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Basic Data

Karl Otto Götz is one of the German pioneering persons of the “Deutsche Informel”. As a teacher and mentor of known artistic personalities such as Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Joseph Beuys, he is one of the founders of the contemporary German art scene.

  • Date of Birth: 22 February 1914
  • Birthplace: Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Died on: 19 August 2017
  • Nationality: German
  • Studies: Kunstgewerbeschule Aachen, Academy of Fine Arts Dresden
  • Similar artists: Hans Hartung, Walter Stöhrer
  • Epoch: Classic Modernism
  • Style: Tachism (Abstract Expressionism), German Informel

Götz worked on his art with an abstract non-objective painting. His focus was the search for a system wide, superimposed colored color turns that produce plasticity. Through his brush and squeegee technique color explosions could occur on the screen.


Karl Otto Götz prices

Artist Title: Price: Type: Size: Edition: Handsigned: Numbered: Date:
Karl Otto Götz Silph 1690 Euro Original print 23.6 x 31.5 in limited edition of 99 yes yes 03.12.2019
Karl Otto Götz Blonto 1690 Euro Original print 23.6 x 31.5 in limited edition of 99 yes yes 03.12.2019




Childhood and studies

Karl Otto Götz was born on February 22, 1914 in Aachen. The family lived together in Aachen, until his father was called into the military service during World War I. Between 1920 and 1923 Götz attended elementary school, and later the Hindenburg School in Aachen. Through various painting and drawing lessons Götz got early connected to art. At his father’s request Götz should also be a textile engineer, but he did not want to. In 1932 he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Aachen. He began to deal with avant-garde painting and produced from 1933 his first abstract pictures. The Nazis imposed on him in the time between 1935 and 1945 a painting and exhibition ban, but Götz went on painting secretly.


Military Service

Between 1936 and 1938, Götz was recruited for the Air Force in Gütersloh. In this time, he produced a small abstract films and photos. In 1939 he was positioned in Dresden and was trained as an intelligence officer. There, Götz socialized with artists like Otto Dix and Edmund Kesting. From 1941 he was stationed in Norway in order to build telegraph lines. During his time in Norway he had letter exchanges with the painter Willi Baumeister. After the capitulation of the Wehrmacht in 1945 Götz could return to Dresden. Through the bombing of Dresden his whole apartment was destroyed and so the majority of his early works. During this time, Götz was romantically involved with Anneliese Brauckmeyer, whom he married after the war. They had one daughter and one son.


Post-war Period

After World War II, Götz and his family lived in Königsförde next to Hannover. Through a friend in 1947 Götz received the opportunity to exhibit several of his works in Paris. As an intermediary between the German and French art scene, Götz reached an awareness level. Also the artist group CoBrA gave him attention and a little bit later he was part of them. Several group-exhibitions and solo-exhibitions followed, in which he showed his tempera paintings and gouaches. The group dissolved in 1951.


Magazine META

From 1948 on Götz was publisher of the local magazine META. The magazine was supposed to help to create a place for literature and contemporary art. The first edition was called Metamorphose I. Later the abbreviation META was elected. Writers and artists like Paul Celan and Hans Arp were advertised with their poems and other texts. In 1953 META was adjusted.


Teaching activity and science

After a short transfer of residence to Frankfurt on the Main Götz moved to Dusseldorf where he was assigned professor between 1959 and 1979 at Staatliche Kunstakademie. His students included famous artists such as Gerhard Richter, Gotthard Graubner, Sigmar Polke and Franz Erhard Walther among others. For many students Götz was very important. For example he agreed to the admission of Joseph Beuys at the academy. Beuys dedicated him in recognition and thanks several drawings. Another student was Karin Martin which became known under the stage name Rissa. Götz and Rissa fell in love and married in 1965. Together with his second wife, Götz dealt with scientific issues, such as personality and perception research. They made tests and experimented with the raster-film Density 10:2:2:1.



Current exhibitions

  • 23.09.2023 – 25.05.2024 Terrific: Fascination Würth Collection – Museum Würth 2, Künzelsau.
  • 20.08.2023 – 29.10.2023 EMIL SCHUMACHER – DURCHBRUCH – Emil Schumacher Museum Hagen.


