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What's the point here?

joe 1972  › Großansicht (Bild=Extrafenster) · © Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
joe 1972   Großansicht (Bild=Extrafenster)

Werner Stürenburg was a German mathematician who became a painter, graphic artist and sculptor, bequeathing an oeuvre of some 700 works, the bulk of which was executed in the years 1972 - 1978 and 1983 - 1985, his 24th - 30th and 35th - 37th year.

This site serves to introduce to his oeuvre to the extent it is documented photographically and to track his development to my best knowledge by giving comments as time permits. His last work was created in 1997.

A first introduction to his work in form of an interview and a short resume is given in Credo .  Signature explains why he signed as . Short version: is nobody, doesn't even have a surname.

Comments and Simulations  

The artistic and personal development to be traced here is sketched using all surviving works, beginning with a small painting done at the age of 12, made with unsuitable paint on a slat of chipboard (» Nr. 1). The comments to these works try to make this amazing development from an average boy to a dedicated painter comprehensible. Right now, they reach up to work » No. 224 in German and are supposed to be continued once time and energy is available; also a translation to English is desirable. So far, BabelFish is called to the rescue.

The fun here started when in addition to those comments I began to simulate hanging, first in mock-up museum or living environments, then real flats -- try the random choice mechanism here: refresh  Key F5 -- or better still enjoy right away one of the small, configurable slide shows:
  •  Simulation living environment - living with paintings at home in all kinds of styles (up tp oeuvre no. 226, randomly chosen)
  •  Museum szenarios - experience paintings in a museum, how is that? (up tp oeuvre no. 226, randomly chosen)
  •  mixed - randomly chosen from both settings (up tp oeuvre no. 226)
  • Moon-Altar slideshow - 15-piece/4-wings altar piece (oeuvre nos. 578-592)
  • Photos - automatic slideshows showing artworks - ordered by size and technique - in living environments.
If applicable, those shows can be configured with respect to the number of chosen works and the duration.

Photos can be appreciated as studies in framing as well, try for example Huge, 45 files). Also see Gallery for a systematic approach.

A quick overview of the aforementioned simulation experience:

Simulation museum setting (analogous to the Louvre Test):

No. 1 » » 245 81x70cm, 29.11.1977  » » 72 37x27cm, 31.12.1973 » » 22 70x43cm, 28.09.1973›  · © Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
No. 1 » » 245 81x70cm, 29.11.1977 sold/verkauft » » 72 37x27cm, 31.12.1973 » » 22 70x43cm, 28.09.1973 


Simulation apartment:

No. 2 » » 107 101x123cm, 13.02.1974 » » 124 49x60cm, 08.03.1974 ›  · © Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
No. 2 » » 107 101x123cm, 13.02.1974 » » 124 49x60cm, 08.03.1974  

Refresh  Key F5

Sense and purpose of this exercise

By end of 2010 the remarks from the oeuvre catalogue  Stürenburg 2007 have been greatly expanded and transferred to the internet (translation to English so far by Babelfish). The last finished comment to date relates to  Number 224. The comment to  Number 80 produced the idea to not only compare but also present works on the wall. From there on, a living room simulation, augmented by interesting frames, leads to a better judgment. In August 2011, samples of modern interior design were integrated, even for previous numbers.

Initially with  Number 94, from  Number 139 systematically all works are not only compared with each other but also with well known works by other artists (called Louvre Test in honor of the famous test for Picasso in 1944). Beginning with  Number 164, more realistic ambiences are developed. A randomly selected examplelso to the pairings with colleagues here:

Simulation Louvre Test:
(In honor of the famous test for Picasso in 1944 = confrontation with colleague's works - only in direct confrontation the power and strength of a piece is revealed.)

