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Günter Limburg Biography

Günter Limburg, Maler, Zeichner und Bildhauer aus Köln

Guenter Limburg

Text by Juergen Schoen

Why does someone become a painter and not a poet? And why does he paint in such a way and not differently? An interesting questions anyway, but difficult to answer, if we do not want to dive into the depths of psychological speculations. But there are some starting points which may help the viewer to understand the work of an artist a little bit better.

For example with Güenter Limburg, born in Kall in 1960 and there grown up, a small Eifel town, which one probably hardly brings in connection with forming art. There in school it was his art teacher Gyoergy Asvany, who woke the feeling in his pupil that drawing and painting can help to express feelings, can help to arrange thoughts, too. The idea to become a painter, to study art settled within the young man - and still as a pupil he applied to the professional school for fine art and design in Cologne.

There it was the Czech Pravoslav Sovak, who took Limburg under his wings. This professor of fine arts, who demanded mental, social and political argumentation from his students as much as the refinement of their graphical skills. Fantasy and creativity is the one side of the art. The other one focused well-planned work. In so-called "monthly projects" Limburg searched systematically for the answers to questions he posed himself, for the challenge in unknown areas. Forced himself to confront with new materials, investigates the possibilities of the Linoleum Cuts, limited himself the use of colours, tested " the third dimension by doing sculpture

And proceeding in fine art is - as many artists forget today - hard work. Why does Limburg paint in such a way, that his pictures, with their expressive forms remind the viewer to those of the German expressionists? Perhaps it is also the similar political and sociological environment, which leads to comparably results. The artist himself gives us a simple answer, too. Limburg: "I had to visit church each Sunday in my childhood - overlaid with the threatening idea, God Father sees everything. That was really quite scaring to me. But the wonderful coloured Church windows with their black framed forms were literally my way out." The usually black lines of the black frames do not appear completely surprisingly in his works.

Spontaneously and fast Limburg begins to paint on his canvas with the brush, the oil pastels or the charcoal, creating wild lines which seem to develop to forms all by themselves. Only gradually the motive, history emerges. Differently is his treatment of the individual surfaces: Sometimes "smoothly", strongly and monotonously, sometimes softly modulated and with tender structures. Broken and pure colours support themselves to the stirring up contents. Abstraction represents the emotional elements and helps to bring it word by word into a controlled and controllable form.

He paints still lives, in order to relax also landscapes. Above all however he paints humans. The tension between harmony and dissonance, underlines the ambivalence of interhuman relationship. The act of painting participates - closely connected with the formal argument - the attempt, to understand the background of the painted histories. There are not simple solutions thereby. Limburg paints stories, which tell of torn individuals, of strong emotions, betrayed love, disappointed dreams, but also lots of hopes. Stories, which pose the questions about faith, death and ethics. What is permitted? What isn't permitted? Limburg allows the viewer to participate in this act of his own self-finding.

Juergen Schoen, Cologne, April 1997