Hans Georg Rauch Biography

Hans Georg Rauch




Hans Georg Rauch, illustrator, cartoonist, painter, and printmaker, was born in Berlin, Germany on 21 June 1939. Rejected by his unwed mother and her family, he was placed in a childrens home operated by the Nazi government. Hans Georg was liberated from hunger and neglect by his aunt who intervened on his behalf and took him to live in the home of his great-grandfather.

Conscripted into the German army, Rauch served from 1958 to 1960. In addition to combat training, he worked as a military cartoonist. Rauch began his formal art education at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg, where he studied from 1961 to 1963, under Professors Thiemann and Bunz. He also learned copperplate etching from fellow student Wolfgang Werkmeister.

In 1964, Rauch traveled to France for a year of study and the following year he found work as an illustrator, eventually obtaining commissions from Der Spiegel, Stern, Look, The Observer, and The New York Times. In 1969, he married artist Ursula Vorhauer and published his first book of illustrations "Dessins à regarder de prés" (Editions Planete, Paris). In 1970, he  awarded the Heinrich Zille Prize for sociocritical drawing, allowing him to travel to United States. Upon his return to Germany, his first major exhibition was mounted at the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover in 1971. He began working in intaglio printmaking in 1974 and worked almost exclusively in the medium for several years. He continued to published books which included Rauch: la majorité silencieus (1974), Rauch: en masse (1975), Battle Lines (1977), and Double-Barreled Attack (1977).

A retrospective exhibition of his work took place in 1981 at the Wilhelm Busch Museum and the following year he was included in an exhibition of architectural inspired work sponsored by the Goethe Institute which traveled to Belgium, Canada, China, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and within the United States.

Hans Georg and Ursula Rauch became deeply involved with the anti-war movement and, in 1983, participated in a protest with various artists in Mutlangen, Germany against NATO, specifically against the decision to station American missiles in Germany. These political actions influenced Rauch's art for the duration of his career. Rauch continued to receive commissions for cartoons and, in 1987, he received the Cartoonist of the Year award from Le Centre International de l'Humour Universel, Montreal, Canada.

In 1991, Rauch helped establish an initiative in Worpswede to support the politically persecuted, including a cafe which would host them. He continued to travel, work, and exhibit until his sudden death at his home in Worpswede, Germany on December 23, 1993.