Eugen Schönebeck
Eugen Schönebeck

Portrait Liz Kertelge
1966
Graphite on paper
86 × 61 cm
Centre Pompidou, Paris

Eugen Schönebeck

Baum
1958
Ink on paper
13.6 × 21.2 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Brief IV
1958
Ink on paper
14.8 × 21 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1960
Ink and graphite on paper
21 × 29.5 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1961
Ink on paper
39.5 × 29.6 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Gehängter
1962
Ink on paper
29.5 × 21 cm


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Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1962
Ink on paper
29.5 × 21 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1962
Ink on paper
29.6 × 21 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1963
Ink on paper
31 × 23.8 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled (Ich bin nicht für Adepten – Breton)
1963
Ink on paper
29.7 × 42 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Die Familie
1963
Pen, graphite and yellow wax crayon on paper
60.8 × 43 cm
Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Berlin

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1963
Ink wash and pencil on paper
61 × 43 cm
Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Berlin

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1963
Brush, pen and ink on paper
42 × 29.6 cm
Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Berlin

Eugen Schönebeck

Toter Mann
1962
Oil on canvas
140 × 120 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Samta
1963
Oil on canvas
160 × 130 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Untitled
1962
Ink and watercolor on paper
29.4 × 21.2 cm

Eugen Schönebeck

Lenin
1965
Gouache over preliminary pencil on paper
45.4 × 39 cm

Eugen Schönebeck
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Eugen Schönebeck
Eugen Schönebeck
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About

Eugen Schönebeck occupies a crucial position in the trajectory of post-1945 art. He not only pioneered a unique manner of integrating historical content into his work but almost singularly reinvigorated the genre of portraiture in Germany. Schönebeck, who was born on the outskirts of Dresden, began to draw at about thirteen years of age. In 1954 he received a scholarship to continue his training as a decorative wall painter at the Fachschule für angewandte Kunst in Oberschöneweide in Berlin’s East sector. Convinced that he couldn’t develop his artistry further in East Germany, he successfully applied for admission to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in West Berlin, where he began to take classes in October 1955. Two years later, his first mature drawings emerged. These Tachist-style works and those that followed during the next four years, retained figurative elements absent from the abstract paintings he was also making at the time. It was not until late in 1961, the year he graduated the Hochschule that Schönebeck decided in favor of a more figurative mode of working. At times strangely humorous, the subsequent drawings that flowed from his hand also abounded with a good dose of the grotesque. Later Schönebeck stated his primary aim had been “to try … to let a certain tenor rise to the surface … a consciousness of crisis, pervasive sadness, gruesomeness, and even perverseness – that I found missing in the work of my colleagues.”

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In 1964 Schönebeck broke through to a new monumental style of painting. That year he began to transform mass media photographs of politicians, poets, and artists who sympathized with variants of socialism into quasi-religious emblems. These likenesses and the few large scale drawings that followed them attest to Schönebeck’s struggle to find a middle way between art made for the capitalist market and work harnessed to political ends. Disinclined to turn his back on either of these aesthetic traditions and unwilling to compromise the moralistic edge of his art, Schönebeck decided in 1967 to stop painting. Nevertheless, since the early 1980s curators, aware of the significance of his work, have included his work in almost every important survey exhibition of postwar German art presented internationally. His art was ahead of its time, and its meaning continues to endure, especially for a younger generation of artists.


Exhibitions


Catalogues


Chronology


Biography

1936
Born in Heidenau, near Dresden, Germany
1945
Moves to Pirna-Copitz
1951
Begins a three-year apprenticeship as a decorative painter at the Berufsschule für Malerhandwerk in Pirna
1954
Begins studying at the Fachschule für angewandte Kunst in East Berlin
1955
Internship at the Deutsche Werbe- und Anzeigengesellschaft (DEWAG) in Dresden
Applies for admission to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin-Wilmersdorf and relocates to West Berlin
1960
Meets Georg Baselitz
1961
After twelve semesters, passes his master’s exam at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste
First show with Georg Baselitz in Berlin-Wilmersdorf
First Pandemonium (manifesto), published in collaboration with Baselitz
1962
Second Pandemonium (manifesto) published in collaboration with Baselitz
1966
Signs a contract with Michael Werner, who agrees to buy paintings on a regular basis
Loses interest in easel painting and brings his public career as a painter to a close

