Selbstbildnis des Malers Peter Graf mit einem grünen Papagei
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel / Hans-Peter Klut

Fünf von vielen Peter Graf, Peter Herrmann, Peter Makolies, A. R. Penck und Strawalde — Junge Dresdner Kunst vor 50 Jahren

In the year of his 85th birthday, FILMFEST DRESDEN is paying homage to Jürgen Böttcher by presenting two tribute programmes which bring together eight of his most important short documentaries. They are being screened for the first time following digital remastering. In cooperation with the DEFA foundation and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, the premiere is to take place in the atrium of the Albertinum, with the artist present.

  • DATES 22/03/2016—19/06/2016

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The Albertinum is taking this tribute to Böttcher as an opportunity to devote a small temporary exhibition to him as artist and filmmaker and also as protagonist of his documentary “Drei von vielen” (Three of many). Under the title “Five of many: Peter Graf, Peter Herrmann, Peter Makolies, A. R. Penck and Strawalde — Young Dresden Art 50 Years Ago“, the exhibition features paintings and sculptures not only by Böttcher himself but also by his contemporaries. In one room of the permanent exhibition on the second floor of the Albertinum, 18 works by the five artists are on display, most of which were produced in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Jürgen Böttcher, who adopted the name Strawalde (after his birthplace Strahwalde in Upper Lusatia), gained fame primarily through his documentary films. The exhibition title was inspired by the title of his film “Three of many”, the first one that he produced on behalf of the DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilm in 1961 after graduating as a film director from the Deutsche Hochschule für Filmkunst in Potsdam-Babelsberg. The film, which showed the life and work of the three self-taught artists Peter Graf, Peter Herrmann and Peter Makolies was defamed as “bourgeois decadence” and was forbidden immediately after its completion. It was only shown in public in the GDR for the first time in the late 1980s. The documentary perceptively records the everyday working lives and the early artistic endeavours of the three young men shortly before the building of the Berlin Wall.

Selbstbildnis des Malers Peter Graf mit einem grünen Papagei
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel / Hans-Peter Klut
Peter Graf, Selbstbildnis mit Papagei, 1971 Öl auf Hartfaser, Durchmesser: 50,8 cm, Albertinum | Galerie Neue Meister

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Böttcher first got to know the “Three” in a drawing course which he ran at the Volkshochschule (adult education centre) in Dresden in the mid-1950s. Their acquaintance developed into a relationship of friendship and, above all, artistic interchange. Ralf Winkler (A. R. Penck) also belonged to this circle. Böttcher, who was only a few years older than the others and was the only one to have studied art at the Dresden Academy, was seen by Graf, Herrmann, Makolies and Winkler (who had been denied the opportunity to study) as a model and mentor who shared with them his knowledge and experience as an artist and encouraged them on their path.

Distancing themselves from the socialist Academy and art establishment, but without opposing the socialist society that was being built up, they earned their respective livings as stonemasons, chemigraphers or drivers. They produced their artistic works in their free time - works which reflect the life, experience and hopes of the young generation in the post-war period.

“We have long been planning to show films by Jürgen Böttcher along with his paintings in the Albertinum,” says Hilke Wagner. “We were therefore very pleased to take up the initiative of FILMFEST DRESDEN and show four documentary films in our building. We are very pleased to be able to present a temporary exhibition of works by this important generation of artists from the circle around Jürgen Böttcher alias Strawalde at the same time.”

[Translate to English:] weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions

Josef-Hegenbarth Archiv

im Josef-Hegenbarth-Archive

Kunstgewerbemuseum

im Schloss Pillnitz

gelber Kasten mit vier Füßen

Kupferstich-Kabinett

im Residenzschloss

Portrait eines Mannes mit Hut und Vollbart
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