* 15 May 1918 in Berlin; † 7 March 2010 in Berlin
German painter and graphic artist
Wolfgang Frankenstein's early paintings are part of the Berlin avant-garde art scene after World War II. Throughout his career, he combines abstraction and objectivity.
As a child Frankenstein receives drawing lessons from Paul Kuhfuss. From 1933 to 1937 he studies in evening classes with Max Kaus at the School of Applied Arts Berlin-Charlottenburg. From 1939 he is drafted into the army. In 1941 he is released from the military service because of his being a "half Jew". He takes up studies at the School for Fine and Applied Arts in Berlin and, here, becomes friends with Waldemar Grzimek and Gerhard Moll. In 1942 he is banned from continuing his studies and is conscripted for labour service. After receiving a call-up order to be interned in a labour camp, he attempts suicide. Frankenstein is one of the first and important post-war abstract artists. In 1947 he has a solo exhibition in the Berlin Galerie Rosen, where, from 1948 to 1951, he holds the post of artistic director. During this time, together with Jeanne Mammen, Werner Heldt, Hans Laabs and others, Frankenstein is also part of the cabaret "Die Badewanne" [The Bathtub]. From 1952 to 1955 he is a master-pupil with Heinrich Ehmsen at the East Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1953 the painter moves to East Berlin. In the following decades, large murals and panel paintings are created, for - among other places - factories, public institutions and railway stations. In 1962 Frankenstein is appointed Professor at the University of Greifswald. From 1968 to 1983 he is director of the Institute for Art Education at the Humboldt University Berlin.
In 1993 he is rediscovered by the Berlinische Galerie in West Berlin, where he was largely forgotten, with a retrospective as an artist representing both, East and West Berlin.