Jürgen Wittdorf: Lieblinge 1952–2003 | DISTANZ


Jürgen Wittdorf

Lieblinge 1952–2003

  • Editor
    Stephan Koal, Jan Linkersdorff
  • Language
  • Format
    22 × 28 cm
  • Features
    96 pages, numerous color images, Softcover
  • ISBN
  • Release
    August 2020
  • Price

Pictures for the East German Gay Movement

When Jürgen Wittdorf (1932–2018) died, his apartment in Berlin was full of works of art—his personal “favorites,” including wood- and linocuts, drawings in red chalk, charcoal, and ink, and ceramics. He owed his breakthrough as an artist in the former East Germany to depictions of young people that rendered them not as idealized workers and farmers but as seekers with all their desires and yearnings. The authorities accused him of straying from the approved aesthetic into a “Western” style, but the republic’s young audiences celebrated his work. Art was also a medium that allowed Wittdorf to grapple with his homosexuality, which was criminalized in the GDR until 1968. Over the decades, he produced numerous pictures of half-naked or naked male bodies that, in today’s perspective, evince similarities to iconic works by artists including David Hockney and Tom of Finland.

KVOST presents works from the artist’s estate; loans from the collection of the Schwules Museum round out the exhibition. The accompanying book is the first to offer a comprehensive overview of the painter and graphic artist’s impressive unpublished oeuvre. With essays by Jan Linkersdorff and Christine Heidemann and a conversation between Andreas Sternweiler and Sebastian Preuss.

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