Konrad Schaefer attended elementary school and grammar school in Euskirchen from 1921 to 1933. From 1933 to 1937 he studied at the Cologne factory schools , especially with Heinrich Husmann G. Meyer, Schröder and Seuffert.
He was a soldier from 1937 to 1942, was seriously wounded in 1941 and then released in 1942. In 1943 he took an apartment and studio in Cologne and also studied with Emil Flecken at the Cologne factory schools. In 1944 he returned to Euskirchen after being bombed out in Cologne.
In 1946 he married Kordula Lüssem, finally set up an apartment and studio in Euskirchen and made a living primarily as a heraldist and commercial artist.
In 1948 he worked as a set designer at the West German Grenzlandtheater and in 1949 as a graphic artist in the advertising studio in Unkel.
From 1954 he received commissions for monumental works (window and wall designs in public buildings), which made him known as an artist throughout the Rhineland. From 1954 to 1980 he taught art lessons for a few hours per week at the grammar school (Marienschule) in Euskirchen.
In 1957 he was a co-founder of the European Association of Visual Artists from the Eifel and Ardennes e. V. (EVBK) in Prüm. From 1962 to 1963 he had a teaching position at the Rheinbach Glass School , and from 1963 to 1968 at the Koblenz University of Education (seminar for art education).
In 1966 he moved into his newly built studio house in Münstereifel with his wife Kordula and daughter Marigret. He died on August 27, 1991 in Bad Münstereifel.
- From 1934 Eifel
- 1943 Rügen, Berlin
- 1946 Lake Constance
- 1961, 1964 Sweden
- 1962, 1967 Provence / South of France
- 1968, 1969, 1972, 1973 Switzerland, Italy
- From 1972 Brittany
- 1981–1987 a few weeks a year in the south of France
- 1947 winner of the great heraldic competition of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Winner of the coat of arms competition of the city of Oberhausen
- 1948 laureate in the Hamburg industrial competition (designs for company logos)
- 1963 Art and Culture Prize of the "Groupement l'Eifel et les Ardennes" (in Charleville / France)
- 1969 Kaiser Lothar Prize from the European Association of Visual Artists from the Eifel and Ardennes (EVBK) in Prüm
- 1978 Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 1979 Altmeier Medal from the EVBK Prüm
- 1985 Award of the coat of arms of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate
- 1986 Rhineland thaler from the Rhineland Regional Council
- Officer in the Order of the Oak Crown of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Konrad Schaefer received his knowledge and skills through solid training at the then well-known Cologne factory schools , in commercial graphics from Heinrich Husmann, in painting from Seuffert, in drawing from G. Meyer, in monumental design from Schröder. Although his artistic skills were trained academically, he developed completely independently in terms of style. Faithful, graphic and painterly comprehension of the subject was always a prerequisite for Konrad Schaefer's artistic statement.
In the years following his studies - from 1945 onwards - he meticulously laid out his commercial graphics; his free works - ink washings and drawings, oil and tempera pictures - from this period are mostly laid out realistically in the “old master” manner.
At the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties, the many window and wall designs as well as the painting trips led him to expressive painting style in his free work.
The monumental works often prompted Konrad Schaefer to experiment with materials and technology, which was continued in his plastic pictures of the 1960s. These works are almost reminiscent of the results of the Bauhaus design theory . At the end of the 1960s, experimentation developed in a different way with his monotypes, in which he thematized visions and socially critical issues.
The often soft nuances, but also the graphic accentuations of the monotype, return later in many of his oil paintings, especially in the visions, in which he asks about the origin, existence and position of people. The person, whom Schaefer had previously specifically excluded from his landscapes, has become the focus of his statement. Despite his socially critical engagement, these visions maintain his optimistic attitude, which is present as salvation or redemption in the symbol of light.
The subject in which all of his artistic development can be reflected and read is the Eifel landscape that pervades his entire work. Konrad Schaefer dealt intensely artistically with the landscape of the Eifel in the picture and was therefore the most important landscape painter of the Eifel in the second half of the 20th century alongside Curtius Schulten, Hanns Altmeier and Rolf Dettmann. As a result, one likes to simply count him among the Eifel painters, but one would not do justice to his versatile work if only one-sided stamped him as Eifel painter. Some of his landscapes are constantly on view in the exhibition "Bad Münstereifel - a special place for painters and poets" in the Bad Münstereifel pharmacy museum.
If Konrad Schaefer's artistic development took place consistently and continuously, he never gave up what he had achieved, but carried it on alongside what he had gained. As a result, he worked simultaneously naturalistic, realistic, impressive, expressive and surreal. Despite his pluralistic style, his artistic signature is distinctive; it is only when they are viewed together that the individual style of Konrad Schaefer is revealed.
