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10 German Artists You Should Know
Get inspired 13 Sep 2023

10 German Artists You Should Know

Although punctuated by war and political and social crises, Germany has seen the emergence of many artists from the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the most well-known art movements have come out of this country or have been developed within Germany, including Expressionism, the Bauhaus School of Arts and Craft, and the surrealist Neue Gruppe. Artsper is here to highlight notable German artists, from the grand masters of contemporary art to the country’s newest talents. 

1. Stefanie Schneider (1968 – )

german artist stefanie schneider
Stefanie Schneider, Feathered (Stage of Consciousness) part of the 29 Palms, CA project, 2007, available on Artsper

While Schneider may be German, the photographer’s subject of choice is often the American West. Schneider is based between Germany and Los Angeles, where her photographs exhibit the appearance of expired Polaroid instant film with chemical mutations. Her analog photographs and experimental movies take on different themes, one of the most popular being the dreams and fantasies explored in her project 29 Palms, CA. The featured photographs give the impression of faded dreamy film stills. Schneider’s work has also been used as the cover art for music by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Cyndi Lauper, and in the film Stay (2005).

2. Richard Lindner (1901 – 1978)

german artist richard lindner
Richard Lindner, Ace of club, 1977, available on Artsper

Lindner explored questions of sexuality and gender in his artwork, which often referenced German expressionism and memories of his mother’s clothing store. This Hamburg-born artist began his career as an illustrator and caricaturist for movie posters and newspapers before devoting himself to painting in 1950. After fleeing Nazi-Germany to other European countries and eventually the US, Lindner moved towards the Pop-art movement. But his background as an illustrator is clear in his simple shapes, exaggerated outlines, and flat, bright colors.

3. Selçuk Dizlek (1976 – )

Selçuk Dizlek, Kringel Blauorange, 2022, available on Artsper
Selçuk Dizlek, Kringel Blauorange, 2022, available on Artsper

Sculptor Selçuk Dizlek blurs the boundaries between mediums, as he uses light as one of his main materials. Further, his use of line makes these sculptures geometrically abstract and concrete simultaneously. Dizlek was born in 1976 in Schweinfurt and studied at the Nuremberg Art Academy, and continues to make innovative and unexpected sculptures of many forms today. 

4. Arnaud Ele (1992 – )

german artist arnaud ele
Arnaud Ele, La bleue Margot, 2019, available on Artsper

Born in Cameroon, Arnaud Ele developed his studies and career in film photography largely in Berlin. Known for his endlessly cool fashion shots, videos and documentaries, he refuses to settle in one given place, having spent much of his life traveling. His identity is rooted in this itinerancy. He deeply values escapism and experimentation, which are essential to his brilliantly intimate pictures. 

5. Max Ernst (1891 – 1976)

german artist max ernst
Max Ernst, Danseuses, 1950, available on Artsper

The well-known German artist, Max Ernst was a member of several different art movements throughout his career. Beginning as a member of the Blaue Reiter group, Ernst then moved towards expressionism and surrealism. The dynamic artist eventually contributed largely to the Dada movement alongside Paul Klee and Marcel Duchamp in Cologne. The German artist developed the technique of “rubbing,” where he placed a piece of paper over different surfaces to allow random patterns to appear. Ernst moved all around the world, and his many travels influenced his styles and mediums, such as collages and sculptures.

6. Julia Hariri (1993 – )

german artist julia hariri
Julia Hariri, Ecstatic Nudes 20, 2021, available on Artsper

Berlin-based artist, Julia Hariri, is emerging onto the abstract scene. After studying and working in fashion, Hariri decided to focus on her own personal projects. The artist is highly influenced by the role of women in society, specifically how they are seen and treated. Hariri pictures the future of women, celebrating the full control of her mind, body and soul. Visualizing women in various abstract shapes and compositions Julia wants to point out solidarity, strength and appreciation among and towards women. 

7. Tilman (1959 – )

german artist tilman
Tilman, 17.16 (Breather), 2016, available on Artsper

The abstract artist and art curator, Tilman, was born in Munich in 1959. The artist’s creations include a range of aesthetic objects, including paintings, drawings, etchings, 3D wall hangings, floor to wall objects and constructed environments. He is inspired by minimalism and uses form and color to explain light and space. Tilman transforms visual elements into tangible objects through a reducing process, as it removes the unnecessary elements and makes room for the essence of his discoveries, so that he can express himself again.

8. Jorg Karg (1982 – )

Jorg Karg, Weight on their Shoulders - Small Format, 2017, available on Artsper
Jorg Karg, Weight on their Shoulders – Small Format, 2017, available on Artsper

Photographer Jorg Karg is a German artist with an unbridled obsession for pictures who has been focusing on digital collages for over a decade. He takes photographic material, rearranges it, and abstracts it. He uses photo-editing software to create his own photographic material while collaborating with other photographers from all around the world. Before discovering this fascination for photography, he obsessively painted and drew, which largely influences his current photographic practice.

9. Simon Rohlen or KEF! (1989 – )

Simon Rohlen (KEF!), Harbour of Bliss #7, 2021, available on Artsper
Simon Rohlen (KEF!), Harbour of Bliss #7, 2021, available on Artsper

German-born Simon Röhlen, or KEF!, is an abstract street artist and designer. He approaches art as a spiritual practice and takes inspiration from nature, philosophy, and Buddhism. His work is smooth, joyful, and creates positive energy using swirling lines that are at once free-flowing and intricately abstract, like those found in nature. Harmony, peace, and hypnotic are words the artist uses to describe his work. Lines and curves are integral to his compositions enhanced by soft coloring among the strong black outlines.

10. Miriam Klement (1987 – )

Miriam Klement, La Marina II, 2022, available on Artsper
Miriam Klement, La Marina II, 2022, available on Artsper

Emerging German-based artist, Miriam Klement, was born near the German coastline. After graduating from high school, she first worked as a studio singer and then studied biology and political economy. Today, Miriam works as a teacher and in the field of artistic practice and education. Her interest in modern and abstract art dates back to her childhood. She gets the inspiration for her artworks from numerous impressions that she collects during her travels through Europe, North Africa and North America.

Female pop artists rule the world

From Max Ernst to Stefanie Schneider, German artists have long used art and culture to instil new ideologies and continue to do so today. A country rich in history and culture, we are certain that Germany will continue to produce some of the most innovative artists for many years to come.

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