Selected works by Ulrich Lamsfuss

Ulrich Lamsfuss
Mutter und Kind im Krankenhaus, Somalia 1992 Christ Steele-Perkins, Magnum


Oil on canvas

120 x 95 cm

The paintings of Ulrich Lamsfuss reproduce images found in a wide variety of media, from National Geographic, travel and fashion magazines to cinema and art history. He painstakingly duplicates each image, working his way across a feint pencil grid with the numbing precision of a computer plotter, square by square, top left to bottom right. Built up in oil over several long weeks, they are the very opposite of the sources on which they are based, momentary snapshots captured in a fraction of a second.

Mutter und Kind is based on a reportage photograph taken in a Somalian hospital at the height of the country’s civil war by award-winning Magnum photojournalist Chris Steele-Perkins. Stefan Jellheden, meanwhile, reproduces an advertisement created by the Danish photographer for Louis Vuitton itself based, as it happens, on a famous 1963 news photograph of a burning Vietnamese monk.

They could not, it seems, be more different. The first, a contemporary African pieta, is a private moment of grief and suffering, and terribly real. The second, intended from the outset for mass public consumption, was carefully scripted, staged and produced. As representations of the contemporary world, however, they are each as valid as the other. It is this that interests Lamsfuss, as he seeks through exacting replication to transform the society in which he lives into a painted hyperreality.

Ulrich Lamsfuss
Stefan Jellheden


Oil on canvas

120 x 95 cm



Lamsfuss is a German artist born in Bonn in 1971, living and working in Berlin.
The range of motives in the work of Ulrich Lamsfuss refers to the endless range of possible and existing images surrounding everyone living in modern society. Advertising, movies, nature, artworks, architechture, war, portraits: the whole media range.

The paintings could be seemingly trivial, brutal, nice, harmless, or powerful. Every painting is brought back to the conviction that every image has its own history, context, and origin.

Therefore all motives are of equal value. First it seems as if we would have to deal with simple copies. Once an image, e.g., from an advertising campaign of Prada, Aspirin, etc. is fixed to oil on canvas with sizes up to 2.5 by 4.5 meters, you will realize a transformation of the image into something slightly or very different.

The power of Uli Lamfuss' work is not a result of a spectacular manner of painting or conceptual work trying to define a new type of painting. Every image quotes all other images, his studio is an image factory with an enormous output level free of any philosophical statement, except, ‘I paint, therefore I am a painter'. But nothing you'll do is free of meaning.
—Markus Schneider

Source: Galerie Max Hetzler


Berlin-based artist Ulrich Lamsfuss’s first paintings are based on found images from a variety of media, ranging from National Geographic to fashion magazines to iconic images from film and art history.

Lamsfuss creates his canvases with the eye of an editor unrestrained
by context. In the simplest terms, Lamsfuss's process is about selecting photographic images and painting them. He belongs to a young, successful generation of artists who are interested in the transformation of our over-mediated contemporary society into a painted hyperreality.
The images that Lamsfuss chooses to recreate in oil, when viewed as a body of work, are significant as a representation of our contemporary environment. His studio is a kind of image factory; his process is about the accumulation of images, and the subsequent production of a field.