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     Hartwig Ebersbach: The Madonna

25 March until 6 June 2021

Hartwig Ebersbach, born in Zwickau in 1940, studied at the Leipzig School of Graphics and Book Art and is considered one of the most important contemporary representatives of gestural-informal painting. In 1973 the first solo exhibition took place together with his brother Wolfram Ebersbach in Leipzig. He accompanied a teaching activity for experimental art at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Gera and was a founding member of the Free Academy of the Arts in Leipzig. Since 1996 he has been a member of the Saxon Academy of the Arts and the Academy of the Arts Berlin.

Hartwig Ebersbach's paintings are not created line by line, controlled in front of the painting surface, they are created with the typical abundance of his colors in intuitively increased processes of ecstatic-expressive exertion - as in his work “Tötende Madonna” / Killing Madonna. With this disturbing title, the painter refers on the one hand to the long tradition of depictions of the Virgin Mary and on the other hand steps out of their history. His Madonna is not lacking in solemn severity or maternal affection, her unmistakably strong presence has a physical and spiritual effect at the same time. Hartwig Ebersbach's painting has always had this enormous concentration of physical force and metaphorical depth. However, the fact that the Madonna “kills” is an unprecedented thought and can only be explained with the drama of the expression with which this picture, after it was created, confronts its painter.

Hartwig Ebersbach is no stranger to Magdeburg. Large personal exhibitions of the Leipzig painter took place in the Kunstmuseum Magdeburg in 1992 and 2002. His painting "Erdblitz II" is an integral part of the exhibition in the collection of the art museum.


Hartwig Ebersbach, Tötende Madonna, 2010,
Öl auf Leinwand, Foto: Uwe Walter