Ralph Fleck

Patterns of life and art proliferate in German artist Ralph Fleck’s densely textured paintings—aerial cityscapes, flower fields, packed bookshelves and crowds of figures. Even more than observations of our physical environment, they are explorations of order and human production, of the kinds of patterns nature and people create, and how those patterns intersect with art. 

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Biography

Patterns of life and art proliferate in German artist Ralph Fleck’s densely textured paintings—flower fields, packed bookshelves, piles of papers and boxes, aerial cityscapes, and churning water. Even more than observations of our physical environment, they are explorations of order and human production, the kinds of patterns nature and people create, and how those patterns intersect with art. As German art historian Wolfgang Längsfeld has said, he is a "painter who delves passionately into the structures of physically explorable reality.”
Fleck’s canvases play up the relationship between paint, with its formless, viscous, potentiality, and the real world, with its set lines and surfaces. Though at any moment, he seems to suggest, one world may morph into the other. He even paints images generated by art-making itself, depicting color swatches that double as geometric color fields, or the dabs and smears on his palette, which winkingly mirror works of expressionism—paintings of paint that shift between abstraction and literal reality.
In a subtle way, his paintings are concerned with the technology of seeing. His images of fields and interiors often recall zoomed-in photographs, a quality that German editor and critic Hans-Joachim Müller, in a catalog essay on Fleck’s work, traces back to Walter Benjamin’s ideas about art in the era of mechanical reproduction. It’s as if Fleck’s paintings are an act of resistance against the imagery that has flooded the modern world, “substituting narrow reproductions of reality with his own strong pictures.” Meanwhile, his cityscapes take a zoomed-out perspective, as if from an airplane or drone. Winifred Wang, a prominent art critic and architect, notes that they are about “ambience,” the essential character of the cities themselves.
Fleck's process centers on moment-by-moment interactions with the canvas. A painter obsessed with capturing the raw essence of his subjects, he is concerned with the immediacy of brushstrokes and the tactility of paint. Whether he’s painting a field of golden flowers or a wall of urban apartments, his colors create a shimmering fabric of shadows, highlights, and splashes of unexpected hues. Lothar Romain, a Berlin-based critic and curator who authored monographs on Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, compares Fleck’s use of impasto and changing color patterns to late-period Monet: “The rich impasto application becomes the inner structure of the painting, but never totally lets it representational origin out of sight.”
Born in Freiburg, Germany, Fleck studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts and has been widely collected throughout Germany and Europe, including at the MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art in Duisburg, Germany; the German Embassies in Brussels, Lima, Madrid, and Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Freiburg, Germany; the Royal Bank of Scotland Art Collection in London; and the United Nations building in The Haugue, Netherlands.

Born
1951 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Education
1973- State Academy of Fine Arts, Karsruhe, Germany.
1978
1981 Scholarship to study at Villa Massimo, Rome (1984-85)
2003- Professor at the Akademie der Bildenen Kunste, Nuremberg
2014

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2015 Ralph Fleck, MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art, Duisburg, Germany.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2014 Galerie Boisserée, Köln, Germany.
2013 313 Art Project, Seoul, South Korea.
2012 New Paintings, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
Forum Kunst, Rottweil, Germany.
Galerie Baumgarten, Freiburg, Germany.
2011 Schloss Bonndorf, Bonndorf, Germany.
Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam.
2010 Galerie 313, Seoul, South Korea.
Waldshut, Schloss Bonndorf, Baden-Wuerttemberg,
Germany.
Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany.
2009 Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany.
2008 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2007 Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Germany.
Giverny, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2006 Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam.
Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
2005 Deutschlands Galerien zu Gast bei Lamy, Heidelberg,
Germany.
Galerie von Braubehrens, Munich, Germany.
2004 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2003 Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
2002 Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Germany.
Kunstverein Augsburg, Germany.
2001 Städtische Galerie Schwäbisch Hall, Germany.
Galerie von Braunbehrens, Germany.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2000 Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1999 Galerie Winkelmann, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
1998 Galerie Axel Thieme, Darmstadt, Germany.
Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Germany.
1997 Galerie Rottloff, Karlsruhe, Germany.
1996 Galerie Brennecke, Germany.
1995 Stadtische Galerie Tuttlingen, Germany.
Stattliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany.
1994 Stadtische Galerie, Rastatt, Germany.
1993 Galerie Hermeyer, Munich, Germany.
1992 Galerie Aphold, Freiburg, Germany.
1991 Galerie Schindler, Zermatt, Switzerland.
1990 Galerie Wentzel, Cologne, Germany.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2015 Salon der Gegenwart 2015, salondergegenwart, Hamburg
‘BuchKunst’ Malerei – Skulptur – Objekt, Kreissparkasse
Rottweil.
Meisterschuler der Klasse Fleck, Morat Institut fur Kunst und
Kreissparkasse Rottweil, Germany.
von Zero an, Kunstsammlung der Deutsche Bahn Stiftung,
Nurnberg, Germany.
Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York
Kunstsammlung des Landkreises Waldshut, Museum St.
Blasien, Germany.
Klasse Fleck, Stadtische Galerie Fruchthalle Rastatt
Contemporary Consturctions: Matthew & Iris Strauss Family
Foundation, California.
Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA.
Don’t Look Back, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
2014 From the Beginning : Afterwards, 313 Art Project, Seoul
Meister, Schuler und Meisterschuler: Die Klasse Fleck,
Kulturzentrum Schloss, Bonndorf.
Faszination Meer, Galerie Schrade Karlsruhe und Schloss
Mochental
Schones Buntes Bild IV – Werke der 1980er Jahre aus der
Sammlung, Museum fur Neue
Kunst, Freiburg
Meisterschuler: The painting class of Ralph Fleck at the
Academy of Fine Arts Nuremer
2003-14 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London

