Rainer Fetting

Germany 1949

Sculpture, Neo-expressionism, Painting

Rainer Fetting
Rainer Fetting
December 20, 2014

Rainer Fetting is a German painter and sculptor, born in 1949. He created a large oeuvre of expressive figurative paintings and portraits, covering many different kinds of subject-matter, as well as many bronze sculptures. He also produced Berlin cityscapes, in which the Wall features largely as a central motif.

Fetting was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. He first completed studies as a carpenter, then worked as a stage designer, which followed his moving to Berlin. He is best known as one of the co-founders and main protagonists of the Galerie am Moritzplatz in Berlin, founded in the late 1970s by a group of young artists at the former Berlin Art Academy. It was created as a self-help project, in order to be able to exhibit their colorful figurative paintings in an art scene still dominated by minimalism, conceptual art, as well as Berlin Realism. This group of artists, known as the Moritzboys and including, among others, Salomé, Bernd Zimmer, and Helmut Middendorf, subsequently achieved international acclaim as the Junge Wilde or Neue Wilde in the early 1980s. In this period, Fetting strove to capture the atmosphere of West Berlin where frequent student protests and the homosexual rights movement provided powerful impetus for societal change in spite of constraints caused by the Wall. Through his expressive cityscapes in the Neue Wilde style, Fetting became a sensitive observer of this atmosphere, and his depictions of the Wall, in particular, with their decisive style and vibrant color palette, represent a vital metropolis welcoming of alternative lifestyles.

At an early stage, Fetting tried out different image perceptions, stylistically based on Impressionism and Expressionism. A DAAD scholarship allowed him to visit New York in 1978. This experience rapidly impacted his style, adding dynamic and movement to his paintings. Up to this point, his art had often been characterized as flat, but he began to use bright colors and strong, dynamic lines that gave his pieces a newfound energy.
In his work since 1982, Fetting has increasingly concerned himself with the depiction of the modern human condition. His view of the vulnerability of the individual in the face of an unintelligible and frequently hostile world puts Fetting in a tradition that stretches back through Kirchner and Nolde, to Van Gogh and Munch. Since 1984, while in New York, Rainer created works in which he mounted driftwood on canvas, overpainted it and integrated it into the composition of the picture.

The first bronze works did not appear until the second half of the 1980s. The bronze sculpture of former West German chancellor Willy Brandt, created for the SPD party headquarters in Bonn, now in Berlin, is his best known work. The most recent works attend increasingly to the metropolis of New York, in which the artist makes an issue of the city’s dark peripheral areas.

His work was presented in numerous group and solo exhibitions, throughout the world.

Rainer Fetting divides his time living and painting both in New York and in Berlin, Germany.

