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Otmar Alt

Biographies
Otmar Alt

*  1940 Wernigerode

Otmar Alt 1940 was born at Wernigerode/Harz in 1940 and attended the master school for decorative and applied arts before enrolling at the Berlin Art Academy in 1960, where he was in the master class taught by Professor H. Bachmann. An academy student until 1966, Otmar Alt worked as a stage-scenery assistant at theatres in Trier and Frankfurt and also travelled extensively to Finland, Greece Paris, Canada and the US. In 1965 Otmar Alt had his first solo exhibition of his oil and acrylic paintings at Galerie Schütze in Bad Godesberg. Two years later Otmar Alt was awarded the competitive Franz Roh Prize at the Munich exhibition 'Collage 67'. In 1969 Alt joined 'Edition Außenkunst', an artists' association, but, independently of this association, he completed numerous architectural wall designs, reliefs and fountains in public spaces in German cities. In the early 1970s Otmar Alt began to work on printmaking techniques while executing reliefs and free-standing sculptures in bronze, plastic and wood. Drawing on his earliest training in the decorative and applied arts, Otmar Alt extended his creative activities to design for everyday living, including toys, and, from 1978, porcelain figurines for Rosenthal as well as illustrations to children's books from 1970. Otmar Alt's Oeuvre of paintings is the foundation for all the other activities engaged in by this versatile and prolific artists. Starting from abstract paintings influenced by Informel, Alt expresses the power of colour in large, subtly rendered surfaces worked through with a painterly and gestural handling. In the early 1960s Alt formed a figuration of his own, accompanied by a more reticent personal signature, to create paintings that resembled puzzles or stained-glass windows, whose repertoire of signs is built up from mythical beasts and biomorphic archetypes. This fairy-tale pictorial universe reveals tendencies to decorative formulaicism via geometricizing stylisation. Combined with poetic titles, Alt's works appeal to art lovers' imagination and fantasies. In recent years Alt's style has evolved from poster-like to painterly without devation from the artist's basic conception. Otmar Alt's work has been honoured at numerous solo and group shows at German galleries and museums. In 1994 Otmar Alt was made honorary citizen of the Ruhr and in 1998 he was decorated with the Federal Service Cross.