Ulrich Erben
biography

Ulrich Erben was born in Düsseldorf (Germany) in 1940 and then moved to Rome at the age of sixteen. Between 1958 and 1963 he studied at Hamburg Academy of Art and later at those of Venice, Monaco and Berlin. Starting from landscapes and still-lives, his works increasingly focused on the link between geometry and nature, with a particular interest in dimensions and spaces.

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biography

Ulrich Erben was born in Düsseldorf (Germany) in 1940 and then moved to Rome at the age of sixteen. Between 1958 and 1963 he studied at Hamburg Academy of Art and later at those of Venice, Monaco and Berlin. Starting from landscapes and still-lives, his works increasingly focused on the link between geometry and nature, with a particular interest in dimensions and spaces.

In 1968 he executed his first picture painted in white. This colour is the symbol of a neutral painting, free from associations and charged with an energy without figurative references. Ulrich Erben can be considered part of this artistic context considering his solo exhibition at Gallery m Bochum in 1971, for which he created works with a usually white background, overlapped with a central, geometric section, painted in a single colour, on which he later insisted with several layers of white. Despite always using predominantly a white colour, Erben later added on this matter, becoming increasingly thick, simple forms of saturated colours, created by the large gesture of the brushstroke. Rigid forms thus tend to dissolve more and more, going hand in hand with the intensification of the use of colour, especially in the late 80s. Colours become mnemonic references, 'memory colours', often put on the canvas according to their influence and mutual attraction. Along with colours, the light and dimensions of Ulrich Erben's paintings are key elements in engaging the viewer: his paintings are big, quite large, but never higher than a man or wider than his open arms. The variable lighting, together with the different tones, cross each other on his canvases, generating perspective illusions and changing shades. Ulrich Erben took part to some of the most important exhibitions dedicated to Analytical Painting, including: 'Perception Times', Casa della Cultura, Livorno, 1973; 'A possible future. New Painting ', Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara; 'Reflection about painting', Palazzo Comunale, Acireale; 'Geplante Malerei', Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster; Galleria del Milione, Milan, 1974-75; 'The colours of painting', Italian-Latin American Institute, Rome, 1976. In 1977 he was invited to Kassel for 'Documenta 6'. Interested as he was about the effects of light beyond the picture, he also worked on mural projects, such as the exhibitions at Museum Folkwang in Essen, Kunstverein in Cologne, Galleria Piltzer in Paris, and Five Ginza in Tokyo.

In the last few decades he held several shows in venues such as Kunsthalle in Mannheim (1984) and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf (1990). In 2003 Wiesbaden Museum dedicated him a monographic show. In 2010 he held an important solo exhibition at Galleria Studio G7 in Bologna, with which he still cooperates. He exhibited at Zappettini Foundation in the group shows 'Painting 70. Painting-painting and analytical abstraction' (Chiavari, 2004) and 'Matt surfaces of analytic painting' (Chiavari, 2009). In 1980 he became professor of Painting at Düsseldorf Academy of Arts and since 1992 he is a member of the Section of Figurative Art of the Akademie der Kunst in Berlin.

He currently lives and works in Düsseldorf.

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exhibitions

2019

Firenze, Galleria Gentili, Ulrich Erben. Incontro due

Bologna, Studio G7, Ulrich Erben. Sein, essere

Bottdrop, Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Ulrich Erben. Festlegung des Unbegrenzten


2017

Firenze, Galleria Gentili, Ulrich Erben Pittura - determinare lo sconfinato

 

2013

Bologna, Galleria Studio G7, Ulrich Erben. Luci e ombre

Padova, MAAB Gallery, Ulrich Erben

München, Walter Storms Galerie, Ulrich Erben. At eye level

Milano, Fondazione Zappettini

 

2012

Berlin, Galerie DUVE, Room pictures

Stuttgart, Galerie Müller-Roth, Ulrich Erben

 

2011

Duisburg, Museum DKM, Ulrich Erben. Colors of Remembrance

Duisburg, MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, , Ulrich Erben. Lust and Calculus

Mainz, Bergner + Job Galerie, Ulrich Erben. Painting, drawing, installation. To the 20 year old gallery

 

2010

Bologna, Galleria Studio G7, Coincidenze

Kieve, Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Ulrich Erben. SIRIA

 

2008

München, Walter Storms Galerie, Ulrich Erben. Light for Light

 

2007

Stuttgart, Galerie Müller-Roth, Ulrich Erben

 

2005

Duisburg, Museum DKM, The quiet room

 

2004

Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum, Ulrich Erben. What I see. Pictures from Italy 1998-2004

 

2003

Cottbus, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Ulrich Erben. What I see. Pictures from Italy

Wiesbaden, Museum Wiesbaden, Ulrich Erben. Retrospective

 

2002

Kieve, MKK Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Ulrich Erben. What I see. Pictures from Italy

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow, Ulrich Erben. Paintings

 

2001

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow, Ulrich Erben

Mönchengladbach, Galerie Löhrl, Ulrich Erben

 

2000

Stuttgart, Galerie Müller-Roth, Ulrich Erben

Muünchen, Walter Storms Galerie, Ulrich Erben

 

1999

Münster, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Ulrich Erben. The other room

Otterndorf, Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ulrich Erben

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow, Ulrich Erben. Pictures

 

1997

München, Rupert Walser, Ulrich Erben

 

1996

Essen, Kunstverein Ruhr e.V., Ulrich Erben: 6 pictures for one room

 

1992

Münster, LWL - Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster, White is color. Ulrich Erben - Pictures 1968-1978

 

1991

Xanten, Kunstverein Xanten e.V. (KUX), Ulrich Erben. Landscapes

 

1990

Mönchengladbach, Galerie Löhrl Fotografie I & II

Düsseldorf, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen

 

1988

Arnsberg, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Ulrich Erben

 

1987

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow 

 

1985

Berlin, Kunst in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945-1985, Nationalgalerie Berlin

 

1984

Mannheim, Elementare Malerei, Städtische Kunsthalle

 

1981

Kiel, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Schleswig-Holsteinischer Kunstverein, , Ulrich Erben. Landascapes

Tübingen, Kunsthalle

 

1979

Leverkusen, Städtisches Museum Leverkusen

 

1976

Wien, Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Ulrich Erben

London, Annely Juda Fine Art, Ulrich Erben. Paintings and Works on Paper

 

1973

Köln, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Ulrich Erben

 

1972

Düsseldorf, Galerie Schmela, Ulrich Erben

 

1971

Bochum, M-Fotografie Bochum, Ulrich Erben. Pictures 

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