The Germanic Dynamic: new German painting (continued)

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Hamburg and the Akademie Isotrop

German contemporary painting
image © Abel Auer

Founded in 1996 by a collective of Hamburg artists, The Akademie Isotrop was conceived as an experimental learning environment based on a democratic formulation of classes, student-teacher relationships, and exhibitions.

With a tendency towards a free-wheeling take on Expressionism, the collective output of Isotrop - and a key tenet was always to exhibit collectively - provided an adrenalin-fueled counterpoint to the formalities of Leipzig.

While its self-proclaimed independent status was largely a tongue-in-cheek nod towards officialdom, for four years the Akademie Isotrop succeeded in nurturing a spectacular array of talent including Jonathan Meese, Abel Auer, André Butzer, Birgit Megerle and Markus Selg.

contemporary German painting - Markus Selg
image © Markus Selg


Berlin, and German painting today

contemporary German painting - Axel Geis
Axel Geis (above) Marco Meiran (below). Images © the artists
New German abstraction - Marco Meiran

Today, much of Germany's newer painting seems to hover somewhere between the stylistic poles established by these antecedents, from the flickering realism of Axel Geis to Philip Groezinger's fluidly expressive paintwork.

Abstraction, while far less common, is also making a tentative comeback via promising newcomers such as Marco Meiran.

And Berlin itself, perhaps the fastest rising art star of all, increasingly consolidates its position as one of the world's most creative cities.

Just as in London and New York , a steady influx of international talent can now be included among its own; practitioners drawn to the capital not just for its energy, but the low cost of living crucial to any artist building a career.

The powerhouse that is current German art continues unabated.

contemporary German painting - Philip Groezinger
image © Philip Groezinger

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