The artist and his work
After completing his studies, Konrad Schaefer was unable to develop as a freelance artist immediately because he had to do military service. After being wounded and bombed, he returned to his hometown Euskirchen without any evidence of his artistic activity , but he still had confidence in his own strength, his enormous diligence, his persistence in creativity and his own optimism. He began as a commercial and commercial graphic artist, also to a lesser extent as a portraitist. As a calligrapher, he designed documents and book covers for municipalities, associations and private individuals. His sure line and his meticulous approach quickly earned him a good reputation, so that after 1945 he was a sought-after graphic artist and heraldist far beyond the borders of his hometown. In the years that followed, he designed advertisements, brochures, packaging, posters and a wide variety of company advertising throughout the Rhineland.
His works are characterized by a clear structure of lines and surfaces that, compressed, aim to make a precise statement. Reduction to simple forms, the sovereign use of graphic means and safe, sensitive lines that run out in hard accents reveal the artist's signature.
Konrad Schaefer showed himself to be versatile and open to new materials and techniques not only with the window designs using sandblasting, glass grinding and adhesive techniques, but also with the wall designs that he created as Secco painting, mosaic, stone relief or synthetic resin filler.
In addition to these bound works, only a few free works were created until the mid-1950s: landscapes - mostly travel sketches -, still lifes and portraits. Mostly it was pencil or chalk drawings, pastels or small oil paintings, which in the light-dark treatment and in the tone modulation are reminiscent of the technique of Rembrandt or Leibl. Since the late 1950s, Konrad Schaefer was also particularly in demand as a portraitist. Mostly he created portraits of young women with pastel chalk in an impressive painting style.
At the end of the 1950s, he developed his secure line even more strikingly, which later became more pronounced through the use of the felt pen. His “fixed” line dissolved more and more in the monotypes around 1970, becoming looser, freer and on the other hand more subtle. Many travel sketches have accelerated this development, and the implementation of some sketches in printmaking techniques is important here. It is typical of Schaefer's prints that he chose monochrome on the one hand and direct methods on the other.
Konrad Schaefer remained a draftsman as a painter. His pictures, whether in oil, tempera or watercolor, clearly bear the traces of the draftsman in the 1950s and 1960s, which are visible in the brushstroke. Even if he sometimes blurred the impasto brushstrokes, the structure remained graphic, since he tried to grasp his subject more in the linear than in the painterly.
Intense colors determine his palette. If one can describe his painting style of the 1950s and 1960s as expressive, one notices that in the 1970s he turned to more impressive colors, probably through the influence of Hanns Altmeier , with whom Konrad Schaefer went on several painting trips to southern France and often drew and painted the landscape of the Eifel. It is noticeable that the impasto application of paint was increasingly replaced by the glaze application in the 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, the color contrasts weakened, a tendency towards tone painting is clearly visible. This development was probably also an effect of his experiences with monotype or acrylic painting, because both techniques strongly determined his work during this time.
Altogether Konrad Schaefer has created a versatile work: coats of arms, advertising material, illustrations, wall and window designs, portraits, landscapes, socially critical motifs, free compositions.
- Catalogs of the European Association of Visual Artists from the Eifel and Ardennes (EVBK) Prüm, from 1957.
- Catalogs of the Association of Fine Artists on the Middle Rhine (AKM) Koblenz, from 1957.
- Conrad-Peter Joist: Konrad Schaefer - painter and graphic artist . In: Landscape painter of the Eifel in the 20th century, ed. by C.-P. Joist. Düren 1997.
- Conrad-Peter Joist: The painter friends Hanns Altmeier and Konrad Schaefer . In: Landscape painter of the Eifel in the 20th century, ed. by C.-P. Joist. Düren 1997.
- Conrad-Peter Joist: Euskirchen and his artist, In the footsteps of the painter and graphic artist Konrad Schaefer . In: Yearbook of the District of Euskirchen 2007, Euskirchen 2006, pp. 94–99.
- Biography and works - eifel-und-kunst.de
- Johannes Bühl: No more space for Schaefer - Kölner Stadtanzeiger July 28, 2006
- Hans-Dieter Arntz : The Friends of the Eifel Painter honors the life's work of the painter and graphic artist Konrad Schaefer. Online article from March 2nd, 2011
- History of the EVBK
- Personalities of the city of Bad Münstereifel
- Announcement of awards of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Federal Gazette . Vol. 31, No. 5, January 9, 1979.
- Schwanen-Apotheken-Museum In: bad-muenstereifel.de
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German painter and graphic artist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 3, 1915|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Euskirchen|
|DATE OF DEATH||August 27, 1991|
|Place of death||Bad Münstereifel|