*1949 in Bremen-Blumenthal – † 2013 in Bremen
Falling somewhere between abstraction, representation, and cartoon, the paintings of Norbert Schwontkowski tell a story in just a few brush strokes. To make his paintings, he always ground his own pigment, mixing them directly on the canvas as though he were working with pastels. He added metal oxides to the pigment, creating shimmering surfaces that continue to change over time. Schwontkowski’s paintings are deceivingly simple, at once playful and melancholic, naïve and sophisticated, however, his unassuming canvases can also be oddly humorous at times. Analyzing life from different perspectives, they often depict absurd situations from daily life, but the subject is always a human being searching for enlightenment and inspiration in a bleak world.
Norbert Schwontkowski studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Bremen and at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg from 1968 to 1973. Most recently, his work has been exhibited at the Weserburg Museum of Modern Art in Bremen and at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn. Previous exhibitions include solo presentations at the Kunsthalle Bremen as well as at the CAA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, which last one traveled to Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown. Furthermore, his work was included in the Berlin Biennale in 2005.