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Klaus Friedeberger

b. 1922

Klaus Friedeberger (b. 1922) fled Germany for England at the age of sixteen, and the next year found himself on the Dunera bound for internment in Australia. On the ship and in the prison camp at Hay he was mentored by sculptor Heinz Henghes, surrealist painter and designer Hein Heckroth, photographer Helmut Gernsheim, and Bauhaus lecturer Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack. In camp, Friedeberger produced studies and portraits, as well as surrealist-inspired compositions, posters and sets for in-house theatrical productions. From 1942 he was in the Australian military forces, and in Melbourne became acquainted with William Dobell, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan. He first exhibited in Melbourne in 1944. After demobilisation in 1947, he studied at East Sydney Technical College, where he became friends with Guy Warren and Tony Tuckson. Having won the Mosman Art Prize in 1949 he left Australia in 1950, returning to Europe to see art; he intended to return here, but did not. However, he continued to catch up with his Australian friends when they came to London. One of Friedeberger’s drawings in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia is of Douglas Annand drawing at the V and A in 1951; the NGA also has a Christmas card he made for Annand in the 1950s. Through the 1980s and 1990s his work became mostly abstract, and he began to be recognised in England; he is represented by England and Co in London.

Updated 2018