adelhyd van bender


Born on October 16, 1950 as Harald Friedrich Bender in the city of Bruchsal (Baden-Württemberg), Adelhyd van Bender leaves his parental home at age 15 after his parents’ break-up and moves to Ludwigshafen where he lives in a juvenile home and completes an apprenticeship as an electrician. In 1968, Bender moves to Berlin working as an electrician for two years, later becoming unemployed. In 1974, he completes his General Certificate of Secondary Education in evening courses. In October of the same year, he is admitted to the HdK Berlin (Berlin Arts Academy) where he studies for two years, until he is forced to exmatriculate in 1976. 

After the lease to his apartment has been terminated, he travels to England convinced that he will be able to trace his aristocratic roots. Since that time, he calls himself Adelhyd van Bender. In 1977, he returns to Berlin and intensifies his artistic activity: he paints with tars, oil paints, various chemicals and solvents on wood and cardboard. 

In 1987, a fire in his apartment destroys all highly combustible materials and part of his work. In 1999, when the artist’s apartment threatens to collapse under the weight of his work, he leaves a large part of his oeuvre to the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg. After this incident, Adelhyd van Bender dedicates himself completely to drawing, re-working, and photocopying. His work resembles scientific research and he pursues it obsessively day by day from morning to night, executing his scientific approach with artistic means: he draws, writes, photocopies, retouches obsessively, filling thousands and thousands sheets of paper with geometric forms and color fields, also resorting to mathematical and chemical graphisms and formula. [continue reading]