Christoph Pöggeler

*1958 in Muenster, Germany

On the pulse of life – Pöggeler shows us the critical issues of our time and fragile paradises

In his works, Christoph Pöggeler manages to give realistic painting with the structures of life an almost surreal, dreamlike depth and double interpretation. Pöggeler’s favorite material is wood with its individual grains. Pöggeler cleverly plays with the structures of the material and arranges his motifs so that they follow the lines of nature and a new, unexpected image emerges. A knothole becomes the wave rings of a puddle or lake, the play of clouds or the lines of trees. In his motifs he critically examines the wounds of our time: in “Soul Sellers” he painted refugees in a small boat years before the great wave of migration came into the media focus; icebergs and rainforest images speak of climate change more than 20 years ago.

Christoph Pöggeler – awarded the Rhenish Art Prize

Everyone in Düsseldorf knows Christoph Pöggeler’s sculptures. His “Pillar Saints” tower on advertising pillars at 10 prominent locations in the city. Pöggeler was inspired to create this cycle of works by the pillar saints of late antiquity, some of whom spent many years on high pillars and were originally worshiped as statues of gods and holy men. Today, it is advertising pillars that compete for people’s attention. On top of them, Pöggeler places everyday figures that are so realistically designed and painted as if they were alive: a couple in love, a businessman, a bride, a photographer, a vacationer, a father and son, a person reading or a stranger.

»It is curiosity about the uniqueness of each individual and at the same time about the diversity of the world. The “Pillar Saints” project puts such people on a pedestal, places them above the often too glib world of advertising, shows their normality but also their mystery, which can be found in everyday life. The billboard column becomes an advertising medium for people.« – Christoph Pöggeler

Even though his sculptural work with the “Pillar Saints” is particularly well-known, Christoph Pöggeler remains above all an outstanding painter who transforms found objects made of wood and other materials into surreal-romantic works of art. He received the Rhenish Art Prize for his painterly oeuvre. His works are in renowned art collections, such as the Tishman-Speyer Collection, whose collection is also an integral part of MoMa New York. The work “Museum” was recently acquired by the LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn.

Exhibitions and art fairs


Beyond landscape, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany


#OrangeTheWorld, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany

10 years – Anniversary exhibition, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany


Winter exhibition, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany

#OrangeTheWorld, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany


Lost and found, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany


Balance bronze sculpture (pillar saint), LVR-Landes-Museum, Bonn, Germany

Summer20, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany


New works, Gallery Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Germany


Paradise, MAERZ Contemporary, Berlin, Germany


Everything painting from the 80s, Inge Baecker Gallery, Bad Münstereifel, Germany


Stylites’ Südzucker company, Mannheim, Germany

On milk roads and wooden paths, Kamp Monastery, Kamp-Lintfort, Germany


Resurrection, Maxhaus, Düsseldorf, Germany


Etaneno – Art from the Museum in the Bush, Namibia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Freiburg, Germany


Sleeps an image in all things, Galerie im Stilwerk, Düsseldorf, Germany


From a master student at the Düsseldorf Academy to an award-winning artist in the city

Christoph Pöggeler was born in Münster, Westphalia, in 1958 and studied at the Düsseldorf State Art Academy under Prof. Alfonso Hüppi. In 1993, he was awarded the Fine Arts Prize of the state capital Düsseldorf. After a teaching position in ‘Fundamentals of Representation’ in the Department of Architecture at the Bergische Universität GH Wuppertal in 2001/02, he was awarded the renowned Rhenish Art Prize 2008 from the Rhein-Sieg District.

“Christoph Pöggeler represents an absolutely contemporary position in painting, a realism that does not stick to the superficial, but rather deals with the world of ideas and memories. Christoph Pöggeler develops his virtuoso painted pictures, which always surprise and sometimes irritate the viewer with their idiosyncratic aesthetics, directly from the painting background, which he uses as an arsenal of image creation. Pöggeler does not paint on the classic canvas, but rather uses image supports such as wood or rusted metal surfaces in order to develop painterly stories using the structures found. The associative element with which he invents figures and shapes on the background of the picture continues when viewed and enables immersion in his picture worlds. With his painterly style, which extends to the point of deceiving the eyes, he moves between image and reality, between image and image idea. Christoph Pöggeler’s work is also a Rhenish response to the Leipzig School.” – excerpt from the laudatory speech at the award ceremony