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Sold at Auction: Jirí Georg Dokoupil

(1954)
Alias:Jiri Georg DekoupilJiří Georg DokoupilGeorg Jiři Doukoupil
PhotographerPainterPlastic Art

Biography

Jirí "Georg" Dokoupil (born 3 June 1954) is a Czech-German painter and graphic artist. He was founding-member of the German artist groups Mülheimer Freiheit and Junge Wilde, which arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Dokoupil lives and works between Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Plovdiv, in Bulgaria, and Las Palmas, in Spain.

Jirí Dokoupil was born in Krnov, then Czechoslovakia, in 1954. After the invasion of the Soviet army in Prague in 1968, he escaped with his family over Austria to Germany. In 1976 he began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne. Later on he also attended classes at the Universities of Frankfurt and the Cooper Union in New York, where he studied among others under German concept artist Hans Haacke. The influence of Haacke is evident in Dokoupil‘s early work. From 1983–84 Dokoupil was guest professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Düsseldorf and 1989 in Madrid.

In 1979 Dokoupil founded the group Mülheimer Freiheit with artists such as Hans Peter Adamski, Peter Bömmels and Walter Dahn. The group was associated with the art dealer Paul Maenz who organised Dokoupil‘s first solo exhibition in 1982. In their shared studio in Cologne on a street named Mülheimer Freiheit, the six Jungen Wilden sought to explore a contemporary expression for their art by using a neoexpressive, figurative style of intensely colourful painting with traditional subjects and by overriding the intellectual, reduced formal language of Minimal and Conceptual Art. "I’d come to realize that the conceptual artists had become liars," Dokoupil has said. "What they had promised us was salvation, art without form. But I’d go into a gallery and there would be nothing to see, and it would be for a lot of money – that just couldn’t be it."[1]

But already in an early stage Dokoupil developed a less wild, rather unusual method of working and soon found his own radical subjective way with individual considerations. With his "book painting" shown at Documenta 7, Kassel, in 1982, Dokoupil attracted the attention of the art world. It was a gigantic material painting called God, show me your balls, a kind of homage to a Julian Schnabel plate painting, (which were made of broken ceramic dishes collaged into an image). Schnabel was not invited to participate in the exhibition – in Dokoupil‘s eyes a serious effront. Since then – besides the early group exhibitions with the Mülheimer Freiheit – Dokoupil's work has been seen in numerous one-man shows in galleries, museums and at other cultural sites worldwide.
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