* 1929 Düsseldorf
† 1970 Ratingen
Peter Brüning grew up in an art-oriented family and began his artistic career at an early age. Since 1950 he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart and orientated himself to his teacher Willi Baumeister and his role-models Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso. The dealing wit Expressionism as well as Cubism led to the discovery of his own style in his varied early work., in which the drawing played a decisive role. A two-year stay at Soisy-sur-Seine near Paris allowed Brüning long trips through France and a direct contact to the art metropolis. In 1953 he founded the Künstlergruppe 'Niederrhein' together with Gerhard Hoehme and Winfred Gaul. Later, Bernard Schultze and Karl Otto Götz also joined this group. One year later the group changed its name to 'Gruppe 53'. Being strongly impressed by French informel painting, Brüning soon became one of the most successful representatives of German Informel in the 1950s. Whereas his painting was dominated by dark colours and a close painting style at the beginning, it lightened under the influence of his friend Cy Twombly and became more gestic, freehanded and dynamic. In 1964 Brüning developed a new type of landscape painting, the so-called 'Verkehrslandschaft'. Cartographic signs like contour lines, traffic junctions and pictograms were playfully combined in colour-intensive compositions by Brüning and showed the wish for a harmonious integration of nature and technique. Since 1966 plastic objects and spatial arrangements were executed, et al. the most well-known motorway-memorial in Ehrenberg from 1968. Brüning's special vocabulary of forms did not only dominate his painting and sculptures, but also his numerous drawings and his late work of printed graphics. In 1969 - one year before his death - Brüning was appointed professor for free painting at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Brüning is counted among the most successful artists of the art scene, who was able to gain approval during his lifetime by numerous honours and exhibitions both at home and abroad, et al. the participation in the documenta in Kassel in 1959, 1964 and 1968.