Past exhibitions

  • 2023 40 Years Of The Lingen Art Association 1983 To 2023 – Kunsthalle Lingen.
  • 2023 Picasso and the 20th Century Masters. Museum Ludwig Collection - My Art Museum, Seoul.
  • 2022 Ortswechsel - Museum Giersch, Frankfurt.
  • 2022 Die Form der Freiheit. - Museum Barberini, Potsdam.
  • 2021 Barock Modern – Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf.
  • 2021 Von Vierbeinern, Federvieh und Flügelwesen – Städtische Galerie-Bissingen.
  • 2021 All I Think About Is You - Kunstsaele, Berlin.
  • 2021 Pleased to meet you! - Märkisches Museum Witten.
  • 2020 SIGHT SEEING. Die Welt als Attraktion - Kunsthalle Emden.
  • 2020 Künstlerpaare - Galerie Schlichtenmaier, Stuttgart.
  • 2019 GROSSE REALISTIK & GROSSE ABSTRAKTION - Städel Museum, Frankfurt.
  • 2019 Michael Müller. "DEINE KUNST" The Conditions of Being Art (oder der Amateur) Dritte Fassung - Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg.
  • 2019 gestalten - ein Jahrhundert abstrakte Kunst im Westen - Kunsthaus NRW Kornelimünster, Aachen.
  • 2018 Pierre Soulages – Noir / Lumière - LUDWIGMUSEUM Koblenz.
  • 2017 Deutschland 8 – German Art in Beijing - CAFA Art Museum, Beijing.
  • 2016 Kunst in Europa 1945–1968 - ZKM | Karlsruhe.
  • 2016 Postwar: Kunst zwischen Pazifik und Atlantik, 1945-1965 - Haus der Kunst, Munich.
  • 2016 formlos. Kunst nach 1945 - Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.
  • 2016 TELE-GEN. Kunst und Fernsehen - Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz.
  • 2015 Spur und Geste. Graphik des Informel – Kunsthalle Mannheim.
  • 2015 Formen der Abstraktion – Galerie Ludorff, Dusseldorf.
  • 2014 Karl Otto Götz zum 100. Geburtstag – Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg; Museum Wiesbaden.
  • 2014 Hommage à K.O. Götz – Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf.
  • 2014 Zum 100. Geburtstag – DIE GALERIE, Frankfurt a.M.
  • 2014 48. Art Cologne, Cologne.
  • 2013 K.O. Götz. Werke 1947-2012 – Kunsthandel Wolfgang Werner, Berlin.
  • 2013 44. Art Basel, Basel.  
  • 2012 4 Künstler. 4 Räume – Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Duisburg.
  • 2011 Schwerpunkt Informel – JANZEN Galerie, Dusseldorf.
  • 2010 In Erwartung blitzschneller Wunder – Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandeck, Remagen.
  • 2009 SECHZIG JAHRE. SECHZIG WERKE. Kunst aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.
  • 2008 Karl Otto Götz – Galerie Schlichtenmaier, Stuttgart.
  • 2007 Götz-Thieler-Westpfahl. Gestus und Lyrik im Informel – Galerie Maulberger, Munich.
  • 2006 Retrospektive – Akademie-Galerie, Die Neue Sammlung, Dusseldorf.
  • 2004 Hommage à Karl Otto Götz zum 90. Geburtstag – Kunstsammlung Chemnitz.
  • 2002 50 Jahre Frankfurter Quadriga – Galerie Prestel, Frankfurt a.M.
  • 1999 Informel. Malerei und Skulpturen – Galerie Marianne Hennemann, Bad Homburg.
  • 1998 CoBrA – Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna.
  • 1996 Quadriga – Frankfurter Sparkasse, Frankfurt a.M.
  • 1994 K.O. Götz. Malerei 1935-1993 – Albertinum Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Dresden.
  • 1992 Neue Arbeiten – Galerie Hennemann, Bonn.
  • 1990 Retrospektive – Karl&Faber, Munich.
  • 1988 Begegnung mit Karl Otto Götz – Sammlung Kemp, Dusseldorf.
  • 1984 K.O. Götz. Monotypien, Gemälde, Gouachen – Städtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Saarland Museum, Saarbrücken.
  • 1981 Gouachen 1952-1962 – Kunsthandlung Fuchs, Dusseldorf.
  • 1978 Arbeiten der 50er und 70er Jahre – Galerie Hennemann, Bonn.
  • 1972 Quadriga 1952-1972 – Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt.
  • 1968 Biennale di Venezia 34., Venice.
  • 1961 Interferenzen – Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden; Städtisches Museum, Wiesbaden.
  • 1958 Biennale di Venezia 29., Venice.
  • 1956 Paintings, Drawings, Lithographs & Monotypes – Galerie Zoe Dusanne, Seattle.
  • 1953 Quadriga – Zimmergalerie Franck, Frankfurt.
  • 1948 Der Ruf. Dresdener Maler und auswärtige Gäste – Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.
  • 1946 K.O. Götz – Studio Rasch, Wuppertal.



