Jürgen Draeger - Jürgen Draeger

Jürgen Draeger in his studio, 2013

Jürgen Draeger (born August 2, 1940 in Berlin ) is a German actor , singer , painter and draftsman .


Jürgen Draeger was born on August 2, 1940 in Berlin-Kreuzbergborn. He was separated from his parents during the destruction of the capital. The family was only reunited by the Red Cross after the war. In the ruins of Berlin, Jürgen had to experience the art of survival. On the pavement and rubble walls, he made signs of life with charcoal and white chalk. Chalk and charcoal are his defining working materials in his art to this day. After his release from Soviet captivity and the birth of his daughter Gerlinde, his father Julius Draeger died in 1950 as a result of his war injuries. At the age of 13 Draeger's drawings were first published in Berlin daily newspapers. With a special permit, the 15-year-old was allowed to attend the University of Fine Artsstudy life drawing. Four years later, the first oil painting of Berlin Houses was created , which was shown at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in 1960 . At the height of abstract painting, Draeger surprised art critics with his socially critical realism . The painting was bought by the lyricist Bruno Balz (“Can love be a sin?”). From this a lifelong friendship developed.

Draeger earned his living as a factory worker, also worked as an assistant to the photographer Herbert Tobias and took acting lessons from Marlise Ludwig . His first stage success was a role in Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening at the Schillertheater Berlin . With a leading role in Jürgen Roland's film Polizeirevier Davidswache , Draeger became an overnight idol of the young generation in 1964. More film roles followed and his face appeared on numerous magazine covers. Draeger was voted the most popular film actor of 1967 and made over 50 films across Europe, including the painter biography Come to Vienna, I'll show you something! , in which he portrayed the Austrian Hans Makart (1840–1884). At the same time, a varied television career developed: his main role in Eberhard Fechner's self-service is just as much a part of it as the Stahlnetz episode Die Nacht zum Ostermontag by director Jürgen Roland.

Federico Fellini engaged him as a costume and decor draftsman for the film Roma in 1971. Draeger studied etching and copperplate engraving at Oskar Kokoschka's summer academy in Salzburg in 1975 . For a report on the painter Marc Chagall , Draeger was hired by Stern magazine as a photographer. He also photographed portraits for Die Zeit magazine. A photo series about Hildegard Knef's last tour was commissioned by the Hamburger Abendblatt .

In the 1970s, the artist lived mainly in Munich. There he met the actress Helga Anders , who died in March 1986 shortly before the planned wedding. On March 14, 1988, his partner Bruno Balz died. Mother Käthe's death followed on March 19, 1988. Draeger has lived in Berlin since renting the historic Rathenau Hall as a studio in 2008 in the former AEG industrial area in Oberschöneweide .


Jeanne Moreau as Madama Lysiane , Querelle cycle, pastel on handmade paper 51.5 × 76.5 cm, March 1982
If illusions could fly , Circus-Roncalli cycle, pastel on Roma handmade paper, 67 × 49 cm, 1983
We are what we are, but what we are, we are only apparently , A cage full of fools, pastel on Ingres handmade paper 42 × 52 cm, 1986

At the request of the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder , Jürgen Draeger accompanied the film adaptation of the “scandal novel” Querelle by Jean Genet in the Berlin film studio in 1982 . After literature and its filming, Draeger's drawings on the subject of violence and passion were to become the third artistic interpretation. Andy Warhol and Jürgen Draeger were each commissioned by Fassbinder to design a Querelle cinema poster. After the shooting, Fassbinder died in Munich in 1982. After that, the film distributor rejected the poster designs by Warhol and Draeger. A German publisher, on the other hand, sold the Warhol and Draeger designs as art prints worldwide.

Draeger's "Querelle Cycle" [1] comprises over 100 colored drawings and was first exhibited in Berlin for the film premiere in 1982. The exhibition went on a European tour and had over 170,000 visitors. With the “Querelle Cycle”, the artist started the five-year work on the “Trilogy of Masks”. For three years he accompanied the Circus Roncalli by Germany, the picture cycle during which was "Journey to the Rainbow", [2] which was shown as a touring internationally. He then watched the rehearsals for the film A Cage Full of Fools at the Theater des Westens in Berlinbased musical of the same name. “Querelle”, “Circus Roncalli” and “A Cage Full of Fools” were merged in 1986 as the “Trilogy of Masks”.