Press

PRESS

Born
1951 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Education
1973- State Academy of Fine Arts, Karsruhe, Germany.
1978
1981 Scholarship to study at Villa Massimo, Rome (1984-85)
2003- Professor at the Akademie der Bildenen Kunste, Nuremberg
2014

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2015 Ralph Fleck, MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art, Duisburg, Germany.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2014 Galerie Boisserée, Köln, Germany.
2013 313 Art Project, Seoul, South Korea.
2012 New Paintings, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
Forum Kunst, Rottweil, Germany.
Galerie Baumgarten, Freiburg, Germany.
2011 Schloss Bonndorf, Bonndorf, Germany.
Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam.
2010 Galerie 313, Seoul, South Korea.
Waldshut, Schloss Bonndorf, Baden-Wuerttemberg,
Germany.
Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany.
2009 Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany.
2008 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2007 Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Germany.
Giverny, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2006 Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam.
Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
2005 Deutschlands Galerien zu Gast bei Lamy, Heidelberg,
Germany.
Galerie von Braubehrens, Munich, Germany.
2004 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2003 Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
2002 Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Germany.
Kunstverein Augsburg, Germany.
2001 Städtische Galerie Schwäbisch Hall, Germany.
Galerie von Braunbehrens, Germany.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
2000 Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1999 Galerie Winkelmann, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
1998 Galerie Axel Thieme, Darmstadt, Germany.
Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Germany.
1997 Galerie Rottloff, Karlsruhe, Germany.
1996 Galerie Brennecke, Germany.
1995 Stadtische Galerie Tuttlingen, Germany.
Stattliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany.
1994 Stadtische Galerie, Rastatt, Germany.
1993 Galerie Hermeyer, Munich, Germany.
1992 Galerie Aphold, Freiburg, Germany.
1991 Galerie Schindler, Zermatt, Switzerland.
1990 Galerie Wentzel, Cologne, Germany.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2015 Salon der Gegenwart 2015, salondergegenwart, Hamburg
‘BuchKunst’ Malerei – Skulptur – Objekt, Kreissparkasse
Rottweil.
Meisterschuler der Klasse Fleck, Morat Institut fur Kunst und
Kreissparkasse Rottweil, Germany.
von Zero an, Kunstsammlung der Deutsche Bahn Stiftung,
Nurnberg, Germany.
Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York
Kunstsammlung des Landkreises Waldshut, Museum St.
Blasien, Germany.
Klasse Fleck, Stadtische Galerie Fruchthalle Rastatt
Contemporary Consturctions: Matthew & Iris Strauss Family
Foundation, California.
Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA.
Don’t Look Back, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
2014 From the Beginning : Afterwards, 313 Art Project, Seoul
Meister, Schuler und Meisterschuler: Die Klasse Fleck,
Kulturzentrum Schloss, Bonndorf.
Faszination Meer, Galerie Schrade Karlsruhe und Schloss
Mochental
Schones Buntes Bild IV – Werke der 1980er Jahre aus der
Sammlung, Museum fur Neue
Kunst, Freiburg
Meisterschuler: The painting class of Ralph Fleck at the
Academy of Fine Arts Nuremer
2003-14 Purdy Hicks Gallery, London

Biography

Patterns of life and art proliferate in German artist Ralph Fleck’s densely textured paintings—flower fields, packed bookshelves, piles of papers and boxes, aerial cityscapes, and churning water. Even more than observations of our physical environment, they are explorations of order and human production, the kinds of patterns nature and people create, and how those patterns intersect with art. As German art historian Wolfgang Längsfeld has said, he is a "painter who delves passionately into the structures of physically explorable reality.”
Fleck’s canvases play up the relationship between paint, with its formless, viscous, potentiality, and the real world, with its set lines and surfaces. Though at any moment, he seems to suggest, one world may morph into the other. He even paints images generated by art-making itself, depicting color swatches that double as geometric color fields, or the dabs and smears on his palette, which winkingly mirror works of expressionism—paintings of paint that shift between abstraction and literal reality.
In a subtle way, his paintings are concerned with the technology of seeing. His images of fields and interiors often recall zoomed-in photographs, a quality that German editor and critic Hans-Joachim Müller, in a catalog essay on Fleck’s work, traces back to Walter Benjamin’s ideas about art in the era of mechanical reproduction. It’s as if Fleck’s paintings are an act of resistance against the imagery that has flooded the modern world, “substituting narrow reproductions of reality with his own strong pictures.” Meanwhile, his cityscapes take a zoomed-out perspective, as if from an airplane or drone. Winifred Wang, a prominent art critic and architect, notes that they are about “ambience,” the essential character of the cities themselves.
Fleck's process centers on moment-by-moment interactions with the canvas. A painter obsessed with capturing the raw essence of his subjects, he is concerned with the immediacy of brushstrokes and the tactility of paint. Whether he’s painting a field of golden flowers or a wall of urban apartments, his colors create a shimmering fabric of shadows, highlights, and splashes of unexpected hues. Lothar Romain, a Berlin-based critic and curator who authored monographs on Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, compares Fleck’s use of impasto and changing color patterns to late-period Monet: “The rich impasto application becomes the inner structure of the painting, but never totally lets it representational origin out of sight.”
Born in Freiburg, Germany, Fleck studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts and has been widely collected throughout Germany and Europe, including at the MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art in Duisburg, Germany; the German Embassies in Brussels, Lima, Madrid, and Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Freiburg, Germany; the Royal Bank of Scotland Art Collection in London; and the United Nations building in The Haugue, Netherlands.