Installation shots

Georg Herold (1947, Jena, Germany) is a recognized contemporary artist characterized for his experimental work with mixed media, installation, and sculpture. He completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg during the mid 1970's. He is currently based in Cologne and has taught at the prestigious Kunstakademie Düsseldorf since 1999.


Herold was part of a wave of revolutionary young artists that emerged in Germany during the last three decades of the twentieth century. While in Hamburg, he was a student of Sigmar Polke, renowned post-war artist whose work responded to advertisement and consumer culture. During this early stage of his artistic formation, Herold also became acquainted with other leading artists of his generation, including Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Günther Förg, and Werner Büttner.


The artist experiments with everyday and ordinary materials generally used for construction, household, clothing, and edible purposes. He engages with various non-traditional mediums such as buttons, mattresses, bricks, baking powder, wood, nails, and socks. "As a matter of principle, I never use materials that speak their own language. That's why I pick on rough, stupid materials that don't ask questions." His use of inexpensive and second-rate materials has led his work to be sometimes compared with that of Arte Povera. Nevertheless, through his notorious series of caviar paintings, the artist explores a contrastingly expensive and highly valued delicacy. By applying a coat of acrylic and lacquer, however, he successfully alters its previous association with wealth and status. Herold aims to offer the viewer an artwork to be read and analyzed freely, without connotations and pretexting references.


Similar to his drawings and paintings, he also employs unconventional materials in his sculptures and installations. Amongst his most notable free-standing work, is his series of large and unnaturally contorted anthropomorphic figures. Varying in color and form, their strangely elongated extremities and dramatic poses are open to interpretation. The artist's overall oeuvre thus questions our understanding of art and tests our natural tendency to seek meaning within it.


Georg Herold's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in various prominent institutions such as Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn Germany (2017/18), Kunst in Weidingen, Weidingen, Luxembourg (2015), Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2012), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2007), and the Stedelijk Museum voor Atuele Kunst, Gent (2007).

Gallery exhibitions