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Berlin New Wild Artists

Rainer Fetting (born in 1949), Helmut Middendorf (born in 1953), Salomé (born in 1954, his actual name is Wolfgang Ludwig Cihlarz) and Bernd Zimmer (born in 1948) marked the beginning of the "Neuen Wilden" (New Wild Ones). As early as in 1977 they founded a "Selbsthilfegalerie" (self-help gallery) on Moritzplatz in Berlin, which would soon become the center of activities of the Berlin "wild scene". The free figurative works of the four young Berlin artists, characterized by a strong coloring and an elevated subjective content, were often spontaneously flung onto the canvas - a mode of operation that justifies a characterization as "Heftige Malerei" (Vigorous Painting). Woodcut-like contours and an expressive coloring is what the Berlin "Wild Ones" have in common with Expressionism and are thus referred to as Neo-expressionists. A fancy for citations, such as in Fetting's "Duschbilder" (Shower Pictures) or the "van Gogh-Zyklus" (van Gogh cycle), also make for the Berlin "New Wild One's" post-modernist orientation.
In terms of topics, Bernd Zimmer focuses on landscapes, in which the lustful and sensual process of creation can be observed. Helmut Middendorf prefers scenes of life in the metropolis Berlin, referencing works of Max Beckmann or Otto Dix. Rainer Fetting and Salomé created male nudes, Fetting in a shocking manner and Salomé with shocking motifs.
The Berlin "Neue Wilde" definitely executed "Heftige Malerei" (Vigorous Painting), a painting that was characterized by an impulsive sensuality, whereas the Cologne and Hamburg artists were slightly less obsessive.


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