Gunter Fruhtrunk, German (1923 - 1983)

Gunter Fruhtrunk
Günter Fruhtrunk was born in Munich in 1923. After finishing school he began studying architecture at the Technical University in Munich, but decided to join the army as a volunteer two semesters later, in the autumn of 1941. Fruhtrunk began sketching and painting watercolours, mainly landscapes, during the war - probably as a balance to his war experiences. Fruhtrunk moved to Neufrach in 1945 where he studied privately under the painter and graphic artist William Straube, a pupil of Hölzel and Matisse.

Fruhtrunk met Willi Baumeister in 1948 and Julius Bissier in 1949 - encounters, which, in the artist's eyes, led him towards abstract art. After being awarded a scholarship from the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Gouvernement Français in 1954, the artist moved to Paris where he worked in the studios of Léger and Arp. The results of this collaboration were shown in Günter Fruhtrunk's first exhibition in Paris in 1955 at René Drouin's Cercle Volnay. Fruhtrunk continued working and living in Paris or France in the 1960s. Fruhtrunk was awarded the Prix Jean Arp in Cologne in 1961 and the silver medal of the Prix d'Europe in Ostende in 1966.

There was a retrospective exhibition of Fruhtrunk's works in 1963 at the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund. Fruhtrunk began teaching at the Kunstakademie in Munich at the beginning of the winter semester 1967/68. The artist's participation at the documenta IV is an indication of his importance in German art history after the Second World War: Fruhtrunk transformed the ideas of Constructivism into a more colourful, rhythmical pictorial world by creating a dynamic language of form with vector-like diagonal lines arranged rhythmically according to their alternating colours. Günter Fruhtrunk committed suicide on 12 December 1982 in his studio in the Munich Kunstakademie.

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