Rolf-Gunter Dienst - Galerie Max Hetzler

Opening: 21 November, 6-8 pm

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to announce an exhibition with early works by Rolf-Gunter Dienst at Goethestrasse 2/3.

Since the 1960s, Rolf-Gunter Dienst has created a distinct body of work within the contemporary German art scene. His works have become known for their singular appearance with scriptural shortcuts – the so called 'Kürzel': intensively examining and describing the linear division of painting as a colour-based visual phenomenon. The exhibited paintings and works on paper from the years 1962-1963 show the commencement of the artist's engagement with the elements that stay present in his works until today.

Since the beginning, the 'Kürzel' have been the central structural element of Dienst's oeuvre and maintained their position for more than 50 years to follow. For the young artist they worked as a representational way of inner organisation, of a possibility to part ways with the emotion and gestural spontaneity of Art Informel and thus allow the creation of a newgestural abstraction.

The 'Kürzel', one after another, step after step, are creating lines, grids and overlays in coloured rhythms that seem to dance in front of the viewer's eyes. With their size, density, parallelism or looseness, they set the pace and the visibility of the individual hues.

Rolf-Gunter Dienst's experimentationand exploration with colour as well as the powerful juxtaposition of shades, was influenced by Hard-edge painting and by the artist's interest in Art Nouveau. As the exhibition proves, those references are discernible since Dienst's earliest works –through the systematic, repetitive, abstract gesture and abrupt transitions between colour areas.

The artist paints with acrylic, watercoloursand draws with pencil or colour pencil. Even though the subjects stay the same, the mediums are not complementary and are all approached singularly with regards to their own specifics, energy and possibilities. The paintings represented in the exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler however have all been executedby using oil paints – the medium that the artist renounced shortly after, in 1966, to since then continue on canvas exclusively with acrylic. Rolf-Gunter Dienst adopted this material during his stay in New York because he became fondof its particular colour and physical characteristics.

Rolf-Gunter Dienst's latest works can be seen simultaneously at DIEHL & DiehlCube, Berlin, that will present his solo exhibition Primavera.

A catalogue for the exhibition will be available by Holzwarth Publications.

At the same time, Galerie Max Hetzler will inaugurate an exhibition with photographs by John Hilliard at Bleibtreustrasse 45.

Rolf-Gunter Dienst
was born 1942 in Kiel, Germany. He lives and works in Berlin. He is the laureate of the Villa Romana Prize Florence 1968, Villa Massimo Prize Rome 1979 and Hans Thoma Prize 2007. Dienst held several lectureships in New York, Frankfurt, Sydney and Stuttgart and being editor of the magazine 'Das Kunstwerk' (1964-1991), he was one of the most important German art critics. From 1992 until his retirement in 2008, he taught as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg. Rolf-Gunter Dienst’s work was presented in several solo and group exhibitions, most recently at Kunstsaele, Berlin, Museum für aktuelle Kunst – Sammlung Hurrle, Durbach and Kunstmuseum Bayreuth. Earlier presentations include Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1965). Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim (1973), Kunstverein Hannover (1980), Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe (2002) and Kunstmuseum Bonn (2006) among others.

Further exhibitions and fair participations:


John Hilliard

21 November 2015 – 9 January 2016
Opening: 21 November, 6-8 pm
Bleibtreustrasse 45, Berlin-Charlottenburg


Michel Majerus

28 November 2015 – 30 January 2016
Opening: 28 November, 6-8 pm

Art Basel Miami Beach

3-6 December 2015

Press contact:

Galerie Max Hetzler
Berlin: +49 30 346 497 85-0
Paris: +33 1 57 40 60 80