Volker Bartsch (13 March 1953 in Goslar) is a German painter and sculptor.

He studied sculpture at the Berlin University of the Arts and became a master student in 1979. Since 1983 Bartsch has lived as a freelance artist mainly in Berlin. In addition to longer working stays in North Africa, Portugal, Tuscany, Rome and London, more than 50 solo and numerous group exhibitions have taken him throughout Europe.

His first commission for public space was the artistic design of the Ammonite Fountain in Berlin. In May 1987, the fountain was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II. The death of a close friend led to an intensive painterly examination of the subject of AIDS, which had just become public. The main themes of the 1990s were the gate as a symbol of passage and the obstacle in its cultural and philosophical diversity of meaning. In addition to accessible portals and gates or those that only leave a visual opening, block-like compositions were created that even deny a view through. From 2001 onwards, space became the dominant theme in sculpture, painting and graphic art. The most important testimony to this creative period is the 5.5 × 5 × 7.5 m outdoor sculpture „Brückenschlag” in Frankfurt am Main.

In 2006/2007, he conceived and built the bronze sculpture „Perspectives”, which, measuring 8 × 9 × 12 m, is considered the largest and most complex bronze sculpture in Europe to date. It is located in front of the Free University in Berlin.

In 2008/2009, Bartsch became intensively involved with the „Seven Deadly Sins”and moved to Rome as the centre of his life and work. In 2009-2011, the bizarre excesses of the obsession with youthfulness and cosmetic surgery led to the complex „Curse of Beauty - From Botox Horror to Silicon Disaster”, which was realised in painting, graphic art and sculpture. In 2012/2013, Volker Bartsch explored the theme „Berlin club scene - the toughest in the world?” from his studio in the Berlin techno club Kater Holzig. With the relocation of his living and working centre to London (2013/2014), work began on the complex „Get rid of it! Between Modernity and Gentrification”. Bartsch developed a special embossing process for the three-dimensional representation of colour etchings and in 2017, a series of Car Paintings and Car Prints was created at historical locations - securing unique traces with a Triumph TR3 and integrating them into paintings and prints. In 2020-2021 painterly and graphic explorations of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on art, culture and community followed. The most recent work topic is narratives of void, the „Lochisms”.

Volker Bartsch
Data sheet