In 1990, Draeger accompanied Willy Brandt as a guest on his historic trip to the new federal states. The result was a series of Brandt portraits, which was to be shown as a highlight on the painter's 50th birthday in the same year in Berlin's Rathaus-Tempelhof for the anniversary exhibition “CVs”. The district mayor rejected the Brandt portraits. During the press conference there was a tangible argument between the head of the cultural office and Draeger. The proposed exhibition poster with a quote from Jean Genet was rejected by the Tempelhof Art Office because of alleged pornographic content. The first edition was destroyed, the artist had to pay for a censored new edition himself. The ceremony was canceled, the District Councilor Klaus Wowereitwas not allowed to hold the laudatory speech. The Brandt portraits had to be shown by a court order. Draeger was sentenced to a heavy fine for assault. Draeger's exhibition “CVs”, on the other hand, was a public success. After the scandal, Draeger left Germany and disappeared until 2002. Only to commemorate the 100th birthday of his deceased partner, the lyricist Bruno Balz, Draeger came back to Berlin for a while in 2002 and founded the company “Evergreens Comeback !! Media". His first production was the double CD Der Wind told me a song as an homage to Balz 'songs, which once made stars Zarah Leander , Heinz Rühmann and Johannes Heesters .

On the Open Monument Day 2009, the Atelier-Draeger in the historic Rathenau Hall in Berlin-Oberschöneweide was opened to a new audience with an exhibition of the controversial Brandt portraits. In the following years the artist showed works from the trilogy of masks 1982–1987 in his studio :

  • Open Monument Day 2010 Works from the "Querelle Cycle"
  • Open Monument Day 2011 Pictures from the "Circus Roncalli cycle"
  • Open Monument Day 2012 a selection from the cycle "A cage full of fools"

Since January 2013, Jürgen Draeger has been working on his new cycle of pictures, “Being Sin,” a homage to the lyricist Bruno Balz.

Prizes and awards

Jürgen Draeger has received several awards.

Film awards:

  • 1964 - Federal Film Prize and Golden Screen for his role of "Manfred" in the film Police Station Davidswache (1964, director: Jürgen Roland , screenplay: Wolfgang Menge ) [3]
  • 1967 - Golden Arrow as the most popular film actor of the year by Europe's largest music magazine musik parade
  • 1970 - Silver cup as the most popular film actor of the year by the youth magazine Volltreffer

Art prizes:

  • 1954 - Award for the Children's Day poster
  • 1975 - City of Mannheim Art Prize during the Mannheim May week, Lord Mayor Ludwig Ratzel presented the painter Jürgen Draeger with the City of Mannheim Art Prize for the pictures he exhibited there.
  • 1975 - Art Prize of the Berliner Festwochen
  • 1975 - Competition winner "Berlin artists paint Kreuzberg"
  • 1979 - Award from the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein for the lithography The dancing organ grinder at the exhibition "Graphics for Children"
  • 1981 - Grand Prix International d'Art Contemporain de Monte-Carlo for pictures from the cycle "Addiction and Drugs"
  • 1986 - 1st art prize of the city of Schneverdingen for the work Marianne from the cycle "The people from Domplatz"


  • 1955 – Theaterplakat Lumpaci Vagabundus
  • 1982 Fire and Sword Movie Poster
  • 1985 - Concert poster Hommage à Marlene in honor of Marlene Dietrich for the German Schauspielhaus Hamburg
  • 1985 - Theaterplakat La Cage aux Folles
  • 1988 - Theater poster Der Wetterpilot
  • 1989 - Theaterplakat Bent
  • 1992 – Museumsplakat Marlene
  • 2004 - Theater poster Democracy



Exhibition poster for the art exhibition JÜRGEN DRAEGER: MY JOURNEY WITH WILLY BRANDT.
On November 26, 2013, the eulogy about the artist Jürgen Draeger was given by the Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit (right) in the columned hall of Berlin's Red City Hall. In the middle, the artist Draeger, next to him on the left, Dominic Ortelt, who had designed the exhibition.
Longing for a fulfilled democracy. Working material for the Brandt portraits: clay paint, charcoal and pastel on canvas 83 cm × 119 cm
"Hurry up to act before it's too late: to repent." Working material of the Brandt portraits: clay paint, charcoal and pastel on canvas 83 cm × 119 cm
“We don't need to talk to each other, we already know each other.” With this sentence Willy Brandt greeted his chosen travel companions on the way to Erfurt in March 1990. Working material for the Brandt portraits: clay paint, charcoal and pastel on canvas 83 cm × 119 cm

The exhibition Picasso , Dali , Mirao & DRAEGER was presented in 1985 by Galerie Ruf in Munich on the subject of circus. Later on, the Ruf gallery showed a selection of new Draeger works at the Basel Art Fair.