No. 3 » » Dürer: » » Selbst 1500. 67x49 cm. 1500 » » 212 96x53cm, 30.01.1975 » » Dürer: » » Selbst 1498. 52x41 cm. 1498›  · © Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
No. 3 » » Dürer: » » Selbst 1500. 67x49 cm. 1500 » » 212 96x53cm, 30.01.1975 » » Dürer: » » Selbst 1498. 52x41 cm. 1498 

With each call (Refresh - F5) another, as a rule different sample appears (try it: click  here, for a sample with a colleague image  here, and then press F5 to reload. Or else just relax and enjoy a slideshow: » Photos - but beware: with a selection of hundreds of views the initial loading may take a while! (Your browser automatically stores all images locally, so next time loading is fast.) Slideshows can be selected by size and technique, they run automatically without user interaction. You can always stop and continue and navigate anywhere manually, though.

This adventure proved to be very interesting. Those new comments, only possible by means of the internet, expand the remarks of the printed catalog raisonné in many ways. Works having a comment are tagged wth the symbol . Any work having been presented with another has a list of those works beneath, so it is easy to see those in different settings and pairings.


The Gallery shows a selection of the total body of work as far as it is recorded, at present 723 pieces, i.e. all works documented by photographs. These are shown in total at Gallery or selected for technique or size:

Paintings Drawings Sculptures Original Prints

Tiny Small Middle Large Huge

You can choose the number of thumbnails shown afterwards. If you select for the dimension of a work, you can choose for a tolerance (±, in cm, 5 cm being roughly 2") next to get works slightly larger or smaller as well.

Single Views  

A click on an image will open a new window with a larger picture of that particular piece - more clicks on this picture will cycle between the different resolutions. The icon denotes the choice of the width via links.

© Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA

© Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA

The symbols and switch pictures in list mode. You can use keys as well (- = previous, + = next), allowing for easy comparison switching back and forth.

In single mode, you can choose fit as a size option in addition; depending on the available space in your browser, a new view will be generated on the fly like in shows to make sure that the whole picture is given to you with maximum size.

The man-icon shows size relations; the red button signals that this particular work is no longer available.

For work numbers less than 226 you find lots of comments and simulations as indicated.


The Shows work like slide shows. Without interaction, images are shown formatted on the fly according to the available space on your browser. Order (ascending, descending, upload) and rhythm (2 to 18 seconds) can be chosen freely.
  • Altar presents a unique winged altar with 4 sides und 15 panels as museum show.

  • Different views of sculptures can be shown as shows as well.

  • If paraphrases of a work exist, a show will be offered for convenient comparison.

  • Also, all other selections can be shown as show.


You can change the order in a list with links chronologic or otherwise current to show the newest works first; furthermore, you can sort by upload-date. The icon leads to a slide show, will give you thumbnails and a list presentation; the latter can be chosen in different resolutions. Every image can be shown 500, 800 or 1600 (Max) pixels wide or even be transformed for you in an ad hoc produced resolution to fit exactly the size of your screen (fit). Thus details can be evaluated pretty good.

You may also compose individual lists. Just put the appropriate work numbers, separated by commas, into the adress bar of your browser.

Example:  stuerenburg.com/251,435,519,639-57.

Your order will be preserved; the list may be as long as you wish. The resulting list will be shown in the preset resolution and can be transformed into a preview or a slideshow or a different resolution with a click thereafter.

Speeches and Essays  

Menu entry Texts features speeches and essays by Dr. Dorothea Eimert, Klaus Flemming, Friedrich Riehl and Werner Stürenburg. On the occasion of his participation at art Basel 1984, the Basel Manifesto was published by the artist.

Books and Catalogs

Modern digital printing technology provides for producing books about just any subject, even as a single copy. Actually a number of catalogs are production ready, i.e.  Tiny Works or  Paraphrases etc. The volume » Complete Works was published at the turn of 2007/2008 in new accouterment by Verlag Shaker Media, enhanced with texts and annotations, totaling nearly 800 pages in excellent quality and enduement, an absolute work of splendor!

Next my blog was published by the same publisher with title „Was ist Kunst?“ (What is Art?), in dual layout: first as » paperback with monochrome illustrations and two color pages plus color cover, next as premium edition with color illustrations throughout and large » Format A4.

We'll be glad to ship any printed catalog to your home address - simply send us an  E-Mail with the recipient's address. Available catalogs see Books.

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