P.Wunderlich Im Garten 003

Paul Wunderlich was born in Germany in 1927. He died in France in 2010
Wunderlich’s prolific works in painting, drawing, lithography and sculpture are linked to the second generation of Fantastic Realists, sometimes called Magical Realists, who were inspired by dream imagery.
After Picasso and Max Ernst no other artist has contributed as much to the sculpture of painters as Wunderlich. The thematic for his sculptures and objects is closely linked to his paintings, drawings and lithographs.
Wunderlich studied at the Hamburg Academy of Fine Art. He has been exhibited widely throughout the world. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Getty Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C., Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Musées des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Museum Ludwig, Köln, Museum Atheneum, Helsinki, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Kamakura Museum of Sculpture, amongst others.
Often borrowing from classical mythology, Wunderlich emphasized the human form within a context that blends together contemporary and historical references. With cool aloofness, he transports the viewer into a world of surreal eroticism, aesthetic symbolism and a dose of irony.





Paul Wunderlich on his technique for Stone Lithography:
The technique I have used for my lithographs since 1988 is new in two important respects:
1.The result is obtained without proofing, that is, step by step while printing the edition.
2.The same stone is used for all the colors.
The first drawing in very thin ink is done on transfer paper, using a brush, to lay out the strongest and lightest areas of shade. After this sketch has been transferred to the stone, all the sheets for the proposed edition are printed in the first color. The original drawing on the stone is then partially removed and other parts are restored. After that follows the printing of the second color on all the sheets of the edition. The process of removing, restoring and printing is repeated until the final result is achieved.
The method entails a very high risk of failure, but it permits free and spontaneous expression, which has not been possible up to now in color graphics.
- Paul Wunderlich


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Paul Wunderlich was born in Eberswalde, outside of Berlin on March 10, 1927. After secondary school, military service and a short stint as a prisoner of war, he studied at the Hamburg Academy of Fine Art from 1947 to 1951. Fresh out of art school, he was entrusted with managing the academy’s print workshop, where he made prints for Oskar Kokoschka and Emil Nolde, among others. After a three year stay in Paris he returned to Hamburg in 1963 as a professor of painting. He resigned from his professorship in 1968 to work as a freelance artist. Paul Wunderllich lived and worked together with his wife, photographer Karin Szekessy, in his home and studio high above the rooftops of Hamburg. They divided their time between that home and their second residence in the Provence of the South of France, where he died suddenly on June 6th 2010 surrounded by his family.

Paul Wunderlich belonged to a group of contemporary German artists with an international reputation. His work in painting, drawing, lithography and sculpture is appreciated worldwide. Wunderlich’s artistry was linked to “Fantastic Realism,” a unique and distinctive style developed around 1950 by a group of young European artists who chose images from their dream visions as subject matter. Often erotically charged, these fragmented universes brought together both exotic and everyday elements. In the tradition of the Surrealists, the Fantastic Realists chose to work with precise images and details culled from visual memory, then combined in strange and dreamlike ways. Unlike their contemporary Abstractionists or Expressionists, they emphasized communicating with pure imagery as opposed to gesture in paint. Their lines are clear even when the image is distorted. In Fantastic Realism, subjectivity is often emphasized with the image of an open head or torso out of which spills the fantastical landscape. The head or torso emphasizes the role of the individual and the personal nature of the reality projected.

Paul Wunderlich belonged to the second generation of Fantastic Realists, sometimes called Magical Realists. These artists have remained faithful to the tradition albeit with contemporary imagery. Paul Wunderlich, the most prominent among them, had developed a style slightly cooler in temperament and more analytical. Often borrowing from classical mythology, he emphasized the human form within a context that blends together contemporary and historical references. With cool aloofness, Wunderlich transports the viewer into a world of surreal eroticism and aesthetic symbolism. Again and again, Wunderlich spiced his Fantastic Realism with a startling dose of irony.

After Picasso and Max Ernst no other artist has contributed as much to the sculpture of painters as Paul Wunderlich. The thematic for his sculptures and objects is closely linked to his paintings, drawings and lithographs. Wunderlich sculptures and objects combine the simplicity of an idea with the refinement of the material, and imagination with perfection in shaping something into a perfect form.

As an artist, Paul Wunderlich remained faithful to his own artistic visions. Over a period of several decades, Wunderlich’s complex and comprehensive body of work enjoyed numerous exhibitions in museums worldwide.



