* 1926 Bad Nauheim
† 1982 Antwerpen
The sculptor, painter and object artist Hermann Goepfert is an important representative of Kinetic Art and post-war abstraction.
Hermann Goepfert was born in Bad Nauheim in 1926. His adolescence fell into World War II, so Hermann Goepfert could not begin his education as artist before 1947, then he took evening courses with Theo Garvé at the Frankfurt Städelschule. Between 1951 and 1958 Hermann Goepfert also studied in Frankfurt, in the end as master student of Albert Burkart and from 1955 on as scholarship holder of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation ).
In those years Hermann Goepfert created early figurative works that stood in the tradition of Oskar Schlemmer, Max Beckmann and Fernand Léger. In the late 1950s Hermann Goepfert gradually approached abstraction. He soon attained monochrome, expressive works such as the "Rot-Bilder" (Red Pictures) and the "Schwarz-Bilder" (Black Pictures). In 1958 Hermann Goepfert, Klaus Franck (a gallery owner), the art theorist William Simmat and the artist colleagues Heinz Kreutz, Borris Goetz and Christian Kruck founded the "Frankfurter Gruppe".
In the 1960s and 1970s Hermann Goepfert also taught at Kunsthochschule Kassel and the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In the second half of the 1960s Hermann Goepfert spent more and more time in Antwerp and eventually settled there for good in 1971.
In the 1960s and 1970s Hermann Goepfert's art was similar to that of the group ZERO (Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker). White and light shades of gray were predominant; light, sound and motion were integrated into the works. The "Reflektor-Bilder" with mobile metal-plates play with light and shade in a subtle manner.
Works by Hermann Goepfert are part of permanent exhibitions in many museums, for instance the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels or the Frankfurt Städel.
In 1982 Hermann Goepfert died in Antwerp.