Gerhard RUEHM (Germany)
Gerhard Ruehm (1930, Vienna, Austria) – poet, artist, composer, writer. One of the pioneers and classics of the European visual and sound poetry, the key figure in the Austrian-German school of the concrete poetry. He studied Piano and Composition at the Staatsakademie fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst (Vienna). After graduating from the academy, he took private lessons from the composer J. M. Hauer and deeply studied traditional Arabic music during his long stay in Lebanon. Being a qualified composer Ruehm is, at the same time, a poet and an artist; he was deeply involved in the cross-disciplinary artistic endeavour, created sculptures. He studied plastic art under the supervision of Wjurtle, F. Wotruba’s learner, the greatest Austrian sculptor of the middle of the XXth century. Since 1954, Ruehm has been intensively working in the area of literature (also tackling other forms of creative activity, that all have common roots for him), from 1964 till 1977 he lived and worked in West Berlin, since 1972 till 1995 worked as a professor at the Staatlichen Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste (Hamburg) and for some years was a professor of the Internationalen Sommerakademie fuer Bildende Kunst (Salzburg, 1981; 1987; 1991; 1996). He was one of the organisers and also for many years a member of the group of Austrian poets (F. Achleitner, H. C. Artmann, K. Bayer, G. Ruehm), that was later called “Vienna Group.” The activities of the group, that range from exhibitions and publications to plays and perform-theatrical shows alongside theoretical and practical works of their German counterparts (such as H. Heissenbuettel, M. Bense, E. Gomringer and others), greatly affected the development of the European experimental poetry in general. Ruehm is the author of numerous sound, visual and object poems, textual films, Vienna dialect-verses, musical-minimalist plays and so on, he is the founder of many expressive means and techniques. He has compiled a number of anthologies, including such as: die pegnitz schaefer (Berlin: Gerhardt, 1964), die wiener gruppe (Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1967), etc. Rühm is the author of about seventy books, including the ones of the recent years: geschlechterdings, chansons, romanzen, gedichte (Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1990), leselieder. spontangedichte auf notenpapier (Wien: Freiboard, 1991), textall. ein utopischer roman (Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1993), visuelle poesie (Innsbruck: Haymon, 1996), drei kinematographische texte (Wien: freibord, 1996) and others. Since1958 he held several dozens of solo exhibitions in Austria and abroad, including the large-scale retrospective ones at: Kulturhaus (Graz, 1980), Museum Moderner Kunst (Vienna, 1981), Wuerttembergischen Kunstverein (Stuttgart, 1982), Rupertinum (moderne galerie und graphische sammlung)(Salzburg, 1997), Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst (Bremen, 1988), Kunstverein (Frankfurt, 1989), Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg, 1995) and others. He is a laureate of numerous prizes and rewards, including: österreichischer würdigungspreis für literatur (1976), karl-sczuka-preis der suedwestfunks baden-baden (1977), grosser österreichischer staatspreis für literatur (1991), ehrenmedaille der stadt wien (1991), grillparzerpreis (1993). Gerhard Rühm lives and works in Cologne (Germany).