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Roger Loewig

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Roger Loewig

*  1930 Striegau/Schlesien
† 1997 Berlin


Roger Loewig, a German painter, was born in Silesia in 1930. There he experienced the outbreak of the Second World War and the occupation of Poland in his childhood. After 1945 Loewig fled Silesia, working in the Lausitz at sixteen as a laborer on farms and in forestry. In 1951 Roger Loewig began to train as a teacher in East Berlin. From 1953 he taught Russian, German and history. On the side, Roger Loewig began to paint, draw and write poetry. In August 1963 he organized a show of his work at a private house. Since the statements made by Loewig's work were highly critical of conditions in the GDR, that exhibition led to his being arrested by the State Security police and his work being confiscated. After a year spent in detention without trial, Roger Loewig was sentenced to two years' imprisonment as an instigator and propagandist while much of his work was destroyed. On the intercession of the government of the Federal Republic, Roger Loewig was discharged from prison in 1964. In the years that followed, however, it was difficult for him to work as a freelance artist because he continued to be subjected to persecution. Nevertheless, he produced his first lithographs in 1965. Two years later, in 1967, Loewig submitted a petition for permission to emigrate, which was granted - again through the intercession of the government of the Federal Republic - in 1972 so that he was able to move to West Berlin. After that Loewig traveled extensively throughout Europe. From 1976 Loewig devoted himself to etching; he was awarded a study bursary from the Aldegrever-Gesellschaft and was a guest at the Villa Massimo in Rome.
Printmaking was Roger Loewig's primary medium. His motifs revolve around the horrors of war, the feeling of being existentially threatened, flight, the Holocaust. Paralleling his sequences of prints, Roger Loewig also wrote lyrical texts and cycles of poems. Following the re-unification of Germany, Loewig's work was exhibited at the State Auschwitz Museum in 1992. Numerous solo shows in Germany and abroad made Roger Loewig known to a broad public. Roger Loewig died in Berlin on 4 November 1997.