Günter Bruno Fuchs (1928 – 1977)

Ein dicker Mann wandert

Written down and retold in pictures by Günter Bruno Fuchs

A big man travels

 

Cologne: Middelhauve, 1967

Munich: Hanser, 1995

22 p., polychrome monotypes

28 x 23 cm, color. cardboard cover binding

The book and its history

According to the dedication, this picture book was created for Fuchs's daughter, Anja (born 1964), and his second wife, Jutta. The graphic artist and author tells a fantastic story about a big man with large pictures in the basic colours blue, green, yellow, and black, in addition to a few lines of text. Fuchs himself occasionally referred to himself as "big man", as his body size was impressive. In the pictures, however, he appears rather small, but with a large blue belly, a black hat, and equally black limbs. The visual narrative appears as if painted with a sweeping brush, producing several layers, blotches, and blanks. The wood engraver and graphic artist Fuchs achieves this through the technique of monotype, in which the paint is applied directly to the printing plate. The clear typography with large, easily readable letters is also the work of the artist, who was one of the co-founders of the Rixdorfer Drucke artist's studio in Berlin in 1963. We owe the book edition to the Cologne publisher Gertraud Middelhauve, who, always in search of artistically sophisticated picture books, included this very private project in her publishing program.

The text tells a playful nonsense story in which everyday experiences are turned upside down with relish: the teacher who knows nothing, the scarecrow who snatches the policeman's uniform, or the blue bird who claims to be the evening.

Biographical note

Günter Bruno Fuchs (1928-1977), born and died in Berlin, has become known above all as an author of fantastic stories and as a poet.
After a period as an air force helper and a prisoner of war in Belgium, he studied at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts and the Meisterschule für Graphik. From 1952 he lived as a freelance author and graphic artist, made his way through the country with odd jobs, co-founded the "Zinke" gallery, and later the Rixdorfer Drucke. His work as a writer began with a few texts for children, but soon changed to texts for adults. He never made this distinction himself, but rather remained true to the amazed child's gaze, even in his satirical exaggerations. "A Big Man Wanders" is his only picture book. His translation of Leo Lionni's famous picture book "Frederick" was published in the same year, also by Middelhauve Verlag.

Literature/Links

Rolf Michaelis, Melancholisches Wunderkind, in: Die Zeit, 6.5.1977 und 21.11.2012

Hans W.Hofmann, Günter Bruno Fuchs, in: kreuzberger-chronik.de

Thomas Propp, Ordnung muß sein, sprach der Anarchist... Eine Reise zum Dichter Günter Bruno Fuchs und zurück,

Lüneburg, 1985

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