German Artist Konrad Klapheck Dies at 88

Wednesday, August 2, 2023
German Artist Konrad Klapheck Dies at 88

Konrad Klapheck worked on his very own artistic orbit. He began his career after the war, in the heyday of abstraction, with elaborately crafted figurative paintings. He met his heroes Breton and Magritte just before they died and became a belated Surrealist. And when art was already beginning to take an interest in “media”, he still staged irons and typewriters as monuments to an analogue machine world that had long since come to an end.

Konrad Klapheck was also called the “machine painter”. For the painterly exaggeration of his muscular and suggestively shimmering taps and telephone receivers, he also provided the interpretation: “The fanatic” he titled the picture of a steam iron, “Premature girl” a shower fitting. In an essay on erotic relationships between man and machine, Breton compared Klapheck to a snake charmer who had the power to make machines dance to a tune.

Klapheck was born in Düsseldorf in 1935 into a family of art historians. His father was dismissed as a professor from the art academy by the National Socialists in 1934 and died when Klapheck was four years old. In the 1950s, Klapheck himself became a professor at the Academy. In 1955 he painted the first of his famous typewriter pictures. He remained true to the machine motifs undeterred into the 1990s. They are considered classics of post-war art and are still in demand today.  Klapheck died last Sunday in Düsseldorf at the age of 88.

Image : Konrad Klapheck, Der Dogmatiker, 2016, Öl auf Leinwand, 97 x 145 cm © ProLitteris, Galerie Lelong, Paris

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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