Lives in Berlin

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019
Eugen Schönebeck: Das Frühwerk, Galerie Judin, Berlin
2012
Paintings and Drawings: 1957-1966, David Nolan Gallery, New York, NY
The Drawings, Nolan Judin, Berlin
2011
Eugen Schönebeck 1957-1967, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
1992
Eugen Schönebeck: Die Nacht des Malers. Bilder und Zeichnungen 1957-1966, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover
Eugen Schönebeck. Fred Thieler Preis für Malerei 1992, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
1987
Eugen Schönebeck. Zeichnungen und Bilder 1960-1963, Galerie Jule Kewenig, Frechen-Baden
1986
Galerie Silvia Menzel, Berlin
1973
Eugen Schönebeck. Bilder-Skizzen-Zeichnungen 1962-1973, Galerie Abis, Berlin
Internationaler Informations- und Kunstmarkt, Düsseldorf
1964
Eugen Schönebeck, Galerie Benjamin Katz, Berlin
1962
Galerie in den Hilton-Kolonnaden, Berlin
1961
First Pandemonium (manifesto), in collaboration with Georg Baselitz, Schaperstraße 22, Berlin

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018
Acquisitions récentes du Cabinet d’Art Graphique, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Flashes of the Future: Die Kunst der 68er oder Die Macht der Ohnmächtigen, Ludwig Forum, Aachen
2010
A moving plan B – Chapter One: Selected by Thomas Scheibitz, The Drawing Room, London
2009
Art of Two Germanys / Cold War Cultures, County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg; Deutsch Historisches Museum, Berlin
2008
Series Drawings, Michael Werner Gallery, New York, NY
2006
FASTER! BIGGER! BETTER!, ZKM– Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe
2005
Künstlerische Positionen nach 45, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden
2003
Berlin-Moskau, Moskau-Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
2001
Man in the Middle – Sammlung Deutsche Bank, MMK Frankfurt, Frankfurt
1997
Deutschlandbilder, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
1996
Face à l’Histoire (1933-1996), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
1994
Der Riss im Raum, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Körperbilder-Menschenbilder, Hygiene-Museum, Dresden
1990
Ambiente Berlin, XLIV Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1989
Bilderstreit. Widerspruch, Einheit und Fragment in der Kunst seit 1960, Museum Ludwig in den Rheinhallen der Kölner Messe, Cologne
Refigured Painting – The German Image 1960–1988, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo OH; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown MA; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
1988
Die Farbe Blau, Galerie Silvia Menzel, Berlin
1987
Momentaufnahmen, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin
Säulen, Galerie Silvia Menzel, Berlin
3 Generationen, Galerie Silvia Menzel, Berlin
Berlin Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Der unverbrauchte Blick, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
1985
Kunst in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Nationalgalerie, Berlin
German Art in 20th Century, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft, Berlin
1984
Aufbrüche, Manifeste, Manifestationen, Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf
1981
Schilderkunst in Duitsland 1981 / Peintre en Allemagne, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
1980
Zeichen des Glaubens – Geist der Avantgarde, Orangerie, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
Der gekrümmte Horizont – Kunst in Berlin 1945–1967, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
1978
Akademie der Künste, Berlin
1977
documenta 6, Kassel
1975
8 from Berlin, Fruit Market Gallery Edinburgh; Berlin; Cologne
Goethe-Institut, Rio de Janeiro
1974
Produzentengalerie Hacker, Berlin
Galerie Böttcherstraße, Bremen
Galerie Abis, Berlin
Erste Biennale Berlin, Berlin
1973
Das neue Portrait I u. II, Galerie Abis, Berlin
14 mal 14, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden
1972
Zeichnungen 2, Städtisches Museum Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen
1969
Kunsthalle Bern
Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf
Sammlung Ströher, Nationalgalerie, Berlin
1967
Galerie Hansen, Denmark
Junge Berliner Maler, Goethe-Institut, Athens
Galerie Motte, Geneva, Milan, Paris
1966
Die Berliner Freunde, Galerie Stummer & Hubschmid, Zurich
Metamorphose eines Gesichts: Das Porträt in der Kunst der Gegenwart, Haus der Kunst, Munich
Große Berliner Kunstausstellung, Berlin

Monographs and Catalogues

2020
Juerg Judin, Pay Matthis Karstens, eds. Eugen Schönebeck: The Catalogue Raisonné of the Drawings – Volume 1: 1950 to 1960. Text by Pay Matthis Karstens. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König
2012
Juerg Judin, David Nolan, Eugen Schönebeck: The Drawings, Nolan Judin
2011
Pamela Kort, Eugen Schönebeck 1957-1967, Hirmer Verlag
2005
Isabel Greschat, Klaus Gallwitz, Matthias Winzen, Uwe M. Schneede: Georg Baselitz/Eugen Schönebeck. Eine Künstlerfreundschaft, Kehrer Verlag
1998
Gregor Jansen, Eugen Schönebeck – Eine deutsche Legende, Phil.Diss. RWTH Aachen
1992
Jörn Merkert, Eugen Schönebeck – Fred Thieler Preis für Malerei 1992, Berlinische Galerie
Carl Haenlein, Eugen Schönebeck: die Nacht des Malers. Bilder und Zeichnungen 1957 – 1966, Kestner Gesellschaft
1986
Zeichnungen: 1960-1963, Galerie Menzel
1974
Eugen Schönebeck. Bilder – Skizzen – Zeichnungen 1962 – 1973, Galerie Abis