Konrad Klapheck  

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Konrad Klapheck (1935 – 2023) was a German painter and graphic artist whose style of painting combines features of Surrealism and Pop art.

His typewriter painting The Will to Power (1959) was featured in Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (1999) by Friedrich A. Kittler and his painting Der Krieg (1965) was the object of one of the episodes of 1000 Meisterwerke.


Konrad Klapheck was born in Düsseldorf on 10 February 1935 to arts historians and professors Richard and Anna Klappheck (née Strümpell, daughter of Adolf Strümpell). From 1954 to 1956 Konrad studied painting under Bruno Goller at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Klapheck's works of the mid-1950s are in a magic realist style that became more idiosyncratic when he painted the first of his typewriters. His subsequent paintings, often large in scale, are precise and seemingly realistic depictions of technical equipment, machinery, and everyday objects, but strangely alienated.

Klapheck's subjects through the years included (in order of introduction) typewriters, sewing machines, water taps and showers, telephones, irons, shoes, keys, saws, car tires, bicycle bells, and clocks. Influenced by Duchamp, Man Ray, and Max Ernst, Klapheck's treatment of everyday mechanics prefigured pop art in its magnification of the trivial. He was also close to French Surrealism and André Breton wrote his last published text about a Klapheck's exhibition at Galerie Sonnabend in 1965.

Between 1992 and 2002, he painted friends, colleagues, and celebrities from the international art scene. He became a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1979.

Klapheck died on 30 July 2023, at the age of 88.

Linking in at time of death

100 Great Paintings, 1000 Meisterwerke, 4. documenta, Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin, Derrière le miroir, Documenta 6, Freddy Flores Knistoff, Hyperrealism (visual arts), Jean Frémon, Kestnergesellschaft, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, List of German painters, Lothar Wolleh, Pop art

See also

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