  • 2010 Ehrendoktorwürde der Kunstakademie Münster
  • 2009 Verdienstorden des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz
  • 2007 Bundesverdienstkreuz erster Klasse
  • 2004 Ehrenmitglied der Kunstakademie Dusseldorf
  • 2002 Binding-Kulturpreis Frankfurt a.M.
  • 2000 Goldener Ehrenring der Stadt Aachen
  • 1997 Ehrenmitglied der Kunstakademie Münster
  • 1996 Staatspreis für Malerei des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz
  • 1989 Verdienstorden des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
  • 1962 Premio Marzotto, Preis für Europäische Malerei, Milan
  • 1955 Westfälischer Kritikerpreis
  • 1948 Kunstpreis Junger Westen der Stadt Recklinghausen



  • K.O. Götz. Sichtbar hörbar. Malerei hören, Musik sehen, Karl Otto Götz, Orlando 2005.
  • 2x Informel. Ein Doppelportrait Karl Otto Götz und Bernard Schultze, Ludwig Metzger, Germany 2002, ’88.
  • K.O. Götz. Maler des Informel, Christel Körner, Germany 1989, ’45.



  • K.O. Götz, exhibition catalogue, Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Cologne 2014.
  • Götz zum 100. Geburtstag, exhibition catalogue, Volksbank Kaiserslautern-Nordwestpfalz, Heidelberg 2014.
  • Karl Otto Götz, exhibition catalogue, Die Galerie Frankfurt a.M., Frankfurt a.M. 2014.
  • K.O. Götz. Zum 100. Geburtstag, exhibition catalogue, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Dresden 2014.
  • Karl Otto Götz. In Erwartung blitzschneller Wunder, exhibition catalogue, Arp-Museum Bahnhof Rolandeck, Bielefeld 2010.
  • Quadriga. Die Auflösung des klassischen Formenprinzips, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Maulberger München, Munich 2010.      
  • Entfesselte Form. Fünfzig Jahre Frankfurter Quadriga, exhibition catalogue, Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M., Frankfurt a.M./Basel 2002.
  • Karl Otto Götz im Gespräch. ‚Abstrakt ist schöner!’, Michael Klant/Christoph Zuschlag, Stuttgart 1994.
  • Karl Otto Götz. Retrospektive, exhibition catalogue, Karl&Faber München, Munich 1990.


Own writings

  • Karl Otto Götz: Trillermesse. Gedichte 2000-2013, Alsdorf 2013.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Antiformalismus. Ein falscher Begriff in Bezug auf das Informel, Wolfenacker 2010.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Lichtrudel. Gedichte 2004, Alsdorf 2004.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Ely, Alsdorf 2003.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Spuren der Maler. Lyrische Texte, Aachen 2000.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Fakturenfibel, Bonn 1995.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Erinnerungen (mehrere Teile), Aachen 1993/94/95/96.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Visual Aesthetic Sensitivity Test, Dusseldorf 1981.
  • Karl Otto Götz: Wie ich male – Was das ist, Frankfurt a. M. 1963.







The Netherlands