Drawings and artist books
Sebastijan Zupancic


COFA Contemporary
Linda Karshan
Hanns Schimansky
Sebastian Rug
Thomas Müller
Katharina Hinsberg



Heinrich Küpper
Drawings and artist books - August 31 until September 28, 2019


The gallery is taking a summer break:
– 30.8.2019

Visits by appointment:
21.8. to 30.8.

opening: Saturday, 31.8.2019, 4 - 7 p.m.

Heinrich Küpper would have turned 100 on 16 September 2019. Ten years ago, on 22 December 2009, he died at the age of 90. On this occasion we are showing our fourth solo exhibition with drawings and artist's books from all of the artist's creative periods.

From his early youth in the thirties until his death, Heinrich Küpper drew during the day but also at night. For me, drawing is a pleasure as well as an obsession he explained to a friend and companion.

Nature observation plays an important role for Küpper. At the beginning of his work are etchings of views of places and realistic drawings of trees. His encounter with Paul Klee's work encouraged him to leave the representational behind and to dedicate himself to the abstract. Starting from the symbolic, his pencil lines become freer and freer over time. Dense tangles of lines cover the sheet as evenly drawn surfaces, usually bordered by a fine margin. In the later years, colours were added. Coloured chalk lines soon covered the pencil drawings. Towards the end of his creative life, his drawings shine in ever new combinations of pure color lines.

The artist's books are thr storagerooms by Heinrich Küpper. Küpper had series of drawings bound into books, or he had page after page inscribed in so-called account books. Books with laid paper commissioned by Küpper are enriched in the same way with lines and colours. The smallest books are only a few centimeters in size, the largest up to 50 cm in size.

Heinrich Küpper was born in 1919 in Düren to a family of book printers. As a teenager he began to draw. His early works were without exception destroyed in a bombing raid. From 1947 to 1950 he studied free graphic art at the Cologne Werkschulen under Alfred Will. At this time, the school at Ubierring in the heavily destroyed city of Cologne is still without a roof and the students are organizing the reconstruction together with the city. For thirty years - from 1950 to 1981 - Küpper worked as a lecturer for free graphic art at the Cologne Werkschulen and the resulting department of art and design at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, and supported and influenced an entire generation of artists in their printmaking work. During this time, Heinrich Küpper has drawn largely unnoticed by the public. After his retirement until immediately before his death in 2009, Heinrich Küpper drew tirelessly.

During his lifetime, drawings and artist books were exhibited in a few public institutions such as the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Düren, the Museum Burg Wissem in Troisdorf, the Diözesanmuseum Kolumba and the Kunst- & Museums-Bibliothek at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, some of whose collections contain large collections of drawings and books. In 2019 the Museum Burg Wissem organized an extensive exhibition of his works from the museum's collection and private collections, and Kolumba will show Küpper's works in the new annual exhibition.