* 1915 Stettin
† 1995 Berlin
Bernhard Heiliger was born on November 11, 1915, in Stettin (present-day Szczecin, Poland). Heiliger first did an apprenticeship in stone sculpture and trained at the Workshop for Formative Works. From 1938 until 1941, he studied under Arno Breker and Richard Scheibe at the College for Visual Arts Berlin. In 1939, Heiliger went to Paris, where he met Aristide Maillol and studied the works of the sculptors Hans Arp and Constantin Brancusi. Heiliger lived and worked in Berlin as a freelance sculptor after the war. From 1947 until 1949, he worked as a lecturer at the Academy for Applied Art in Berlin-Weißensee. In 1949, he received a position at the College for Visual Arts Berlin. Heiliger created numerous large plastic works, most of which were cast in bronze. He participated in the Biennale in Venice in 1956 and in the documenta in Kassel in 1955, 1959, and 1964. The demand for his works showed the international reputation he had acquired. He received the highest prize for the arts in North Rhine-Westphalia in 1956. He began experimenting with new materials such as aluminum, wood, marble, steel, and synthetic materials around 1969, creating many unique pieces. Heiliger received the Great Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1947 and was awarded the Lovis Corinth Prize in 1957. His stopped lecturing at the College for Visual Arts in 1989. Bernhard Heiliger died on October 25, 1995, in Berlin.