1928 Leipzig – 2013 Berlin

It is the human existence with all its emotions and dynamics – from lust, joy, passion, rebellion to pain, rest or contemplation, which Rolf Szymanski employed for decades in his sculptural work. Anthropomorphic figures, his only theme, embody these vital energies in iron or bronze, sporadically cast in aluminum, or seldom carved in wood or stone.

Szymanski studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Leipzig under Alfred Thiele from 1945 to 1950 and studied from 1950 to 1955 at the Berlin University of the Arts with Bernhard Heiliger, Richard Scheibe and Paul Dierkes. In 1964 he was a participant in the documenta III, Kassel. He undertook numerous study trips: from 1962 to 1964 he stayed in Florence and Rome, 1968 in Paris and 1980 in Israel. From 1971 until 1974 he was deputy director of the Department of Fine Arts of the Academy of Arts, Berlin, then he was director there until 1983 and finally until 1986 vice president. From 1986 to 1996 he was a professor at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 1990 he participated in the 44th Venice Biennale, Venice. In 1999 he became a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.

Publications

Galerie

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

1961 Kunstverein Heilbronn (with HAP Grieshaber) | 1964 Kunst- und Museumsverein, Wuppertal (with Peter Brüning) | 1966 Kunstverein Braunschweig | 1968 Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lübeck (with Stefan Gäfgen) | 1975 Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf | 1981 Kunstverein Mannheim (with Walter Stöhrer) | 1989 Berlinische Galerie im Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (with Walter Stöhrer) | 1991 Galerie am Pariser Platz, Akademie der Künste der DDR zu Berlin | 1992/1993 Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig | 1994/1995 Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburger Museen | Städtische Museen Heilbronn | Gerhard Marcks-Haus Bremen | 1998 Städtisches Museum + Galerie, Engen | 2000 Kunstverein Augsburg (with Gisela Rieffert) | 2003/2005 Sebastianskapelle Ulm/ Museum and Galerie im Prediger, Schwäbisch Gmünd / Kunsthalle Erfurt (with Emil Schumacher) | 2008/2009 Berlinische Galerie | Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Berlin | 2010 Museum Lothar Fischer, Neumarkt i.d. OPf. | 2011 Ansbacher Skulpturenmeile and retrospektive, Ansbach | 2013 Akademie der Künste, Berlin | Kurt Tucholsky Literaturmuseum, Schloss Rheinsberg | 2016 Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin

Grants and awards

1961 Prize of the Association of German critics | Art Prize of the city of Wolfsburg for sculpture | 1962 Villa-Massimo Scholarship, Rome | 1963 Berliner Kunstpreis: Junge Generation | Award of Herbstsalon 63, Munich | 1964 Villa-Romana-Award, Florence | Award of the Lower Saxony Art Prize | 1968 Scholarship Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris | 1969 Premio del Governo Federale della Germania, 19. Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, Premio del Fiorino | 1990 Harry Graf Kessler-Award of Deutscher Künstlerbund

Exhibitions with Rolf Szymanski

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