Reiner Ruthenbeck

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Reiner Ruthenbeck (born June 30, 1937 in Velbert ; † December 10, 2016 in Ratingen ) was a German sculptor and conceptual artist .

life and work

After an apprenticeship as a photographer, Ruthenbeck worked as a freelance photographer in Düsseldorf from 1956 until the late 1960s . His documentary and theater photos, portraits and work recordings of works by his artist colleagues were made from the end of the 1950s to the Venice Biennale in 1976 and conceptual photography between the mid-1960s and the end of the 1970s. Among other things, he documented famous avant-garde campaigns such as the Fluxus Concerts at the Düsseldorf Art Academy , a series of actions by Joseph Beuys and the ZERO group, and accompanied the Leben mit Pop campaign - a demonstration for capitalist realism in the Berges furniture store , Flinger Straße 11 , with Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg . From 1962 to 1968 he completed a sculpture degree with Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. During his last year of study, his sculptures and art objects were exhibited in the Konrad Fischer Gallery , an important avant-garde gallery in Düsseldorf. In 1975 and 1976 he was a visiting lecturer at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts . From 1980 to 2000 he taught as a professor of sculpture at the Art Academy in Münster . Ruthenbeck lived and worked in Ratingen near Düsseldorf.

His works are very individual and difficult to classify, the early works are sculptural and partly show his interest in Surrealism at the time , later become more abstract and incorporate elements of minimal art , material art , concept art and Arte Povera . He used metal, ash, cloth, glass, wood, paper, light, sounds, photographs, there is a famous video object (actually an anti-video object) and drawings.

Honors and awards (selection)

Exhibitions (selection)

Solo exhibitions
Group exhibitions


  • Brigitte Wontorra (arrangement): Reiner Ruthenbeck. Photography 1956–1976. Edition Cantz, Ostfildern near Stuttgart 1991
Catalog raisonnés
  • Dieter Blume: Catalog raisonné . In: Catalog Kunstverein Braunschweig, 1983
  • Magdalena Holzhey: Catalog raisonné of installations, objects and conceptual work , In: Catalog Wilhelm Lehmbruck-Museum Duisburg, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf 2008. ISBN 978-3-86560-502-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary notice of Reiner Ruthenbeck , FAZ , December 24, 2016
  2. ^ "Mourning for the Master of Reduction" , Rheinische Post , December 23, 2016
  3. Jiri Svestka: Preface . In: Brigitte Wontorra (arrangement): Reiner Ruthenbeck. Photography 1956–1976. Edition Cantz, Ostfildern near Stuttgart 1991