Konrad Peter Cornelius Klapheck
"With the aid of my machine pictures I could, without trying, revisit the past and come to terms with the difficulties I was then experiencing in my own life. Beneath every successful picture lay another picture, one that could only be inferred, which gave meaning to what was happening on the surface. I decided to build an entire system of machine themes and to tell my autobiography through them". (Konrad Klapheck).
Konrad Klapheck was born on February 10, 1935 in Düsseldorf. Having graduated from a secondary school for classical languages and literature, Klapheck studied painting at the Düsseldorf art academy from 1954 to 1958. His teacher was Bruno Goller, who is best known for symbolically alienated representations of utilitarian objects from everyday life and who supported Konrad Klaphecks interest in this issue.
Klapheck studied Surrealism early on, visiting Max Ernst in 1954. In 1956-57 he spent five months in Paris. From 1961 he has entertained close contact with the Paris Surrealist circle around André Breton. In 1955 when German Art informel was at this height, Klapheck painted his picture "Schreibmaschine", in which a typewriter is depicted with exaggerated realism against a simple background. In the years that followed, Konrad Klapheck continued to paint in the Superrealist manner, thus heightening the objects he presented to a menacing monumentality. His works conveyed an impression of extremely smooth surfaces.
Apart from his paintings, prints began to take an increasingly important position in Konrad Klaphecks work in the late 1970s. During that time, he worked with the "Frielinghaus" printing workshop in Hamburg, which was also used by Horst Janssen for his prints. In 1979 Klapheck was appointed professor at the Düsseldorf art academy, where he still teaches. Widely acclaimed, Klapheck's work has been shown at retrospectives and has been acquired by important museums. In 1964 Klapheck took part in "documenta III" in Kassel and two years later the Hanover "Kestner-Gesellschaft" mounted the first retrospective of his work. A film, directed by Wiebke von Bonin, was made about Konrad Klapheck in 1981.
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