Rudolf Kügler


“Inseln im Meer”.
Acryl-Collage and pencil on carton. 55 x 32 cm. 1999




Serie ferne Kulturen



“Islas en el Mar" is the title of the homage to the German artist Rudolf Kügler (Berlin, 1921-2013). He began his art studies at the age of 25 and has traveled to many countries. His travels arise from Norway and the Lofoten Islands, Greece, Italy, Spain, and North Africa, with long stays in Paris and Rome where he has drawn and painted with watercolors. He captured the play of lights and colors of Morocco, impressions of the pyramids of Egypt, vivid snapshots of people dancing in the Cafes of Paris, which evoke the sounds of jazz.


In 1956 he was appointed Professor of Painting and also Professor of the Enamel Class at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts (HDK). From techniques with enamels, painting, sculpture, collage, engraving, drawing, and watercolor, no technique was strange to him. He experimented and searched for new creative ways. As a representative of abstract art in Germany, he received international awards and exhibitions. The critic Klaus Geitel wrote about his paintings as early as 1965: “A playful exchange begins. The accidental and the planned embrace. Freedom and modesty, anarchy, and obedience begin his animated games“.

Like music, he was interested in architecture and designed artistic elements on facades and two houses: his own house and his studio in Berlin and, in addition, a natural stone tower in Ibiza. The island has enchanted his entire family since 1969. The special nature, sea, and light were the ideal inspiration for Rudolf Kügler. The influence of Ibiza is noticeable in his paintings from the '70s in his artworks exhibited in various exhibitions.

He also dedicated himself to sculpture. On the road, then a dust road, there were many carpentry shops. The remains of wood attracted and inspired the artist, by the way, the son of a cabinetmaker, help him to create large and small three-dimensional works, painted silver, or sometimes natural.

Another source of inspiration was the sea: With driftwood, he created large sculptures that populated the garden like dreamlike beings. The family helped collect painted wooden planks from broken boats on the beaches. Especially in autumn and spring, after storms. The sculptures, witnesses of destruction, led a second life, but they wore out over time and over the years, as he himself said. Today, the boats are made of plastic or fiberglass, there is almost no driftwood.

These sculptures also became the subject of many collages, a technique he developed from the thick layers of posters pasted on city building fences. He separated the papers from each other and used the structures and shapes to make plastic compositions. Beach scenes, mysterious temples of exotic cultures, animal worlds. They are enigmatic introductions into imaginative worlds between abstraction and figuration: views of nature intertwined between the tamed and the wild. The billboards do not exist either, at least not in Berlin and Munich, Madrid and Ibiza, where we collected for him. His works remain that lead us to his worlds.

Tempera or acrylic works were often completed by drawing with pencil or ink. He still drew, despite the illness. Fast, in one line, without interrupting. He was a tireless creator and lover of the island. He passed away in Berlin in 2013, after his last stay with his wife Ingeburg in Ibiza. We commemorate 100 years of him with this exhibition at the BAP Gallery in San Carlos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Clementine Kügler


(Berlin, 9.27.1921 - 10.8.2013)

  • 1946-48 - Berlin Academy of Fine Arts - Weissensee.
  • 1948-54 - Berlin Academy of the Arts (HdK), with painter Max Kaus.
  • 1952-59 - travels to Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Greece and Norway.
         Long stays in Paris and Rome.
  • Since 1956, he has been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, today the University of the Arts (UdK).
  • Since 1969, regular stays in Ibiza. Exhibitions in the Galleries: "Ivan Spence" and in "Es Molí”.
  • Exhibitions in Berlin, New York, Paris, Hamburg and Heidelberg.
  • 2021: Zellermayer Galerie in Berlin and at the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair, September 9th-12th.

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