Transporting the viewer into a world of surreal eroticism and aesthetic symbolism, the German painter and lithographer, Paul Wunderlich, is remembered as the most important representative of magical realism.
Famous for his cool and analytical style, Wunderlich was born on March 10, 1927, in Eberswalde. He studied at the Kunstschule in the orangery of the castle of Eutin. In 1947, Wunderlich went to the Landeskunstschule, Hamburg and studied graphic art. He extended his training by another semester to work under Willem Gremm.
In 1951, Wunderlich was offered a teaching post at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste, which he held until 1961. During this time, Wunderlich learned printmaking techniques from the well-known artists Emil Nolde and Oskar Kokoschka. He also began painting using the free form, Expressionist style of Tachism, but later abandoned it for more figurative imagery.
In 1960, Wunderlich moved to Paris and lived there for three years while working in the Deskjoberts workshop as a lithographer. In 1963, he became a professor of graphic art and painting at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg.
Wunderlich belongs to the second generation of Fantastic Realists, sometimes called Magical Realists. He often borrowed his subjects from classical mythology and emphasized the human form within a context that blends together contemporary and historical references. Wunderlich spices his Fantastic Realism with a startling dose of irony.
From 1970s, Wunderlich's energies turned to sculpture. The themes for his sculptures and objects were closely linked to his paintings, drawings and lithographs. They combined the simplicity of an idea with the refinement of the material and imagination with perfection in shaping something into a perfect form.
Paul Wunderlich constitutes, over time, a large complex and comprehensive body of work. His art present in the collections of major international museums (Moma, New York, Paris National Library, British Museum in London, etc.). In 1964, he was awarded the Japan Cultural Forum Award, Tokyo; in 1967 he received the Award Premio Marzotti, Italy; in 1970, he was awarded the Gold Medal in Florence, Italy; in 1978, he received Gold Medals at the Grafik-Biennale in Taiwan and in Bulgaria.Wunderlich lived and worked in Hamburg and in France, where he died after a short illness on June 6, 2010.