Wolfgang Grasse was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1930. After private artistic training first by his grandfather, Feidrich Grasse, and then later studying in Italy, he returned to a partitioned post-war East Germany. There he was imprisoned for his cartoons crtical of Soviet propaganda. He was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison. After serving 8 years of this sentence he was granted an amnesty and released.
He migrated to Australia in 1966 & has had numerous exhibitions (both here & in Germany). He now lives in Tasmania.
Wolfgang's art revisits medieval themes in which we find medieval weaponry replaced by that of the 20th century: the machinery of 20th century warfare which was capable of fulfilling the medieval prophesies borne of the plague. His paintings must be seen in the context of MAD - mutually assured destruction - at the height of the cold war. And although we, the public, now feel safer, the weapons currently at our disposal - chemical and biological - can visit upon us a fate both more immediate and final than that of a nuclear war, albeit one less spectacular.
Wolfgang's style shares many elements with that of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism:
"Fantastic Realism cannot be compared with Surrealism as a garden cannot be compared with a jungle. The fantasy of the Surrealist comes from the subconscious without formal order or relation, whereas the Fantastic Realist uses his images selectively. He uses old and new symbols to express his art purposefully and to show that the human situation never really changes in its eternal truths. The automatism of images of the Surrealist are a sharp contrast to the meaningful symbolism of the Fantastic Realist." Wolfgang Grasse
Wolfgang Grasse has just released a book on his work. In it you can find all of the images reproduced on this site + many more. Click into the link for details on ordering this superb publication.
GRASSE || CHRISTENSEN
|| VAKRAS || HOWEL
|| HOLIAN || RAYMOND