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Bernard Schultze

Bernard Schultze

*  1915 Schneidemühl/Westpreussen
† 2005 Köln

Bernard Schultze was born in Schneidemühl in Western Prussia (today Pila in Poland) on May 31, 1915. After finishing school he studies at the Berlin School for Art Education from 1934 to 1939 and at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. From 1939 to 1945 Schultze serves in the military. His entire early work is burnt in an air raid in Berlin in 1944.
As of 1947 he lives in Frankfurt where he makes his first informal paintings as of 1951. Bernard Schultze develops a very personal style of gestural-abstract painting. He participates in the Quadriga exhibition in the Zimmergalerie in Frankfurt in 1952. In 1955 he shows works in the exhibition of the group "ZEN 49" as well as in "Peintures et sculptures non-figuratives en Allemagne d'aujourd'hui" of the Cercle Volney in Paris. Two years later some of his works are shown in the exhibition "Lebendige Farbe - Couleur vivante" (Living Colors) in Wiesbaden and the exhibition "Eine neue Richtung der Malerei" (A New Direction of Painting) of the Kunsthalle Mannheim.
Schultze marries the painter Ursula Bluhm in 1955. First relief pictures are made around this time, which consist of various materials mounted on canvas. As of 1957 he creates the so-called "tabuskris" (tabulae scriptae), which range somewhere between paintings and drawings, followed by the so-called "Migofs" in 1961. Schultze uses purely imaginary descriptions for his sculptural works that depict artificial beings and nature creatures.
As of 1951 the artist regularly spends some time in Paris. He goes on his first but not last journey to New York in 1964. He changes his place of residence from Frankfurt to Cologne in 1968 and becomes member of the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts in 1972. He turns his attention to panel painting again in the 1970s, integrating the "Migofs" of which he had only made sculptures before. The artist makes more and more works in large formats as of 1974.
Bernard Schultze manages to create an impressive late work, on which he continues to work intensively until shortly before his death. He counts among the great German abstract artists of the second half of the 20th century. Bernard Schultze dies in Cologne on April 14, 2005.