German painter, born at Oels (now Olesnicka) in Lower Silesia (now Poland). His family moved to West Germany in 1953. He had a reputation as both man and artist for being difficult to pin down. From 1961 to 1966 he studied at the Düsseldorf Academy, where he was influenced by Joseph *Beuys. Alongside Gerhard *Richter, he was associated in the early 1960s with the tendency of ‘capitalist realism’. He made paintings such as Girlfriends (1965) which mimic the dotted surface of cheap newspaper reproduction. These have a parallel with the second-hand imagery of American *Pop, but this led, not as with most of the American painters to constant repetition of a successful line, but to a richly varied practice of painting. Like some other European artists working with popular imagery, he looked for subject-matter which had a national resonance rather than speaking of an imposed American culture.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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