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German painter infuses politics into his artwork

BERND Schwarzer belongs to the generation who first learned from abstract artists in Dusseldorf, Germany, and then continued to study masters like Goya and Rembrandt.

The German artist's solo exhibition is underway at Shanghai Art Museum through October 6.

In his paintings, Schwarzer predominantly uses the colors of the German flag: black, red and gold.

Born in 1954 in Weimar, Schwarzer and his family moved to Dusseldorf and the artist has made a name for himself through large political manifesto images.

The pressing political issues of his time, as he sees them, are clearly reflected in his works. He has addressed the issue of German reunification in his early works from the 1970s and 1980s, long before this became a reality.

Besides German unification, the call for European unity is also prevalent in his work. In the 1980s and 1990s, the colors blue and yellow and the shape of a circle - all symbols of a united Europe - were added to the German colors.

However, Schwarzer also looks beyond Europe's borders with his pictures. For example, his latest works have a particular focus on moving closer to the United States and Russia.

"Art is better suited than many other disciplines to building bridges between people, religions, cultures and different political systems," says Xiao Xiaolan, director of the exhibition department at Shanghai Art Museum. "The works of Schwarzer try to overcome boundaries between people, races and countries, dispelling prejudice and creating trust."

Date: through October 6, 9am-5pm

Address: 325 Nanjing Rd W.


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