Rainer Fetting

(b. 1949)

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(1949– )

German painter, born in Wilhelmshaven, the son of an art teacher. To avoid military service he moved to Berlin in 1972 to study art. In 1977 he cofounded the Galerie am Moritzplatz in the factory building where he lived with Salomé, which provided an exhibition space for many of the Neo-Expressionists. In 1980 he took part in an exhibition in Berlin entitled ‘Heftiger Maler’ (‘Violent Painters’). Afterwards he, Salomé, Bernd Zimmer (1948– ), and Helmut Middendorf (1953– ) became known as the ‘Neue Wilden’. Fetting identified strongly with van Gogh as the tragic outsider figure and he made a series of paintings in which the Dutch painter is confronted with the Berlin Wall and sprays it with graffiti. Some of Fetting's paintings depict the gay club scene in Berlin; others attempt unsubtle political comment, as in Die Bombe (1972), in which dancing figures are threatened with annihilation. Fetting's vigorous and vividly coloured paintings were widely seen in the 1980s, but his reputation has not really outlived the fashion for Neo-Expressionism.

Subjects: Art.

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