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

2013

Bologna, Galleria Studio G7

Milano, MAAB Gallery

München, Walter Storms Galerie

Milano, Fondazione Zappettini

 

2012

Berlin, Galerie DUVE

Stuttgart, Galerie Müller-Roth

 

2011

Duisburg, Museum DKM,

Duisburg, MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst,

Mainz, Bergner + Job Galerie

 

2010

Bologna, Galleria Studio G7

Kieve, Museum Kurhaus Kleve

 

2008

München, Walter Storms Galerie

 

2007

Stuttgart, Galerie Müller-Roth

 

2005

Duisburg, Museum DKM

 

2004

Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum

 

2003

Cottbus, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus

Wiesbaden, Museum Wiesbaden

 

2002

Kieve, MKK Museum Kurhaus Kleve

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow

 

2001

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow

Mönchengladbach, Galerie Löhrl

 

2000

Stuttgart, Galerie Müller-Roth

Muünchen, Walter Storms Galerie

 

1999

Münster, Westfälischer Kunstverein

Otterndorf, Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst

Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Strelow

 

1997

München, Rupert Walser

 

1996

Essen, Kunstverein Ruhr e.V.

 

1992

Münster, LWL - Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster

 

1991

Xanten, Kunstverein Xanten e.V. (KUX)

 

1990

Mönchengladbach, Galerie Löhrl Fotografie I & II

Düsseldorf, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen

 

1988

Arnsberg, Kunstverein Arnsberg

 

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

Tübingen, Kunsthalle

 

1979

Leverkusen, Städtisches Museum Leverkusen

 

1976

Wien, Rosemarie Schwarzwälder

London, Annely Juda Fine Art

 

1973

Köln, Kölnischer Kunstverein

 

1972

Düsseldorf, Galerie Schmela

 

1971

Bochum, M-Fotografie Bochum 

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