Markus Fräger

in memoriam

Retrospective: selected works by the Cologne painter Markus Fräger (1959-2020) ... more >

The painter Markus Fräger passed away in Cologne on 17 August 2020 following a serious and protracted illness. His paintings were dense chamber plays and characterised by his love for his family and friends, music and cinema.

Following a major retrospective at the Museum Schloss Cappenberg from April to September 2023, "in memoriam Markus Fräger" is now the first gallery exhibition since the artist's death. Paintings on canvas and paper from the years 2008 to 2019 will be on display.

Markus Fräger was born in Hamm, Westphalia in 1959 and studied at the University of Fine Arts in Braunschweig as well as art history and archaeology at the University of Münster. Most recently, he had his studio in a former vinegar factory in Cologne. His paintings have been exhibited at the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, the Kunsthalle Koblenz and most recently at the Kunstverein Unna in 2019.

Fräger mainly painted figuratively, his dense scenes with strong contrasts of light and dark often take place in interiors and are reminiscent of both the tradition of genre painting and film stills. It is easy to surmise a story in the composition of the figures, but this is never fully revealed. Fräger's inspirations included baroque interiors as well as films by the Coen brothers or the charged, somnambulistic images of David Lynch. To prepare his pictures, he had actors and actresses develop improvised scenes and combined them with found photographs and film stills.

The anachronistic presentation of the quotes used, which deliberately incorporates different time periods into the plot, emphasises the theme of memory as central to his pictures. This creates intimate moments of unconditional beauty and tender vulnerability. The emerging memory, the moment captured in its transience.


01/12/2023 – 20/01/2024




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