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2013Rainer Fetting – FotografieGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanySolo
2012Sammlung Marx, Eine AuswahlMuseum Narodowe w Szczecinie, Stettin, PolandGroup
2011Sammlung Marx, Eine AuswahlAtlas Sztuki Lodz, PolandGroup
2011Rainer Fetting – BerlinBerlinische Galerie, GermanySolo
2011Neue BilderGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanySolo
2011Der heilige AugenblickMuseum am Dom, Würzburg, GermanyGroup
2010Walking the DogKunsthalle Osnabrück, GermanyGroup
2010Macht zeigen - Kunst als HerrschaftsstrategieDeutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010Berlin zeichnetLudwig-Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, GermanyGroup
2010Berlin zeichnetKunsthalle Rostock, GermanyGroup
2010Berlin zeichnetStadtgalerie Kiel, GermanyGroup
2010Berlin zeichnetGalerie der Stadt Sindelfingen, GermanyGroup
2010The 80s Revisited - aus der Sammlung BischofbergerKunsthalle Bielefeld, GermanyGroup
2010Neo-Expressionist Painting from BerlinTel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, IsraelGroup
2010ManscapesKunsthalle Tübingen, GermanyGroup
2010Some PaintingsGalerie Deschler, BerlinSolo
2009Don't ProjectsLe Souci De SoiGroup
2009GroSstadtbilder - New York, BerlinSaarbrücken, Congresshalle Saarbrücken, GermanyGroup
2009Some Paintings 1974-2009Galerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanySolo
2008Rückkehr der GigantenGerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen, GermanyGroup
2007Summer SettingGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2007Kunst und KanzlerVilla Grisebach, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2007WatersStudio d’Arte Cannaviello, Mailand, ItalySolo
2006Deutsche Bilder aus der Sammlung LudwigLudwigsgalerie Schloss Oberhausen, GermanyGroup
2006Neue ArbeitenGalerie Karl Pfefferle, MunichSolo
2005Los Angeles SurfscapesGalerie Karl Pfefferle, MunichSolo
2005(my private) HeroesMuseum MARTa Herford, Herford, GermanyGroup
2005New York UndergroundGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2005Rainer Fetting trifft Lovis CorinthKunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, GermanySolo
2004CURIOUSGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2004Summer SettingGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2004Particular viewGalleria Alessandro Bagnai, FlorenceGroup
2003 Rainer FettingKunst Köln, Cologne, GermanySolo
2003 Rainer FettingArt Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2003 Rainer FettingGalerie Deschler, Berlin, GermanySolo
2003 Rainer FettingBlickachsen, Bad Homburg, GermanySolo
2003Expressiv!Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Riehen, SwitzerlandGroup
2003Obsessive MalereiMMK Karlsruhe, GermanyGroup
2003Go, Johnny, Go!Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2003 Rainer FettingArt Cologne, Cologne, GermanySolo
2003 Rainer FettingGalerie Peter Borchardt, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2003Neue BilderGalerie Karl Pfefferle, MunichGroup
2002 Rainer FettingArt Frankfurt, Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2002 Rainer FettingBoukamel Contemporary Art Gallery, London, UKSolo
2002 Rainer FettingArt Cologne, Cologne, GermanySolo
2002Neue WildeMuseum Ludwig, Koblenz (Sammlung Martin Sanders), GermanyGroup
2001LandschaftenKunsthalle Emden, GermanyGroup
2001Modelle: Desmond, Ole, Andrea, RaoulGalerie Peter Borchardt, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2000 Rainer FettingGalerie Michael Schultz, Berlin, GermanySolo
2000MännerbilderSchleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum Schloss Gottorf, GermanyGroup
2000Neue Bilder – Neue SkulpturenGalerie Karl Pfefferle, MunichSolo
1999PaintingsBoukamel Contemporary Art Gallery, London, UKGroup
1999Fifty Years, Anniversary Exhibition for his 50th BirthdayBilder und Skulpturen, Galerie Peter Borchardt, Hamburg, GermanySolo
1998FotografieBoukamel Contemporary Art Gallery, London, UKGroup
1998Berlin – Fotografien und Arbeiten auf PapierGalerie Karl Pfefferle, MunichSolo
1997 Rainer FettingVon der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, GermanySolo
1997Heftige malerei - Figurative deutsche Malerei der sechziger bis neunziger Jahre in der Sammlung WürthMuseum Würth, Künzelsau, GermanyGroup
1996Willy Brandt-SkulpturWilly-Brandt-Haus, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1995Rainer Fetting und Zeitgenossen aus der Sammlung Martin SandersStaatliches Russisches Museum, St. Petersburg, RussiaGroup
1995 Rainer FettingGalerie Edition Copenhagen, Copenhagen, DenmarkSolo
1994Neue ArbeitenPfefferle Galerie Munich, GermanySolo
1994Neue ArbeitenGalerie Forsblom Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
1993 Rainer FettingJan Baum Gallery Los Angeles, USASolo
1993 Rainer FettingEstudio Lisenberg Buenos Aires, ArgentinaSolo
1993 Rainer FettingGalerie Tobias Hirschmann Frankfurt, GermanySolo
1993 Rainer FettingGreifen Galerie Greifswald, GermanySolo
1993Etchings and Silkscreens 1978-1992Ratner Gallery Chicago, USASolo
1993MöncheRaab Galerie Berlin, GermanyGroup
1993Still-LifesRaab Gallery London, EnglandGroup
1993Exposition d'EstampesARTCurial Paris, FranceGroup
1992America by Rainer FettingRaab Galerie Berlin, GermanySolo
1992 Rainer FettingGalerie Pfefferle Munich, GermanySolo
1992DesmondGalerie Pfefferle RumforstrasseGroup
1992Bilder und Arbeiten auf PapierSchloß Holdenstedt, Kunstverein Uelzen, GermanySolo
1992Etchings and silkscreens 1978-1992Raab Gallery at Millbank London, EnglandSolo
1992 Rainer FettingGalerie M, Burg Knipshausen Wilhemshaven, GermanySolo
1992New YorkRaab Gallery London, GermanyGroup
1992New Paintings from Berlin, aus der Sammlung Martin SandersMuseum of Art, Tel Aviv, IsraelGroup
1991DrehungGalerie Pfefferle Munich, GermanyGroup
1991KöpfeGalerie Mönch Bremen, GermanyGroup
1991GraphikAlbrechtburg MeiSen, GermanyGroup
1991Works on paper and paintingGlasgow Print Studio Glasgow, EnglandSolo
1991Rainer Fetting 1990-1991Raab Galerie Berlin, GermanySolo
1991Rainer Fetting 1990-1991Raab Gallery, Cork Street London, EnglandSolo
1991Recent paintings & Works on PaperMiriam Shiell Fine Art Toronto, CanadaSolo
1991Gemälde und Skulpturen, Berlin-New YorkNationalgalerie Berlin, Stadtmuseum Weimar Berlin, GermanyGroup
1988Refigured Painting, The German Image 1960-1988Museum of Art, Toledo, OhioGroup
1988Refigured Painting, The German Image 1960-1988Guggenheim Museum, New York, USAGroup
1988Portraits, Stadtlandschaften, Wald, SkulpturenRaab Galerie, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1988Portraits, Stadtlandschaften, Wald, SkulpturenLondon, UKGroup
1987Berlinart 1967-1987Museum of Modern Art, New York, USAGroup
1987 Rainer FettingSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USASolo
1987 Rainer FettingGalerie Daniel Templon, Paris, FranceSolo
1986 Rainer FettingMuseum Folkwang, Essen, GermanySolo
1986 Rainer FettingKunsthalle Basel, SwitzerlandSolo
1986New York Landscapes, Portraits and SculpturesMarlborough Gallery, New YorkGroup
1982Zeitgeist, Internationale Kunstausstellung Berlin 1982Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1982 Rainer FettingAnthony d’Offay, London, UKSolo
1982 Rainer FettingMary Boone, New York, USASolo
1982 Rainer FettingPaul Maenz, Cologne, GermanySolo
1981A New Spirit in PaintingRoyal Academy of Art, London, UKGroup
1981Rainer FettingBruno Bischofberger, Zürich, SwitzerlandSolo
1980Heftige MalereiHaus am Waldsee, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1980StadtbilderGalerie am Moritzplatz, Berlin, GermanyGroup