Erwin Bechtold

Cologne, Germany, 1925

Bechtold currently lives and works in Ibiza. In 1949 he completed his studies as a master printer but abandoned the profession to dedicate himself to the world of art. He moved to Paris, where he had the opportunity to work with Fernand Léger. While living in the French capital he made a brief trip to Barcelona that would eventually become a more lasting stay. In 1954 he discovered Ibiza and the island became his future home, though he has never interrupted his relations with Barcelona or the European art centres. At that time Ibiza was a meeting point for artists and intellectuals from all over the world and it was there that he founded the Ibiza 59 group. In 1957 he took part in the legendary exhibition “Eine neue Richtung in der Malerei” (‘A New Direction in Painting’) at the Kunsthalle Mannheim in Germany and at which he first met the German painters of his generation. During the early 1960s he produced paintings of organic forms which gave rise to intense public debate in Germany. These forms would be abandoned in 1966, when geometric shapes first began to appear in his works.

It was not until 1987 that he began to work on the theme Angle/Surface/Space, which continues to occupy him to this day. Of particular significance among the many distinctions he has won are the first FAD Award in 1961, Mention at the 1973 Joan Miró Prize in Barcelona and First Prize at the 6th Ibiza Biennial in 1974. He has exhibited at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona (1979), the Llonja de Palma (1994), the Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Eivissa (1995), the Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma (2005) and the Centro de Arte y Naturaleza in Huesca (2008), among others. His work is present in such Spanish and international museums as the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, the IVAM in Valencia, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and the Tate Collection in London.