* 1940 Dresden
Volker Stelzmann was born in Dresden in 1940. He grew up in Leipzig and started his career as a precision mechanic in 1957, a profession he practised until 1963. He then studied at the Hochschule für Graphik in Leipzig under Gerhard Kurt Müller, as well as Harry Blume and Hans Mayer-Foreyt. In the mid seventies he began teaching as a professor at the Hochschule für Graphik in Leipzig; he was also active as a member of the board of the "Berufsverband Bildender Künstler der DDR". In 1986 he decided to emigrate to the Federal Republic of Germany. Two years later he was appointed professor at the Hochschule der Künste in West-Berlin. In a century of "isms" and avant-garde it was difficult for Stelzmann to succeed in a more conservative style. But Stelzmann was highly successful. His works are related to great examples of factual-realist and at the same time atmospheric and important painting with a socio-political background like, for example, by Otto Dix, Christian Schad and George Grosz. His "Leitmotiv" are works with groups of people, emphasising the solitude and loneliness of the individual in society. Stelzmann does not want to be associated with any specific school and restricts biographic details in publications to a minimum. He considers a classification of his artistic position "damn difficult". Many exhibitions - both nationally and internationally - were devoted to his work. One year after his move to the Federal Republic of Germany he was already represented at the Biennale in Venice; most large collections of contemporary art possess works by Stelzmann.