* 6 August 1900 in Dresden; † 20 January 1986 in Dresden
Hans Kinder is a major protagonist of modern painting in Dresden and, as an artist, a maverick in the GDR of East Germany. The decisive impulses behind his production are inspired by the Bauhaus and its holistic aesthetic approach, by Dresden’s painting culture, by cubism and his engagement with Picasso. Characteristic for his artwork is the representation of movement, simultaneity and transparency on a flat plane. This is especially visible at the highpoint of his production, i.e., in his late work.
From 1916 Hans Kinder attends the Applied Arts Academy in Dresden. His studies are interrupted by his frontline service in World War I. In 1924-25 the artist has the possibility to study one year at the Bauhaus in Weimar as a guest student. It is here that the foundation for his work is laid in the relationship between art and science. He studies color and form issues, the accord between rationality and aesthetic sensibility, as well as the “psychic property of optical reference systems”.
From 1925 to 1932, Kinder completes his studies at the Academy of the Arts in Dresden in the department of mural painting. In 1928 and in 1931, the artist is awarded the Grand Saxon State Prize for his outstanding achievements. In 1932 he becomes a member of the New Dresden Secession.
He serves as a soldier in World War II from 1939 to 1945. In 1942 and through the intercession of the writer and officer, Ernst Jünger, he meets Picasso in his Paris studio. This impression affected him all his life.
After 1945, Kinder works freelance in Dresden. In 1947 he joins the artists group “Das Ufer” (the riverbank). Meanwhile Kinder keeps his distance from the GDR’s state-controlled art and cultural scene. During post-war reconstruction, he is devoted once again to mural painting and up to 1970 carries out many architecture-sited works in his native city as well as in Berlin and Leipzig.
Kinder is an admirer of the performative art of the Frenchman, Marcel Marceau. His occupation with the mime’s flow of movements results in an increasing reduction and abstraction in his own work. Between 1963 and 1984, he creates the so-called Marceau cycle.
From 1957 on, Hans Kinder regularly spends his summers in Ahrenshoop on the Baltic coast. It is there that his need for the experience of color and form could be satisfied by the light and the sea. In the last stage of the artist’s life his work once again attains fullness and lightness of being. After the death of his wife in 1981, Kinder immerses himself in work. Up to 1986 he does four work cycles (the Orpheus, Eros, Spectrum and A cycles).
A few days before his death, the artist writes in his diary: “In a certain sense, I am still working on an analysis of the Twenties. But this process has gone through a transformation from an analysis to a catalysis and then to a synthesis.”