Drawings and artist books
Christiane Löhr


Sebastijan Zupancic
Heinrich Küpper
Christiane Löhr
Thomas Müller
Katharina Hinsberg



Heinrich Küpper
Drawings and artist books - August 31 until September 28, 2019


Heinrich Küpper would have turned 100 on 16 September 2019. Ten years ago, on 22 December 2009, he died at the age of 90. On this occasion we are showing our fourth solo exhibition with drawings and artist's books from all of the artist's creative periods.

Heinrich Küpper drew from his early youth in the 1930s until his death, day and night. His work began with etchings of local views and realistic drawings of trees. His encounter with Paul Klee's work encouraged him to leave the representational behind and to dedicate himself to the abstract. Nevertheless, observing nature played an important role for him throughout his life. Starting from the symbolic, his pencil lines become freer and freer over time. Dense tangles of lines cover the sheet as evenly drawn surfaces, almost always clearly enclosed by a drawn line or an unmarked space towards the edge of the sheet. In the later years, colours were added. Coloured chalk lines soon covered the pencil drawings. Especially in the last decade of his life and work, his drawings shine in ever new combinations of pure color lines. On his 90th birthday, a few months before his death, he answered the question of how he was progressing with his artistic work: there are still so many possibilities.

The artist's books are Heinrich Küpper's storage locations. Küpper creates drawing series and has them bound into books. He describes page after page the so-called account books. Books specially commissioned by him with laid paper are enriched with lines and colours. The smallest books are only a few centimetres in size, the largest up to 50 cm in size.

Heinrich Küpper was born in 1919 in Düren to a family of book printers. As a teenager he began to draw. His early works were without exception destroyed in a bombing raid. In 1947 Küpper comes to Cologne and studies free graphic art at the Cologne Werkschulen with Alfred Will until 1950. At this time, the school at Ubierring in the heavily destroyed city of Cologne is still without a roof. Together with the goverment, the students organized the reconstruction. For thirty years - from 1950 to 1981 - Küpper worked as a lecturer for free graphic art at the Cologne Werkschulen and the resulting department of art and design at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. He has supported and influenced an entire generation of artists in their printmaking work. During this time Küpper drew largely unnoticed by the public. After his retirement, Küpper left Cologne and moved to Ruppichteroth near Siegburg, where he intensified his drawing until his death in 2009.

In the last two decades of his life, Küpper's drawings and artist books were exhibited in German public institutions such as the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Düren, the Museum Burg Wissem in Troisdorf, the Diözesanmuseum Kolumba and the Kunst- & Museums-Bibliothek at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, some of whose collections contain large collections of drawings and books. In 2019 the Museum Burg Wissem organized an extensive exhibition of his works from the museum's collection and private collections. In October Küpper's drawings will be donated to the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf as part of the Hanck donation. Since 2011, the gallery has represented the estate of Heinrich Küpper.