1941 Stuttgart – 1970 Beilstein
Uwe Lausen committed suicide when he was just 29. Despite having no academic background, within his eight years of activity he created exceptionally suggestive works that captivate the viewer with exquisite intensity. His political – and most destructive – theme reflects the social and artistic tendencies of the 1960s, as well as Lausen’s internal struggle. He was a drug addict and suffered extreme mood swings. His fears and depression are expressed in his paintings, drawings, and graphics, but also in his texts and music. The artist had sensitive and intelligent reactions to the social and political defining moments of the 1960s in Germany.
Uwe Lausen grew up in post-war Germany. Until his final high school exams and being admitted as a student of law and philosophy in Tübingen, everything in his life was going smooth. During a trip to Africa, he tried drugs, which left a mark on his entire life. His scepticism against ideals of success and work in the wonderful world of economics are expressed in works he published in his own literature magazine. Lausen dropped out of college and moved to Munich, where he met the SPUR group (Heimrad Prem, Hans-Peter Zimmer, Helmut Sturm and others). He contacted the representatives of situationism acting in Paris, who at the beginning of the 1960s held one of the most interesting and best argued debates on European modernism. Early works by Lausen are the reflection of that discourse. The influence of abstract expressionism, art brut and the CoBrA group, which relied on spontaneity, gestures and expression, are obvious. Around 1964, Lausen introduced photographs, magazine clippings, science articles and quotes from other artists into his works. The motifs, which speak for themselves, lost their figurativeness in the painting process. In 1965, he stopped using free gesture in his painting. He painted comic book scenes inspired by pop art with clearly contoured shapes, as well as several minimalist works with only a few lost-looking objects. They depict human relations, moods and the feeling of loneliness and insulation which Lausen struggled with. His motifs become more and more radical and partially brutal: war, terror, violence. He also experimented with music. In 1969 he quit painting. While visiting his parents, he overdosed on LSD and cut his wrists. He was a genius who couldn’t handle life.