Stefan Szczesny is a contemporary German painter who helped to co-found the Neue Wilde movement, along with Walter Dahn and Andreas Schulze. His paintings, often utilize brightly colored and patterned backgrounds that contrast with female figures painted in sinuous black lines. His juxtaposition of figure and pattern is reminiscent of Henri Matisse’s odalisque paintings. About his work, Szczesny has said, “Paintings are complex puzzles in the twilight world between abstraction and figuration. I use the medium in a simple, unsophisticated way to express what I don't see expressed anywhere else.” Born on April 9, 1951 in Munich, Germany, he studied under the painter Günter Fruhtrunk at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. After studying with Fruhtrunk, the artist mainly experimented with Minimalist Abstraction. It was not until the mid-1970s that Szczesny began to create figurative paintings. This sea change, was largely due to his experience seeing Eugene Delacroix paintings in Paris for the first time. The artist has gone on to exhibit at the Kunsthalle Bremen, Villa Massimo in Rome, and the Goethe-Institut in Paris. He lives and works between St. Tropez, France and Berlin, Germany.
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