Curriculum Vitae

Tanja Guntrum
  • Born in 1968 in Berlin, lives in Düsseldorf greater area, Nordrhein-Westfalen since 2007
  • After graduating from high school, she first had to take up a non-artistic profession
  • during this time she developed a drawing repertoire of stories and motifs, which she took up again in her later works in painting
  • from 2005 the focus shifted to acrylic painting
  • Refinement of the technique through further training courses
  • Works as a full-time self-employed artist since 2012, has a studio named ‘ars adiuvo’ in downtown Düsseldorf
  • Fields of activity: original artworks, commissioned works, creativity courses (individualized teaching/small groups), business team events
  • Description of current Oevre: Artworks can be categorized in four different artwork complexes. Her paintings are characterized by a perceptible love of the ‘Schöne Linie’ (means ‘beautiful stroke’), which manifests as a compositional element or graphic line and links all four work complexes
  • Has artistically found her way to capture the human being as a whole, his relationships, his experiences and the referring thoughts that go along with them in a painting
  • Exhibitions in Rom, Venedig, New York, Wien, Budapest, Miami, Zürich, Barcelona and in Nordrhein-Westfalen/Deutschland
  • Awards: Woman Art Award 2020 & 2022, International Prize Raffaello & Canova 2020, International Prize New York City 2020, Semifinalist ARTBOX Project Barcelona 2020

Member of the following art associations:

  • Künstlerverein Malkasten
  • UNART – Kulturinitiative Unterbach e.V.
  • Der Blaue Rather

1. How do you describe your art to someone who doesn’t know it?

Concrete art / abstract painting, that doesn’t want to depict the visible world. Intuitive and unconstrained handling of colour gradients as a background for distinctively bordered and isolated forms, which attracts the attention of the observer throu colour or position. The subjects can be intuitively comprehended without any visual hindrances.

2. Which contents/thematic are present in your artistic journey?

With my artworks, I’m in pursuit of a life’s essence, the development, the legacy and it’s evanescence. It’s about the perception and decoding of principles, about the truth behind the obvious.

3. Tell me about your beginning as artist.

Since I was a child, I focus on conveying personal experiences via drawings and painting in general. After finishing high school I had to earn a living by following conventional vocational trainings and jobs. During my twenties drawing helped me through a succession of family crisis. After moving to Düsseldorf, and by means of fortunate circumstances, I made my way as an independent artist. And since 2012 I work as self-employed artist.

4. Tell me about the choice of that specific art medium for your own artistic research. What does it represent?

I mainly use acrylic paint on canvas. On the one hand, acrylics are a supporting element for my mode of operation, because I’m a very structured artist. When I elaborate a subject it’s important for me to get fast results. On the other hand, I need the infinite abundance of the colour spectrum to be able to appropriately imbed strong emotions into my artworks. 

5. What is your way of working? Do you usually design a project or you just follow a vision (mental image) which turns into a project?

I only draw sketches when I prepare commissioned pieces. Most often I follow on the spur of the moment, arising from a personal encounter or a poem I read. But most of the time I’m inspired by music. Significant chord progressions and motifs often directly conduct into an artwork. Sometimes it feels a bit like synaesthesia.

6. What are your external influences which affect your art?

In my younger days I often was influenced by opera (Aida, La Traviata, Madame Butterfly) and the imaginative worlds of fantastic literature (Jules Verne, Saint-Exupéry, Tolkien). Later on, when I’ve occupied myself with art history and theory, I become influenced by a couple of specific artists like Monet, Malewitsch and Kandinsky, speaking of their oevre as well as their biography.