Oil and sand on canvas, 220 x 250 cm
The Berlin Wall - how often do you think Fetting depicted it? More than probably anyone before or after him, he interpreted this building in its contemporary and political, but also psychological dimensions in numerous variations, perspectives and color schemes. From his studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg (then: West Berlin) he could see the Wall at the Heinrich-Heine-Straße/Prinzenstraße border crossing and was thus confronted daily with the sight of the divided city. His way of dealing with the German-German border was new at the time, caused a lot of sensation and was sometimes perceived as shocking. The nighttime painting "Durchgang Berlin" shows the Wall and its surroundings as an overpowering, hostile concrete desert. It stands for dominance, which is a persistent feature of Fettings’s paintings of the Wall, with its death strip and barriers. It was his way to react to the daily East-West confrontation that was omnipresent in Berlin at the time.
As in Fetting's pictures, the Wall was also generally perceived as a striking symbol of both the division of Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the division of Europe during the Cold War. Both resulted from the Second World War. At that time, the member states of the Warsaw Pact under the leadership of the then Soviet Union and the U.S.-dominated NATO faced each other not only in a purely symbolic way - even though the "hot war" never broke out. The division of Germany into the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and of Europe in general was one of the main research topics of the Social Science Research Institute (SFI) at the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen. So the academy dealt first-hand with the topic, on which it organized numerous international conferences and published books.
Rainer Fetting (*1949 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany) is one of the best-known representatives of the Neue Wilde. He studied in Berlin from 1972 to 1978 and showed his first exhibitions at the Galerie am Moritzplatz. A scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) took him to New York in 1978, where he lived temporarily between 1983 and 1994. The stay in both metropolises - Berlin and New York - had a profound influence on him and his art, so that numerous works by Fetting take up the life in these cities. In particular, he focuses on the Berlin Wall and the peripheral zones of New York. Fetting became an equally well-known, sought-after and restless artist: Almost every year, he showed large solo exhibitions in renowned galleries and museums in Europe and the USA and participated in countless group exhibitions.
Fetting's work is expressive and colorful. In addition to big-city life, he prefers to paint the male nude and, in contrast, depictions of nature and landscapes. In addition, there are portraits and figures, watercolors, works on paper and photographs. Since 1986, he has been equally successful in creating bronze sculptures. The monumental Willy Brandt statue in the Willy Brandt House in Berlin is one of his most famous sculptures - it measures an impressive 3.40 meters and weighs more than 500 kg. Today, Fetting lives and works in Berlin and on Sylt island.