Günter Fruhtrunk


26 Apr 24 — 25 Aug 24

Günter Fruhtrunk, Vectors, 1969/70, Kunstmuseum Bonn, on permanent loan from the KiCo Collection, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024. photo: Reni Hansen

“Among other confrontations, it was the lasting influence of both Léger and Arp that took place in my constructivist working period. It led me to Concrete Art.” 

Günter Fruhtrunk, 1966

Commemorating the 100th birthday of Günter Fruhtrunk, the Kunstmuseum Bonn and Museum Wiesbaden present a major retrospective of the artist's work. Following its first appearance in Bonn in 2023, the exhibition will be on view in Wiesbaden starting in April 2024. Fruhtrunk revolutionized post-war abstract painting to a degree unparalleled to this day. As colour sounds and rhythmic structures, his paintings challenge viewers, offering the eye both a flicker and a foothold. Taking the power of colour seriously and trusting in the optical sensation, he set himself consistently apart from purely visual spectacle. His serial works, his musical references, which are reflected in numerous titles, testify to a profundity of thought, whose intensity still impresses us today. He was influenced in Freiburg by Julius
Bissier and in Paris by Fernand Léger and Hans Arp. Fruhtrunk made a name for himself not only as a painter and graphic artist, but also in architectural design. His 1970 design for the grocery bag for the ALDI Nord supermarket chain is legendary.

The exhibition will include around 60 paintings from all of the artist's creative phases.

View into the Exhibition

“… my visual means are the effect of color, sensual energy, noncolor as energy and, in each case, rhythmization as the innermost principle of mental activity…” 

Günter Fruhtrunk, 1976

Read more about Günter Fruhtrunk, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2023.


May 1, 1923
Günter Fruhtrunk was born in Munich

An 18-month internship in a construction company awakens his interest in architecture

Two semesters of architectural study at the Technische Hochschule in Munich

Drafted in May to the front in Finland and seriously wounded

Marries Anna Frentrop, decides to become an artist after the Second World War, becomes a private student of William Straube (himself a student of Adolph Hölzel and Matisse) at Lake Constance

Moves to Freiburg im Breisgau with his wife and daughter Ulrike (born 1948) and works as a self-employed painter and decorator for large companies to secure his livelihood

Travels to Paris to study and subsequently works for some time with the artist Fernand Léger

Creates his first abstract painting „Non-Figurative“

Separates from his first wife Anna, moves to Paris, meets and begins long-term relationship with Eva-Maria Eichstaedt

Marries Eva-Maria and their son Wolf is born

Enters a contractual relationship with the Galerie Denise René Paris that lasts until 1960

First major exhibition in Germany, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund

Exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and other American museums

Appointed to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (initially as adjunct instructor), maintains residency in Paris

Participates in the Venice Biennale and Documenta IV in Kassel

Appointed full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, creates design for ALDI Nord shopping bag

Designs the walls and floor of the „Quiet Room“ at the UN building in New York (after several architectural projects in previous years)
Already in poor health

Takes his own life on December 12 in his studio at the academy in Munich

A cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Bonn 

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