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Stephan Kaluza 

The painterly work of Stephan Kaluza is basically about depictions of nature, be it in black and white blurring, in hyper-realistic depictions (oil on canvas) or in almost abstract depictions of forests, water surfaces or undergrowth. An alleged idyll is painted, because not everything in these pictures is pure nature - disturbances creep in, appearances are often deceptive, especially when former battlefields or other places of human abysses are hidden behind idyllic landscapes. In this way, these images are given a second level – the ostentatious beauty of nature in Nunc Stans, in the timeless now, becomes a questionable one. Kaluza transfers this thought to very personal reminiscences; among other things, he painted a surf on the Brazilian coast, in which he had almost drowned a few years earlier. So the second, background level of these pictures is, if you will, actually the first; it is less about painting the visible than about exploring what is hidden behind the power of nature and thus especially about the central question: What is creation?

Similar to Kaluza’s older work The Disappeared, these pictures were captured as a series of images. Painting has been reduced of color, and the canvases seem to fade increasingly into a haze. The result of this process is an almost white and empty surface; a nothingness. This approach can be understood as a critical indication of human interference with nature, emphasizing that the natural world is neither constant, nor eternal. Kaluza portrays nature as rather fragile, destructible and helpless. As the natural settings seem to fall out of the onlooker’s field of vision, the natural beauty increasingly disappears in its entirety. Echoing this sentiment, Kaluza has also painted portraits of nature straight from feature films – a nature that, if you like, has already become artificial. If, according to Friedrich Nietzsche, art is understood as both the goal and the salvation from earthly suffering, then this transformation is almost completed because the human world has largely absorbed nature.

 In the Transit II series, Stephan Kaluza takes a photo-realistic approach. The interpretation of nature in the form of abstract color surfaces now gives way to a hyper-realistic rendering.
The imitation of nature indicates another variant of this painting - imitation is not understood here as copying, but as an after-feeling of creation, which in this way wants to be understood more deeply; painting as scouting, as exploration of a world that (still) surrounds us; a world that can already be understood as a "station of transit", as a moving transit of ephemerality.

In a way, imitation allows creation to be reviewed, allowing loving, rejecting, rational as well as irrational interventions, to the same extent as the world is shaped by rational and irrational interventions; the empathy, also in the sense of interpretation and deformation, relives an existing creative process.”

Beate Reifenscheid, Direktorin, Ludwig Museum



Public and private Collections


Francois Pinault, Paris

Museum Walter / Glaspalast, Augsburg

Sammlung de Knecht, Amsterdam

Collection Munoz, Madrid

Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf

Sammlung Dahlmann, Hamburg

Sammlung Teutloff, Bielefeld

Museum of the Seam, Jerusalem

White & Case, Düsseldorf, Berlin

Sammlung Kremer-Tengelmann, Gelsenkirchen

Arp Museum Remagen

Gwangju Museum of Art




Art Chicago 2003

ARCO 2004

George Konell Preis der Stadt Wiesbaden, 2005

Carl Lauterbach-Preis der Carl – und Ruth Lauterbach-Stiftung,  Düsseldorf, 2005

Kunstpreis des FBZ, Bochum 2019




„Schrift, Bilder, Denken – Die Kunst der Gegenwart und Walter Benjamin“,

Hrsg. Peter Herbstreuth, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, 2006

„Declaration“ Hrsg. National Museum of contemporary Art, Seoul, 2006

„The right to protest“, Hrsg. Museum of the Seam, Jerusalem, 2010

„Das Rheinprojekt - complexe 1“ Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter König/

Dumont Verlag, Köln, 2007

„The Thames-Project - complexe 2“ Thames & Hudson Ltd, London 2009

„Die unsichtbare Mauer“ Dumont Verlag, Köln, 2009

„Felder“, Dumont Verlag, Köln, 2011

„Atlantic Zero“, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2010

„3D“, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2011

„Weil ich es kann“, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2012

„Sand“, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2012

„Geh auf Magenta“, Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, 2013, Roman

„30 Keller“, Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, 2014, Roman

„Ein möglicher Ort“, Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, 2015, Roman

„Atlantic Zero, 3D, Sand“, Suhrkamp Spectaculum, 2015

„Transit“ DCV Berlin, 2020

„Fragmente eines Ängstlichen“, DCV Berlin, Roman, 2020

„Die dritte Natur“, DCV Berlin, 2021

„Das Rheinprojekt II“, DCV Berlin, 2021

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