Bernd Heinrich

B e r n d   H e i n r i c h


My paintings are contemporary abstract expressionist landscapes. They are my ‘playgrounds’ – an inner force of freedom not constrained by convention or boundaries. The paintings of artists like Klee, Kandinsky, Beuys and Twombly, to name a few, are my influence. I would describe my work as metaphorical, dealing with unexplained things and having an emotional association with poetry. Recurrent themes are images, symbols, forms and shapes floating in space to be composed like music in the harmony of a visual symphony. The tension between images, space and colours reveals my inner world and its uniqueness.

My canvasses can be heavily textured and deeply scarred, as if being sculpted out of the depth of nature. The complexity and rigorous appearance can be seen as physical layering, esoteric in its composition. At times, I use objects, silkscreen images, written statements or pieces of poetry to underline our spiritual presence.

Bernd Heinrich studied at the Art Academy of Augsburg from 1963 to 1967, graduating with Honours, and arrived in Sydney in 1970. He went back to Europe in 1973, travelled extensively and exhibited in Munich and Augsburg, Germany. Upon his return to Sydney in 1975, he studied etching at Willoughby Art Centre.

Since 1974, Heinrich has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in major group exhibitions in Germany, Australia and the United States, including the Grosse Kunst Ausstellung in Munich (1983, 1984); the Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, and at the New Century Gallery in New York in 2000.

His portraits of actor Garry McDonald and author Thomas Keneally were finalists in the Archibald Prize and a life-size drawing of Professor Peter Pinson was exhibited in the 2003 Dobell Prize for Drawing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

He is represented in the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (with portrait of author Thomas Keneally) and in numerous private collections in Australia, America, England and Germany.

He has been a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1984 and is also a member of the Peninsula Art Society.

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