* 20 04 1913 | Potsdam
† 07 09 2004 | Kampen auf Sylt
Siegward Sprotte, painter and philosopher, was a passionate Sylt enthusiast, spent half of the year in Kampen after 1945 and made the world of experience of the ocean a fixed component of his artistic work. This resulted in a fascinating oeuvre between closeness to nature and abstraction, between European modernity and Far Eastern inspiration.
Works by Siegward Sprotte
Vita Siegward Sprotte
Born on 20 April in Potsdam.
First encounter with the works of Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky, August Macke, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and others on the occasion of an international art exhibition in Sanssouci.
Close friendship with the famous perennial gardener, garden architect and author Karl Foerster in Potsdam-Bornim, with whom he remained close until Foerster’s death in 1970.
Private lessons in nature with the painter Heinrich Basedow the Elder.
Beginnings of involvement with the colour blue in the larkspur fields of Karl Foerster in Bornim.
Master pupil of Karl Hagemeister. Sprotte rode his bicycle to Werder/Havel from 1930 to 1933, where Hagemeister lived and worked in the modest fruit farming house of his parents. The house today has landmark status.
Abitur (school leaving examinations) at the Realgymnasium Potsdam.
Studies at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin with Emil Orlik until 1932.
Stimulated by intensive studies of the Tao Te Ching of Laozi, Sprotte became deeply involved with the traditional art of close-to-nature Chinese ink painting.
Travel to Nida on the Curonian Spit, with the author and head reader at the S. Fischer publishing house, Hermann Kasack, and others, as well as to Bornholm and Copenhagen.
First sand and dune watercolours.
Winter painting residences on Bornholm, as well as work stays in Colfosco in the Dolomites until 2003.
Married the actress Elisabeth Reich.
Sprotte worked with Hermann Kasack on the essay “Über das Chinesische in der Kunst“ (On the Chinese in art) after Peter Suhrkamp was interned.
Participation in the major German art exhibition in Munich.
Training for military service in Brandenburg/Havel; discharge from military service due to illness (TB).
Travel to Hiddensee and to the Curonian Spit. Friendship with Anna Muthesius.
Sprotte rode his bicycle to Kampen on Sylt. Marriage with Iris Eckert.
Visited Emil Nolde in Seebüll.
Birth of daughter Sylvia. Painting stays in the Allgäu region.
Travels to Colfosco and Bolzano. Beginning of the Kampen studio talks, which he continued for more than 50 years.
as of 1952
Sprotte spent half the year on Sylt and the winter season in Italy, France and Greece. Stays in New York.
In the last years of his life, he worked in the summer in the Dolomites, in the winter on Sylt and in Potsdam.
The drawings Köpfe der Gegenwart (Heads of the present) are created, including portraits of Hermann Hesse in Montagnola, Karl Jaspers in Basel, Anna Muthesius in Berlin and José Ortega y Gasset in Hamburg .
Travels to Tuscany and Greece.
First encounter with the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti.
Travel to the Caribbean, Venezuela and Colombia.
Separation from his wife Iris.
The Gesang des Meeres (Song of the sea) painting cycle is created.
Participation in the Biennial in Bruges.
Sprotte declined the Rome Prize.
Marriage with Cosmea Ebert, birth of son Armin.
Travel to Oslo, visit to the Munch Museum.
Encounter with the British art author and philosopher Herbert Read.
Travel to Naples and Capri.
Sprotte was made an honorary member of the International Academy for Literature, Arts and Sciences in Rome and an honorary member of the Kulturbund Potsdam.
The Blaue Revolution (Blue revolution) painting cycle was created.
Publication of the Kampener Ateliergespräche booklets.
Travel to Paris.
as of 1975
Annual work stays in Potsdam and on Madeira.
Discussions with Suse Schildt on “upbringing without provocation”. Birth of their son Kilian.
Travel to New York, Rome, Florence and Bornholm.
Travel to Oslo and Tunis, among other destinations.
Travel to Switzerland and Provence, encounter with Hans Hartung in Antibes.
The Kreuzesformen in der Natur (Crucifix forms in nature) painting cycle is created.
Travel to New York.
Exhibition in the Potsdam Museum on the occasion of his 75th birthday.
Travel to Moscow on the occasion of the exhibition in the Pushkin State Museum.
Founding of the non-profit Siegward Sprotte Foundation in Potsdam.
Exhibition in Glienicke Palace, Berlin and in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon.
Publication of the graphic works edition of the Sprotte Foundation entitled Farbfolgen schaffen Landschaft. (Colour sequences create landscape).
The Sprotte Foundation organised the Bornstedter Dialoge; it published the books Kunst ist Sprache (Art is language) and Farbe Form Kommunikation (Colour form communication).
Sprotte became an honorary member of the Verein Berliner Künstler.
Exhibition in the Shanghai Art Museum.
Exhibition in the Potsdam Museum with the title “Det wächst”: Karl Hagemeister – Siegward Sprotte.
Exhibitions in Cappenberg Castle and in the Museum Ladin Ćiastel de Tor in San Martin de Tor, Italy. He was made an honorary citizen of the City of Potsdam and the region of Alta Badia, Italy.
Sprotte died on 7 September in Kampen/Sylt.