*15 February 1936 in Berlin
German painter, graphic artist, and sculptor
Together with other painters, Wolfgang Leber belongs to a group of Berlin artists known under the summarizing expression ‘Berliner Schule’. The artists, who came together in this group in East Berlin, in the 1960s, don’t follow the ideological guidelines of socialist realism; they rather place a particular emphasis on the autonomy of painting and devote themselves to the themes of man, city, and nature. Leber’s artistic work is focussed on Berlin. His painting is particularly characterized by urban experiences. Over the years, the design of his paintings assumes more abstract stylistic elements. His palette of glowing and bright colours is an essential element of his surprisingly spatial structure. From 1957 to 1961, Leber studies at the Werkkunstschule and at the college of fine arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg. With the building of the Berlin Wall he has to interrupt his studies. From 1962 to 1964, he works as a graphic designer at the Volksbühne Berlin. From 1964 on he works freelance. First plastic works are created in 1966. In 1970, Leber founds the Werkstudio Grafik at the Kulturhaus Prater in the municipal district Prenzlauer Berg, an institution whose director he has been until 1995. His first solo exhibition is in Berlin, in 1972. In the following year, Leber initiates the ‘Galerie am Prater’, a place that offers a first forum for young artists. From 1990 to 1996, the artist holds teaching assignments at the art academy in Berlin-Weißensee, the advanced technical college Berlin and Greifswald University. 1998 – 1999 he teaches as visiting professor at the academy of art in Berlin-Weißensee. In 1999, he resumes his sculptural work.
Since 1964, museums and galleries at home and abroad show Leber’s works in solo and group exhibitions A first comprehensive exhibition of his work takes place at the cultural-historical museum in Stralsund in 2001. Märkisches Museum Berlin hosts a retrospective exhibition of his works in 2016, to celebrate his 80th birthday. Works by the artist are to be found in a large number of public collections, among others the Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Berlinische Galerie, the Lindenau Museum Altenburg, the Germanische Nationalmuseum Nuremberg, and the art collection of the German Bundestag.