Jürgen Raap

Jürgen Raap (*1952 in Cologne) studied Art History and German Philology at the University of Cologne, where he wrote his thesis on the Surrealist painter Max Ernst. After graduation, he then studied Fine Art at the Cologne College of Art and Design from 1977 through 1982, graduating in 1985 as a state-qualified designer.

Around 1980, Jürgen Raap was a student of Daniel Spoerri. He has been living in Cologne since the 1980s, working as an art journalist and author of crime novels and nonfiction books – and as an artist. After focussing his attention for many years on literary activities and performances, Jürgen Raap began painting again after a 23-year break.


Jürgen Raap paints fictive worlds or views of sites, which will soon disappear as a result of urban redevelopment – in a certain sense, one could speak of a “painterly archaeology”, in which various levels of time and memory overlap. Views of urban fringe areas with wastelands mix with childhood memories and visions of tropical jungles. His pictures thus contain aspects of Romanticism and sentimentality, although not in a transfiguring, nostalgic sense, but rather with a mythical charging that conveys a sense of identity.