Klaus Friedeberger

Klaus Friedeberger was born in Berlin in August 1922, the only child of middle-class secular Jewish parents who separated in 1930. As the political situation in Germany deteriorated, young Klaus was sent to a Quaker school in Holland in 1938. In April 1939 Friedeberger came to England as a refugee, and found work with an electrical sign firm. Soon after war was declared, he was classified as an enemy alien and interned, then transported to Australia on the troopship Dunera, along with nearly 3,000 others, mostly German and Austrian Jewish refugees. Arriving in Australia, he spent two years in an internment camp in New South Wales.

in 1946, he applied to study at the East Sydney Technical College and was assigned to the painting department. Moving to London in 1950, he exhibited into the early 1960s as an Australian artist, but subsequently was thought of as an independent painter, neither particularly German, Australian or British, just a painter living in cosmopolitan London.

In 1966 Friedeberger renounced colour, exhibiting his first monochromatic figurative paintings the following year, and then beginning in 1969 his long sequence of abstract black and white paintings. These resulted in shows with the Hamilton Galleries, and a show at the Ben Uri Gallery in 1978 selected by Abram Games, the great graphic designer, who included three of Friedeberger’s abstracts.

By the mid-1980s he was ready to exhibit once again, with solo shows at the Warwick Arts Trust (1986) and a retrospective at the Woodlands Art Gallery in Blackheath (1992). In 2007, England & Co mounted a show of his early figurative work (1940-70) accompanied by a well-documented catalogue, and then in 2009 Simon Pierse organised a show of recent abstract paintings at Aberystwyth University.

Friedeberger’s oil paintings in the forthcoming exhibition at Delahunty Fine Art have been given the title Black Space and then a number. He says he finds it difficult to think of titles that won’t direct the viewer.

The exhibition runs from 17th May until 11th June.

Black Space 13