October 9th, 2008 by Leo Plaw

Fantastical Art of East Germany

Leipziger Schule (Bildende Kunst) –

“Old” Leipzig School was a term used by art journalists which had became established by some time no later than 1977, and the involvement of Werner Tübke, Wolfgang Mattheuer and Bernhard Heisig with documenta 6. The students of those artists, including Sighard Gille and Arno Rink, can be seen as the second generation of the Leipzig School.

The New Leipzig School, as a third generation, relates to the post-reunification climate of modern Germany and is closely linked with the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig. It usually refers to the students of Gille and Rink, but occasionally those of Rolf Kuhrt or even Heisig or Tübke. Its works tend to be characterised by a combination of figurative and abstract elements. Clear messages, which were characteristic of the “first” Leipzig generation of painters, are no longer present.

The list of painters that are classified in this school is not fixed, but has included Neo Rauch, Christoph Ruckhäberle and Matthias Weischer.

A significant role in the success of the “New Leipzig School” was played by the gallery owner Gerd Harry Lybke, who introduced the works of Rauch in particular to the globally important American art market. Other Leipzig artists were able to achieve international acclaim in the wake of this.

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