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


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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