Wolf Vostell

Wolf Vostell (October 1932 – April 1998)

“The purpose of my art is to educate people to be against war and intolerance.”

– Wolf Vostell

Wolf Vostell was a German painter, sculptor and one of the early adopters of video art and installation art alongside Nam June Paik.

According to Vostell, art and life are inextricably linked:

“Art is Life and Life is Art”

– Wolf Vostell

Vostell’s philosophy was based on the assumption that we are surrounded by destruction, which he saw as a definition feature of the 20th century. Vostell created his first Dé-coll/age in 1954, a term which he originally used to describe the process of tearing down posters and later transferred it to his performances and happenings.

Since the 1950s, Vostell’s work encompassed many geopolitical themes: the Second World War and the Holocaust were the subject of Das schwarze Zimmer (The Black Room). The Korean War and the Vietnam War also became themes of his works (Miss America, 1968), as well as the the Cold War, the Bosnian War and the assassination of J.F. Kennedy. In particular, the fall of the Berlin Wall was the subject of more than 50 of Vostell’s works.

Much of Vostell’s work was also centred upon criticism of postwar mass consumption culture; two of the most profound symbols of this were the television and automobile. Since 1958, Vostell incorporated television sets into his work, which were often set to play normal programmes as a way to point to current events.



Timeline biography (German & English): https://www.vostell.de/the-wolf-vostell-estate/biographie-wolf-vostell/ 

Biography & visual exhibits: https://zkm.de/de/person/wolf-vostell

Postwar at Haus der Kunst biography: https://postwar.hausderkunst.de/en/artworks-artists/artists/wolf-vostell

Biography & visual exhibits (German): https://www.van-ham.com/de/kuenstler/wolf-vostell.html

Quotes by Wolf Vostell (English & German): https://beruhmte-zitate.de/autoren/wolf-vostell/

Biography (German): http://forschung-kuenstlerpublikationen.de/Wolf-Vostell.html

Biography: https://www.kettererkunst.de/bio/WolfVostell-1932-1998.php

Biography, Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/artist/wolf-vostell

Biography: http://www.wolf-vostell.de/


Das Leben ist auf der Straße: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8OzTeopM3I&ab_channel=iksmedienarchiv

Wolf Vostell Collection, Museum Fluxus+, Potsdam: https://www.fluxus-plus.de/wolf-vostell.html

Miss Amerika & commentary (German): https://museenkoeln.de/portal/bild-der-woche.aspx?bdw=1997_18

Grasshoppers & commentary: http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/heuschrecken/

dé-coll / age manifesto (1961) & commentary (German): http://forschung-kuenstlerpublikationen.de/de-coll-age-manifesto-1961.html

Two concrete Cadillacs in the form of the naked Maja & commentary: https://www.berlin.de/ba-charlottenburg-wilmersdorf/ueber-den-bezirk/kultur-und-wissenschaft/skulpturen-und-denkmale/artikel.155638.php

Commentary about the Concrete Cadillacs: ​​https://www.rbb-online.de/50xkunst/bildhauerei/wolf_vostell__beton.html 

Visual exhibits: https://www.mumok.at/de/wolf-vostell

Visual exhibits:https://www.venator-hanstein.de/katalog/searchbyartist/0/VOSTELL/WOLF/0/

Visual exhibits: https://www.fondazionebonotto.org/en/collection/fluxus/vostellwolf


Exhibition: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/kultur/ausstellung-wolf-vostell-schockfrost/26076200.html

Virtual gallery:

Wolf Vostell virtual gallery by The Wolf Vostell Estate: https://www.art-in-berlin.de/incbmeld.php?id=5660

Wolf Vostell blog:

Wolf Vostell blog (German): http://infowolfvostell.blogspot.com/

Website of The Wolf Vostell Estate:

Website of The Wolf Vostell Estate: https://www.vostell.de/ 

Wolf Vostell Instagram Account:

The Wolf Vostell Estate Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/wolfvostell/?hl=en

Documentary, Video & Radio Resources:

1968 documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jylpXPCRm3A&ab_channel=artclassicnews

Wolf Vostell video channel (videos in German, English, French and Spanish about Wolf Vostell): https://vimeo.com/user39653883

15-minute radio piece on Wolf Vostell in commemoration of his day of death, WDR ZeitZeichen (German): https://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/zeitzeichen/audio-wolf-vostell-happening-kuenstler-todestag–100.html