Wolfgang Ludwig
Construction with two circular rings and red centre, 1959
oil on hardboard
50 x 50 cm
Wolfgang Ludwig
Horizontal Continuum I, 1961
oil on hardboard
61,5 x 61,5 cm

Wolfgang Ludwig, born in 1923 in Mielesdorf in Thüringen, is an important artist of Op art, a style created in the 1960ies, whose representatives generated surprising optical effects on the viewer by means of precise abstract patterns and geometrical colour figures. Ludwig, who studies from 1947 to 1950 at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig  and from 1950- 1956 with Hans Uhlmann and Alexander Camaro at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, lives in Berlin and belongs to the circle of the ZERO movement. Having in the beginning focussed on coloured phenomena, he concentrates as from 1963, on his group of works of cinematic discs. He eliminates all colours and reduces his works to black and white. He constructed and painted circular, radial systems with even rays in black on a white background or vice versa. With these disc constructions, Ludwig searches for possibilities to „stress“ the perception of the viewer, as he put it himself. Although the structures are purely static, the systems seem to start rotating slowly after a few seconds of looking at them. This rotation seems to happen clockwise and swing back in a counter-rotation. An affliction of his hands put a premature end to his creative work. As from 1971 he concentrates on his professorship in visual communication at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin which he holds until 1991. In spite of his comparatively short period of active and creative production, Ludwig’s art is internationally acknowledged. His works are represented in retrospective Op-art exhibitions to this day, e.g. in 2007 at the Optic Nerve show at the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio.

 He dies in 2009 in Berlin.

1963 Participation in the exhibition ZERO, Galerie Diogenes, Berlin 1965 Participation in the exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art, New York 1966 First single exhibition with the cinematic discs at the situation 60 Galerie, Berlin Participation in the exhibition Junge Generation - Maler und Bildhauer in Deutschland at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin 1970 Exhibition at the Galerie m, Bochum (together with Francois Morellet) 2007 Participation in the exhibition Op Art at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt a.M. Optic Nerve at the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio 2010 Wolfgang Ludwig. Arbeiten von 1958-1979, Galerie Dierking, Zurich 2013 A Century of Light and Motion in art, 1913-2013, Grand Palais, Paris 2017 A Tribute to the Responsive Eye, Galerie Dierking, Zurich 2018 Black & White. From Dürer to Eliasson, Museum Kunstpalast Dusseldorf / Action <-> Reaction – 100 years of kinetic art, Kunsthal Rotterdam.


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