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Ernst Hermanns

Ernst Hermanns

*  1914 Münster
† 2000 München

After studying at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Aachen and the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf the artist made his first abstract work in 1950. Two years before, at the age of 33, Hermanns had already founded the group "Junger Westen" together with Gustav Deppe, Thomas Grochowiak, Emil Schumacher, Heinrich Siepmann and Hans Werdehausen in Recklinghausen. This was the first avant-garde group in post-war Germany whose goal it was to catch-up with international art standards as soon as possible. Hermanns can therefore be considered one of the pioneers of an art style which lies somewhere beyond representation and expressiveness. His oeuvre developed in a straight line towards sculpture defined by a specific space. He joined the Westdeutscher Künstlerbund in 1955 and the Deutscher Künstlerbund two years later. Hermanns was awarded the Kunstpreis der Stadt Darmstadt in 1959, the Konrad-von-Soest-Prize in 1964 and the Wilhelm-Morgner-Prize in 1967. Hermanns moved to Munich in the same year, but accepted a scholarship in 1971 to study at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Hermanns taught as a professor at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf from 1976 to 1980. The Lenbachhaus in Munich showed an important and extensive exhibition of his works made between 1960 and 1983 in 1983/84. In 1984 Hermanns titled his new works "Räumliche Konstellationen" (three-dimensional constellations). Under this motto he produced sculptures intended to make space, time and movement experienceable as something concrete and not an illusionist reality. Hermanns was elected a member of the Akademie der Schönen Künste in Munich in 1986. In the following year he exhibited a large sculpture in the exhibition "Skulptur-Projekte in Münster". He received other important prizes during the 1990s, for example the Piepenbrock-Prize for sculpture in 1990 and the Harry-Graf-Kessler-Prize awarded by the Deutscher Künstlerbund.