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Anke Feuchtenberger

© Julia Steinigeweg

Anke Feuchtenberger

Laudation by Brigitte Helbling:

Berlin 1990, shortly after the fall of the wall. We imagine Anke Feuchtenberger as she wanders through her city, henceforth open to the West, carrying her son Leo, a toddler in a sling, a fine arts degree in her pocket and an uneasily wide-open future before her. She is filled with talent and creative zeal, which we encounter in her very first images. There is the influence of Czech children's books, Russian avant-garde, East German graphic designers such as Volker Pfüller – and a radically headstrong view opened up with her and with many of her newly reunited contemporaries in this comic and graphic arts scene.

Feuchtenberger's early posters, immediately recognizable as her work and created while she was also making stage sets for the experimental theater of Jena, are still hanging in the theater's staircase. Her first comic stories were published by Verlag Jochen Enterprises, where for a time everyone turned to experience these suddenly new, suddenly magnificent, willful comic narratives - older comic fans not always quite certain whether what appeared here were indeed still comics ... There was a general feeling of departure, not only in Berlin.

Frontier busters were active in these first decades around the turn of the millennium, also in the French-Belgian region, Italy, Finland, Switzerland and in the USA in any case. Ever more women pushed their way onto a scene, which until then had been dominated by boys' fantasies. An increasingly internationally connected comic avant-garde tapped into the luck of the free fall - and of flying. And in the middle of it all, often leading the way, was Anke Feuchtenberger with works such as “Mutterkuchen”, “Somnambule”, “Das Haus”, “Der Palast”, “Die Hure H”, (with Katrin de Vries) “Die hollandische Schachtel” ...

Eight years after its formation in 1992, Jochen Enterprises no longer existed, at which time Feuchtenberger's comics were published by Reprodukt and Edition Moderne and later in her own MamiVerlag which she created with Italian comic artist Stefano Ricci. Starting in 2007, they published beautiful books for ten years.

She has been teaching drawing and media illustration at the Hamburger Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften since 1997, always with a eye cast toward the comic narrative. Numerous noteworthy comic artists and comic innovators were her students, and many of them are now teachers themselves. Michael Jordan, Birgit Weyhe, Sascha Hommer, Line Hoven, Arne Bellstorf, Jan Soeken, Marijpol, Alice Socal, Jul Gordon and many more. “No other academic teacher currently inspires as much artistic energy in the successive generation of illustrators”, wrote Andreas Platthaus of Anke Feuchtenberger. This may be attributed to the fact that the artist and professor always uses lessons and idea exchanges with her students as a laboratory for the exploration of new narrative territory. For some time now, Feuchtenberger's explorations have revolved around her so-called 'graphic essay.' What could non-linear narration in the tradition of Montaigne look like? Would it look like a worldview whose origin lies in the motion of a pencil? Or like the "gradual completion of a thought while drawing?"

Feuchtenberger's entire work provides the answers, as do her recent tangibly unmistakable graphic essays from cities like Rome and Paris. Her honeycomb-like, strikingly impressive altar “Tracht und Bleiche” which Feuchtenberger created in 2018 for the Landesmuseum Münster can be read as another kind of graphic essay. And soon, her eagerly awaited extensive composition, on which she has been working for years: “Ein deutsches Tier im deutschen Wald”. It is soon to be published and previews have been overwhelming.

The many highly regarded publications of Feuchtenberger's former students, such as Nacha Vollenweider or Magdalena Kaszuba also provide answers. Currently, a beautiful “Cartoline da Qui” in newspaper format, produced by Feuchtenberger and Ricci along with international participants of several workshops, was to be released at the now postponed International Comic Salon 2020.

Creating and fostering, while concentrating on challenging herself to delve more deeply and continue to search for ways to rethink and redevelop graphic narratives. This is the essence of a comic artist's career spanning 30 years, who now receives the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Max und Moritz jury that she so well deserves.

Books by Anke Feuchtenberger published in German (selection):

  • Herzhaft lebenslänglich. Verlag Martin Barber. Berlin, 1992
  • Mutterkuchen. Jochen Enterprises. Berlin, 1995
  • Die kleine Dame. zus. mit Katrin de Vries. Jochen Enterprises. Berlin, 1997
  • Die Biographie der Frau Trockenthal. Jochen Enterprises. Berlin, 1999
  • Der Palast. Jochen Enterprises. Berlin, 2000
  • Die Skelettfrau. Büchergilde Gutenberg. Frankfurt, 2002
  • Die Hure H. zus. mit Katrin de Vries. Reprodukt. Berlin, 2003
  • Die Hure H zieht ihre Bahnen. zus. mit Katrin de Vries. Edition Moderne. Zürich, 2003
  • Hero und Leander. Edition Moderne. Zürich, 2003
  • Wenn mein Hund stirbt, mach ich mir eine Jacke. Quando muore il mio cane, mi faccio una giacca. Kikipost. Hamburg / Coconino Press. Bologna, 2005
  • Die Hure H wirft den Handschuh. zus. mit Katrin de Vries. Reprodukt. Berlin, 2007
  • wehwehweh.superträ, MamiVerlag. Quilow, 2008
  • Grano Blu. Canicola. Bologna, 2011
  • Die Spaziergängerin. Reprodukt. Berlin, 2012
  • King Lear. zus. mit Bruno Blume. Kwasi Verlag. Solothurn, 2016
  • Die hollandische Schachtel. Reprodukt. Berlin, 2016 [EA: MamiVerlag. Quilow, 2011]
  • Le Memorie della Menta Piperita. zus. mit Elena Morando. Else Edizioni. Rom, 2016
  • Somnambule. Reprodukt. Berlin, 2019 [EA: Jochen Enterprises. Berlin, 1998]
  • Das Haus. Reprodukt. Berlin, 2020 [EA: Reprodukt. Berlin, 2001]