Adolf Bierbrauer, Die Welt denkt, es sei ein Spaß... Acyl auf Leinwand, 160cm x 200 cm, 2008


Adolf Bierbrauer, actually Adolf Karl Bierbrauer, born 1915 in Düsseldorf – died 2012 in Ratingen. He was a contemporary and neighbor of Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf-Oberkassel. Both knew each other.

A.Bierbrauer became wellknown with his hypnosis paintings from the late 40s and early 50s. With these works (see above) he became a pioneer of conceptual art and a vanguard of the idea of the social sculpture. Thus made him also to one of the first artists in the world to succeed in involving participatory art as an essential element in his work. He also became a pioneer of art therapy and the idea of ​​healing people through hypnosis.

A. Bierbrauer trained as an artist and doctor, painted in the years 1949 to 1954 paintings according to the descriptions of his patients / recipients which appeared them under trance / hypnosis. Before he had asked them to paint with colors on paper, so they would dream colourful.

Adolf Bierbrauer

The patient becomes part of the artwork. After awakening, Bierbrauer discussed the paintings with his patients / recipients.

Thia was an exceptional artistic approach by A. Biebrauer to the Post-World War II era in contemporary European art. It remained an unique artistic proposition until today.

Its echo of Bierbrauer’s approach can be seen in the Social Sculpture of Joseph Beuys, which he formulated only in 1967.

With his somnambulistic informal works and his sculptures made of clay using different materials from the 1960s, A. Bierbrauer explored the question of how art is created in the artistic process and where does the art come from. These works, in their expressive form and imagery, are to be assigned to the new German abstract expressionism. Titles of the works are combined with word or sentence creations to create new acoustic and pictorial experiences.

If you want to classify your somnambulistic works art historically, they move in their expressiveness and technique between works by Jackson Pollock with his drippings or action painting and work of the younger generation of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring to A.R. Penck or Jonathan Meese.

Parallels and similarities of Bierbrauer’s work can also be found in the work of the internationally renowned and esteemed artist Thomas Schütte.

In 2015, works by Adolf Bierbrauer were shown at a collateral event of the 56th Biennale of art in Venice.



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