Born March 10th in Eberswalde, Brandenburg, in Germany


Served in German Army


Studies graphic arts-University of Fine Arts, Hamburg, Germany


Professor of Graphic Arts-University of Fine Arts, Hamburg, Germany


Received a teaching contract for etching and lithography techniques


Lived and worked in Paris, produced numerous lithographs


Professor, Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste, Hamburg


Various exhibitions throughout the world


Stayed in New York


Married Karin Székessy


Lived and worked in Italy and France


Stayed in Switzerland and Belgium


Bought a house in Provence


Devoted himself intensively to sculpture


Concentrated on lithography


Large format color lithographs using new techniques


Sculpture, painting (including paraphrases in the style of Lukas Granach and The Ecole de Fontainebleau)


Exhibitions in London and Darmstadt


Large sculptures, exhibition in Copenhagen


Exhibition in Belgium


Retrospectives in several Japanese museums (Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Gifu). Further large and small sculptures.


Exhibitions in London and Barcelona, pastels and a book on angels based on poems by Alberti


Devoted time to animal sculpture


July 6th - Dies suddenly at his home in the South of France




Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lubeck, West Germany


Hamburg Artists’ Club-Hamburg, Germany


Hamburger Kunstlerclub Die Insel, Hamburg, Kushiro City Art Gallery, Hokkaido


Congress for the Freedom of Culture-Hamburg, Germany


Galerie Nebelung, Dusseldorf, Orangerie, Eutin, West Germany


Dragonsrestall Gallery-Hamburg,Germany


Galerie Brusberg, Hannover Galerie Diogenes, Berlin Galerie Brockstedt, Hamburg


Print Club Gallery-Philadelphia, PA


Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts


Galerie Sydow, Frankfurt


Galerie Niedlich, Stuttgart


San Francisco Museum of Art, California


Galerie Rothe, Heidelberg Germany


Galerie Niepel, Dusseldorf


Museum of Art, Miami, Florida


Eric Locke Gallery, San Francisco


Galerie van de Loo, Munich, Germany Galerie Brechbuhl, Grenchen, Switzerland,


Arco Gallery-Rome, Italy


Musee des Beaux-Arts, Mons, Belgium


Galerie Ernst Hauswedell, Baden-Baden, Germany


Galerie Neipel, Dusseldorf


Kaiserslautern, West Germany, Galerie Wilbrand,


Munster, West Germany


Kubus-Austellung, Hannover


Europa Center, Berlin


Kunstverein, Dusseldorf


Stadtische Galerie, Bochum, Germany


Galerie Brusberg, Hannover


Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany


Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lubeck, 


Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich


Galerie Toni Gerber, Berne


Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand


Redfern Gallery, London


Galerie Passepartout, Copenhagen


Galerie d’Eendt, Amsterdam


Perls Gallery, Los Angeles


Phoenix Gallery, Berkeley, California


Kovler Gallery, Chicago


Galerie Brusberg, Hannover


Staempfli Gallery, New York


Kunsthalle, Recklinghausen, Germany


Kunsthalle, Gelsenkirchen, Germany


Galerie Aronowitsch, Stockholm Galleriea Schwarz, Milan


Amos Andersonin Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Perls Gallery, Los Angeles


Tokyo Gallery-Tokyo, Japan, Berggruen Gallery-San Francisco, CA


Staempfli Gallery, New York


Galerie Berggruen, Paris


Galerie Andre Francois Petit, Paris


Galleria La Bussola, Turin


Anglolare Gallery of Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy


Redfern Gallery, London, Galerie Levy, Hamburg


Baukunst, Cologne, Staempfli Gallery-New York


Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Art Contacts, Paris


Kunsthalle, Kiel, Germany


Nouvelle Vision Gallery-Tokyo, Japan


University Gallery-Amherst, Mass


Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, West Germany


Kunstverein, Augsburg, West Germany


Galerie Cour, Saint-Pierre, Geneva


Galerie Orangerie, Cologne


Veranneman, Kruishoutem, Belgium


Galerie Octave Negru, Paris


Galerie Uddenberg, Goteborg, Sweden


Galerie Berggruen, Paris


Redfern Gallery, London


Negru Gallery-Paris, France


Redfern Gallery, London


Seibu Museum, Tokyo


Kunsthalle, Kiel


Fondation Veranneman, Gent, Belgium


Le Bateau Lavoir, Paris, Galerie Sonet, Stockholm


Redfern Gallery, London


Schleswig-Holsteinisches Museum, Schleswig


Hohmann Gallery, Hamburg


Galerie Trigano, Paris (FIAC)


Redfern Gallery, London ‘New Paintings, Sculpture, Pastels & Prints’ 


Gerhard Wurzer Gallery, Houston 


Major retrospective exhibition - touring to four museums in Japan


Mitaka City Art Gallery, Tokyo 


Navio Hankyu Museum, Osaka


Redfern Gallery, London


The Hart Gallery, Carmel, CA, Palm Desert, CA, Chicago, IL


Christian Hohmann Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA