Paul Wunderlich

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Paul Wunderlich (2007)

Paul Wunderlich (born March 10, 1927 in Eberswalde ; † June 6, 2010 in Saint-Pierre-de-Vassols , Canton Mormoiron , Provence ) was a German painter , draftsman , sculptor and graphic artist . In his neo-surrealistic pictures and sculptures he created mostly erotic and mythological themes.

life and work

Wunderlich was born as the second child of the married couple Horst and Gertrude Wunderlich (née Arendt). After a time as a flak helper and prisoner of war, he moved to his mother's home in Eutin , where he graduated from the Johann-Heinrich-Voss-Gymnasium and then attended the art school in the orangery of the Eutin castle . In 1947 he became a student at the art college in Hamburg, where he enrolled in the free graphics class with Willi Tietze . His classmates included Horst Janssen and Reinhard Drenkhahn . After a break, he resumed his studies in 1950, which he completed in 1951 with Willem Grimm . He then worked as a lecturer at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts for the techniques of lithography and etching . Also in 1951 he printed the graphic suite “Ann Eliza Reed” with eleven lithographs for Emil Nolde (“The King and His Men”, etching) and in 1952 for Oskar Kokoschka . With the earnings, he spent three months in Ibiza. In 1955 he received a scholarship from the Kulturkreis der Deutschen Industrie .

Vogel in the willow dam Eberswalde

After an early, essentially realistic creative phase, he developed his characteristic style from around 1959. His early works show dismembered, disproportionate bodies against an empty background. In the sixties, above all, Wunderlich repeatedly incorporated impulses from various art movements, particularly elements from Art Deco and Art Nouveau , into his work and processed them according to his style.

In 1960 the series of lithographs “qui s'explique” was confiscated by the Hamburg public prosecutor's office because of immoral depictions. It was returned in 1985 without any comment from the public prosecutor. In 1961 Wunderlich received the youth art prize for graphics , and with the prize money he moved his sphere of activity to Paris . In 1962 he worked in the Desjobert workshop in Paris, and for the first time was able to make a living from selling his lithographs.

In 1963 he returned to Hamburg and was (until 1968) - as successor to Georg Gresko - professor at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts and began in 1969 under the influence of Salvador Dalí to create sculptures and sculptures made of bronze .

In 1970 the artist dealt in detail with Dürer's work, and a series was created in which he alienated Dürer's motifs in a surrealistic way. Most of his work includes lithographs; From 1968 on, Wunderlich also created sculptures as three-dimensional images of his painted and drawn objects and figures.

The district house of the Barnim district on the Eberswalder market square is called Paul-Wunderlich-Haus and shows a permanent exhibition of works by Paul Wunderlich. At the opening ceremony on July 1, 2007, in addition to the Duo Pond , Tangerine Dream also gave a concert dedicated to Paul Wunderlich.

Paul Wunderlich was married to the photographer Karin Székessy since 1971 and has realized several art projects with her. Fritz J. Raddatz , who is a close friend of Wunderlich, has documented and commented on this collaboration in the book Correspondenzen . Wunderlich lived and worked in Hamburg and Saint-Pierre-de-Vassols (Provence), where he died in 2010 after a short, serious illness.


  • SR: Can human beings, can society live without art? PW: Yes, but it's hardly worth it. (Paul Wunderlich in conversation with Stephan Richter)


In Schleswig-Holstein state museums:

  • Portrait Jim Hughes , 1959 (Wkvz. 19), oil on hardboard, 62 × 100 cm
  • Hanged (on July 20, '44) , 1959/60 (Wkvz. 42), oil on hardboard, 120 × 90 cm
  • July 20, 1944 , 1959 (Wkvz. 80-87), 8 lithographs, each 61 × 43 cm, edition of 10
  • qui s'explique , 1959 (Wkvz 95-106), 12 lithographs, each 61 × 43 cm, edition of 5
  • Fructidor , 1989 (catalog number 776), color lithograph, 100 × 137 cm, edition of 50

In Eberswalde:

  • Dancing Woman II , 1998 (Wkvz. 336), sculpture in bronze, height 230 cm, edition of 6
  • Seated Man II , 1998 (Wkvz. 337), bronze sculpture, height 195 cm, edition of 6
  • Vogel (Park im Weidendamm), 1998, bronze sculpture, height 2 m, length 4 m

Honors (selection)

Important exhibitions


  • Paul Wunderlich and Karin Szèkessy: Paul Wunderlich . Edited by Oktave Nehru, Verlag Rembrandt, 1980, ISBN 3-7925-0269-0
  • Paul Wunderlich and Karin Szèkessy: Correspondences . Edited by Fritz J. Raddatz, Verlag Belser, 1982, ISBN 978-3763016617
  • Paul Wunderlich: Catalog raisonné of prints 1948–1982 . Carsten Riediger, Verlag Huber, 1998, ISBN 978-3921785355
  • Paul Wunderlich: A work monograph by Jens Chr. Jensen, Max Bense, Philippe Roberts-Jones . Verlag Huber, 1998, ISBN 978-3921785140
  • Heinz L. Arnold, Paul Wunderlich, Karin Szèkessy: Allerleilust. Hundreds of erotic poems . Verlag CH Beck, 2000, ISBN 978-3406315084
  • Paul Wunderlich: Catalog raisonné of paintings, gouaches and drawings 1957–1978 . Jens Chr. Jensen, Verlag Huber, 2001, ISBN 978-3921785133
  • Horst Janssen : Paul, a laudation . Verlag St. Gertrude, Hamburg, 1987, ISBN 3-923848-16-1

Web links

Commons : Paul Wunderlich  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Paul Wunderlich: A work monograph by Jens Chr. Jensen, Max Bense, Philippe Roberts-Jones 1998, p. 248 ff
  2. ^ Paul Wunderlich, Poesie und Präzision, Braus-Verlag, 2006, p. 24
  3. Ars Viva