Wolfgang Kliege

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Wolfgang Kliege (2007)

Wolfgang Kliege (born March 13, 1939 in Altena ) is a German sculptor , filmmaker and book author . He lives and works in Jüchen-Wallrath near Düsseldorf .


Wolfgang Kliege spent his childhood and youth in the mastermind of Altena in the Sauerland . From 1956 to 1961 he completed his studies at the Werkkunstschule in Düsseldorf , from which he graduated with a diploma in graphic design. Start of sculptural work in 1961 and first exhibitions from 1964. In 1972 he received the sponsorship award for fine arts from the state capital Düsseldorf. In 1975 he published the “Düsseldorfer Künstler Kartei” as an edition object, which became the basis for the “Neighborhood” exhibition at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf . The first Super 8 film was made in 1976 and premiered in January 1977. Four more documentaries followed by 2005 . From 1979 to 1980 Kliege was a guest lecturer at the Art Academy in Münster , and in 1981 the first overview exhibition of his works took place in the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle.

Work and reception

An essential feature of the early works from the 1960s and 1970s is the use of fabrics for the production of sculptural and pictorial objects as well as accessible rooms. From the "White Boxes" designed in 1965 with the moving form in a fixed frame, Kliege developed the idea of ​​"upholstered objects", in which softness and stability are playfully combined. Sharp edges are rounded off by "objects on the ground". Flowing tissue becomes "floating rooms", precisely reconstructed passages and rooms, the walls not as rigid as those made of solid walls, but rather easily movable, fragile and translucent. In the “characters in gray pictures”, which were shaped by minimalism and which were created between 1974 and 1977, at a time when many artists consider noble materials and beautiful colors to be a deception of reality, Kliege discovers the charm of simple materials have their own story. From old gray transport blankets, he creates this series of more meditative panels with more or less dramatic cuts. Colored and patterned woven blankets, on the other hand, are characteristic of the "social landscapes", which trace social structures in their austerity of color and geometrical rigor. In them, Kliege either comments on the architectural monotony of our cities or the narrowness of petty-bourgeois thinking; occasionally these soft, yielding structures ironically refute the rigidity of classical geometric abstract art. From the mid-1970s, Kliege devoted himself to experimental documentary film. He made five films one after the other, three of them about the life of birds: "kestrel", "mûsâro" and "L-Schneisen" as well as the two cinematic parables "Keihan" and "Palermitan Journey". At the same time, in the course of the 1980s, the “animal houses”, architectural experimental stations as breeding grounds and dwellings for birds and wild animals, were built. They are alternatives to art in public spaces that combine utility and aesthetics . They later become fictional landscapes made of wood and steel, the "digging points", the poetry of which makes it easy to forget the criticism of industrial overexploitation they contain. In most of the works over the next few decades, the minimalist approach gives way to a playful, association-rich approach to everyday objects. The work in series is increasingly being given up in favor of individual pieces that are composed of several parts. In visionary architecture and landscape models, Kliege exercises constructive criticism of consumer culture, the destruction of the environment and the religious and ideological conflicts of the present.

Solo exhibitions

  • 1968 MUMMS, Solingen; Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 1970 Jesse Gallery, Bielefeld; Rathausufer 19, Düsseldorf
  • 1972 Margaretha de Boevé Gallery, Assenede,
  • 1976 gallery december, Düsseldorf; VECU, Antwerp
  • 1981 Art Association for the Rhineland and Westphalia, Düsseldorf
  • 1996 Municipal Gallery Peschkenhaus , Moers
  • 1998 Dispatch hall, Grevenbroich
  • 1999 Municipal Gallery, Kaarst
  • 2000 Co10 gallery, Düsseldorf
  • 2008 Alte Post, Neuss
  • 2009 Krings-Ernst Gallery, Cologne; Konrad Mönter Gallery, Meerbusch-Osterath
  • 2011 Krings-Ernst Gallery, Cologne; Artists' Association Malkasten, Düsseldorf
  • 2013 Krings-Ernst Gallery, Cologne
  • 2019 Krings-Ernst Gallery, Cologne


  • Baggersee Broicher Seite, self-published, Kaarst, 1982
  • Raumzerrer, Salon-Verlag, Cologne (introduction: Jürgen Raap), 2001
  • Mining site, Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld and Leipzig, 2009
  • I'm staying here, Edition Virgines, Düsseldorf, 2014
  • Asymmetrical diary, Edition Virgines, Düsseldorf 2015
  • Catalog, Edition Virgines, Düsseldorf 2016
  • Auf Anfang, Edition Virgines, Düsseldorf 2019


  • kestrel, 1975, Super 8 film, 73 min
  • mûsâro, 1978/79, Super 8 film, 77 min
  • L-aisles, 1980, Super 8 film, 60 min
  • Keihan, 1981, Super 8 film, 60 min
  • Palermitan trip, 2004, Super 8 film, double projection, 63 min


  • 1970 Dienst, R.-G., German art: a new generation, Cologne
  • 1972 Morschel, J., German Art of the 1960s, Munich
  • 1980 Conversation, in: Il nuovo contesto in Europa, Studio Marconi, Milan
  • Brinkmann, H., studio visits. 22 artists in the Neuss district, Neuss
  • 2002 Eating and Drinking II (Ed. Jürgen Raap), Kunstforum, vol. 160
  • 2006 The third skin: Houses I (Ed. Jürgen Raap), Kunstforum, vol. 182
  • 2012 Syring, ML Wolfgang Kliege. Narrative Minimalism, in: Artists.
  • Critical Lexicon of Contemporary Art, Issue 98, Issue 10, Neu-Isenburg
  • Susanna Partsch : Kliege, Wolfgang . In: General Artist Lexicon . The visual artists of all times and peoples (AKL). Volume 80, de Gruyter, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-023185-4 , p. 466.

Web links

Commons : Wolfgang Kliege  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Interview at rp-online.de from September 23, 2013
  2. ^ Art in public space, sculptures in Kaarst
  3. "Digging Sites"