Vorder- und Rückseite eines Malerbuches mit abstrakten Bildern
© SKD, Foto: Herbert Boswank

terra Altenbourg. The World of the Draughtsman

The Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett has recently been enhanced by a rich selection of works of 20th-century German draughtsmanship and book art. In 2012 the museum succeeded in purchasing a unique assortment of single-copy artist’s books and drawings by Gerhard Altenbourg (1926 – 1989), one of the most significant and – in the positive sense of the word – idiosyncratic draughtsmen and printmakers of the modern era. A quarter of a century after the death of the artist, the Kupferstich-Kabinett is taking this expansion of its collection as an opportunity to present his works in an exhibition entitled “terra Altenbourg. The World of the Draughtsman”.

  • DATES 03/07/2014—29/09/2014
  • Opening Hours currently closed


Viewing some 90 works, visitors will be able to follow the various stages in Gerhard Altenbourg's creation of the artist's book, from the concepts behind the collage and self-citation to each very individually designed page. At the same time, the show offers intimate insights into a playful, poetic, often mysterious and sometimes surreal world of images and ideas; an exploration which underlines the artist's relevance to 20th-century German and European art history.

abstraktes Bild eines Blicks auf eine Stadt
© SKD, Foto: Herbert Boswank
Gerhard Altenbourg, Spiel auf zweierlei Ebenen Aquarell, Chinesische Tusche, Rötel, blaue Tinte, Kreide auf rosafarbenem Ingres-Papier, 485 x 625 mm

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The exhibition title comes from an unfinished artist's book begun in the 1960s by Gerhard Altenbourg. It also refers to the artist's oeuvre as “terra incognita” – a “continent” with many aspects which remain unknown – which the exhibition allows visitors to discover and examine objectively.

Vorder- und Rückseite eines Malerbuches mit abstrakten Bildern
© SKD, Foto: Herbert Boswank
Gerhard Altenbourg: Malerbuch, ohne Titel Unikat, 204 x 162 mm (Einzelblatt), 202 x 162/325 mm (gefaltet)



For the first time, the one-of-a-kind artist's books will be connected to the large-format drawings of heads and landscapes, plus a selection of woodcuts, lithographs and etchings. These will include the “Dulce et decorum” books (1955/1957), in which Altenbourg processed his traumatic experiences during the final months of the war, and “Jauchzer Juchzer Jachzer” (1977/1978), by comparison apparently a light, playful work, whose title alone hints at his affinity to Dadaism and surrealism.


Die Publikation zur Sonderausstellung

terra Altenbourg

Die Welt des Zeichners Gerhard Altenbourg im Dresdner Kupferstich-Kabinett (48,00 €, ISBN: 978-3-422-07272-5)

weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions
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