Buffalo, USA
  • Echo , 1954; Oil on canvas, Lehmbruck Museum , Duisburg
  • For artists , 1954; Oil on canvas, Sprengel Museum Hannover
  • Ideal for geologists , 1956; Oil on canvas, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • Glass mosaic in the Katharinenschule, Hamburg-Hafencity. Production: Puhl & Wagner . Originally for the XI. Triennale, Milan. Purchased by the Hamburg Senate in 1958/59 and restored and implemented by the Munich court manufactory in 2009/10. Previous location: Elementary school at the Katharinenkirche.
  • Letters of a script ; Etching on laid paper, 1960. Museum of Modern Art , New York, USA
  • Gold Veins , 1961; Oil on canvas, Wallraff Richartz Museum, Cologne (Museum Ludwig)
  • Days night book ; 1963; Verlag der Spiegel, Cologne, lim. Edition
  • Augenreise , 1968; Rembrandt Verlag, Berlin - Library of Congress , Washington

Exhibitions (selection)

  • 1949 Solo exhibition in the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld. Participation in the exhibition “Art in Germany 1930–1949”, Zurich
  • 1952 Solo exhibition at the Jeanne Boucher Gallery, Paris
  • 1953 Solo exhibitions in the Museum von der Heydt, Wuppertal, and in the Städtisches Museum, Braunschweig, participation in the 2nd Biennale of São Paulo
  • 1954 Exhibition participation: "duitse kunst na 1945", Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum
  • 1955 Solo exhibitions in the Municipal Art Museum, Duisburg, and in the Buchholz Gallery, Madrid.
  • 1955 Participation in documenta I , Kassel
  • 1956 Solo exhibitions in the Haus am Waldsee , Berlin, and in the Kunstverein Hamburg
  • 1959 participation in the documenta II , Kassel
  • 1964 Participation in documenta III , Kassel
  • 1965 Solo exhibitions in the art associations of Pforzheim, Mannheim and Oldenburg
  • 1966 Solo exhibition at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro
  • 1979 Solo exhibitions at the Akademie der Künste , Berlin, and at the Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museum, Duisburg
  • 1981 Solo exhibition at the Herford Art Association
  • 1983 Solo exhibition at the Nationalgalerie Berlin (sketchbooks that Trökes gave to the Nationalgalerie on the occasion of his 70th birthday)
  • 1985 Participation in an exhibition in the Berlin National Gallery: Art in the Federal Republic of Germany 1945–1985
  • 1988 solo exhibition on the occasion of his 75th birthday in the gallery Pels-Leusden / Villa Grisebach, Berlin. Early and late pictures. Catalog with 18 color illustrations.
  • 1991 Solo exhibition in the Fritz Winter House, Ahlen
  • 1995 Solo exhibition in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (donation of the sketchbooks 1984–1994)
  • 1997 Solo exhibition in the Galerie Pels-Leusden, Berlin (memorial exhibition shortly after his death)
  • 2003 Solo exhibition and presentation of the catalog raisonné - ed. Dr. Markus Krause - Jörg Maaß Gallery; Leporello with 10 color illustrations. The catalog raisonné of the paintings was published by Prestel Verlag on the occasion of the commemorative exhibition for the 90th birthday in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg in 2003.
  • 2003 Works and Documents - Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg. A catalog with 122 pages and numerous color and b / w illustrations was published for the exhibition.
  • 2003 Works and Documents - Large Work Show, Above the Real, Works and Documents from Fifty Years; Weimar New Museum
  • 2003–2004 paintings, drawings, prints and documents from fifty years; House at the Waldsee , Berlin
  • 2005 Participation: 50 Jahre / Years documenta 1955–2005; Kassel, Kunsthalle Fridericianum
  • 2008 Heinz Trökes - oil paintings and watercolors 1950–1993; Ahlen, Fritz Winter House
  • 2008 Heinz Trökes - oil paintings and watercolors 1950–1993; Giessen, Upper Hessian Museum, Old Castle
  • 2009 Participation: Art of Two Germanys / Cold War Cultures; Los Angeles County Museum of Arts - LACAMA; Art and the cold war; German positions 1945–1989, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. Then: German Historical Museum , Berlin
  • 2010 Participation: The year 1950 - hotspots of German post-war art. Schleswig State Museum, Gottorf Castle
  • 2013 Heinz Trökes - the early years. House on the Horn , Weimar
  • 2013 Possibilities on Blue - Watercolors 1950–1992, Lindenau Museum , Altenburg
  • 2013 ELDORADO. For the 100th birthday of Heinz Trökes, Lehmbruck Museum , Duisburg
  • 2017 Heinz Trökes, Surrealism in Berlin 1945-1950, Derda Gallery, Berlin
  • 2018 Participation: INVENTUR - ART IN GERMANY 1943-1955, Harvard Art Museums , Cambridge, MA, USA

Works in public collections etc. a. in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Kassel, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Hanover, Gelsenkirchen, Bremen, Duisburg, Witten, Bochum, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Darmstadt, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Buffalo, Brooklyn , Copenhagen, and Buenos Aires.


The written estate including the diaries was donated to the German Art Archive in the Germanic National Museum . The sketchbooks were bequeathed to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin , the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett.

Literature (selection)

Catalog raisonné

  • Markus Krause: Heinz Trökes. Catalog raisonné . Prestel Verlag, Munich / Berlin / London / New York 2003, ISBN 3-7913-2869-7 .

Web links

Commons : Heinz Trökes  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. kuenstlerbund.de: Exhibitions since 1951 ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed on May 16, 2016)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kuenstlerbund.de
  2. rp-online.de: Struggle for appropriate appreciation (accessed on May 16, 2016)