Ben Willikens (born June 21, 1939 in Leipzig ) is a German painter . He is known for his strictly composed, in the color gray held room conceptions. Since 1985, he has also designed sets for various German opera houses.

The parents of Willikens left the Soviet occupation zone in 1947 and settled in West Germany. After graduating from high school in Hannoversch Münden in 1959, he first began studying philosophy and literature in Hamburg . In 1962 he moved to the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart , where he studied under Heinz Trökes painting. After that scholarships took him to London.

In 1969, a disease forced him to stay in hospital for almost one year. After a scholarship stay at the Villa Romana in Florence and the Villa Massimo in Rome , Willikens processed this event in a series of acrylic paintings in which he depicts stretchers, empty corridors and similar motifs in cool, anonymous language, in strong associations with institutions or hospitals wake up. This work made him known abruptly. There followed numerous exhibitions in Germany and Italy.

A highlight of his work is the Last Supper of 1977, in which he emptied the room of the world-famous Seccomalerei of Leonardo da Vinci of all present persons. His pictures evolved more and more to representations of deserted ideal spaces. In the 1990s, series such as the spaces of modernity , places , cuts and counter-spaces were created .

In 1977 he received a professorship for painting at the University of Applied Sciences in Pforzheim and in 1982 a professorship for painting and graphic arts at the University of Fine Arts Braunschweig . In 1991 he moved to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich , where he initially held the chair of painting and graphics and from 1999 to 2004 as its rector.

Ben Willikens is a member of the Deutscher Künstlerbund .


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