The city of Berlin invited the artist to the 750th anniversary in 1987. For this purpose, a museum pavilion was built in which pictures from his circus series were exhibited.

  • 1959 - Great Berlin art exhibition
  • 1960 - Great Berlin art exhibition
  • 1961 - Great Berlin art exhibition
  • 1962 - Great Berlin art exhibition
  • 1962 - Berlin remains Berlin , Berlin Hilton Galerie, Berlin (E)
  • 1969 - Roman Impressions , Café Greco, Rome Italy (E)
  • 1974 - BMW Gallery, Munich
  • 1975 - 5th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1975 - Galerie Lili Schmidt Schneverdingen (E)
  • 1975 - 30 years of peace , house on Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • 1976 - 6th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1976 - Environmental protection , Gallery Lili Schmidt Schneverdingen
  • 1976 - Small Gallery Cologne (E)
  • 1977 - Artists and the Environment , Schlossplatz Art Building, Stuttgart
  • 1977 - Artists and Society , Berliner Festwochen
  • 1977 - Graphic exhibition, Landespostdirektion Berlin
  • 1977 - 7th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1978 - Lili Schmidt Schneverdingen Gallery (E)
  • 1978 - Working world , house on Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • 1978 - World of Work , House of the People, Volgograd, USSR
  • 1978 - Hofer Fenster, Hof
  • 1978 - Hommage à Käthe Kollwitz , Reinickendorf Art Office, Berlin
  • 1978 - Tunisian trip , Galerie Düncker, Hamburg (E)
  • 1979 - Handicapped , house on Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • 1979 - Graphics for children, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
  • 1979 - Orangery, Cologne
  • 1979 - Christmas exhibition of the BBK, Berlin
  • 1979 - Children today , New Society for Fine Arts, Berlin
  • 1980 - Addiction and drugs , house on Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • 1980 - Images of Peace, Peaceful Images? BBK Berlin
  • 1980 - Berlin - today. Impressions of a divided city , Kiel
  • 1980 - 30 years of the professional association of visual artists, Staatliche Kunsthalle Berlin
  • 1980 - 10th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1981 - Galerie Brigitte Wölffer, Berlin (E)
  • 1981 - 11th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1981 - Peace and Disarmament , Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • 1981 - International Grand Prix of Contemporary Art of Monte Carlo
  • 1981 - European Contemporary Art , Tokyo
  • 1982 - 12th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1982 - Querelle - cycle , KaDeWe Gallery, Berlin (E)
  • 1983 - Querelle - cycle , Galerie Wiegand Cologne (E)
  • 1983 - Querelle - cycle , Hertie Gallery Munich (E)
  • 1983 - Querelle cycle , Casino Galerie Westerland / Sylt (E)
  • 1983 - Querelle cycle , Alte Oper Frankfurt (E)
  • 1983 - Querelle cycle , West Side Studio Wiesbaden (E)
  • 1983 - Elefanten Press Galerie, Berlin
  • 1983 - Heads and Faces , Kunsthalle Darmstadt
  • 1983 - 13th Free Berlin Art Exhibition, Berlin
  • 1983 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Hertie Gallery Munich (E)
  • 1983 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Galerie Glogau Hamburg (E)
  • 1984 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Galerie Kreth dÒrey Heidelberg (E)
  • 1984 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Gallery Tolbiac Düren (E)
  • 1984 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Galerie Wiegand Cologne (E)
  • 1984 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Casino Galerie Westerland / Sylt (E)
  • 1984 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Gallery Lilo Schmidt, Schneverdingen (E)
  • 1984 - 14th Berlin Art Exhibition, Berlin
  • 1984 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Galerie Algeb Wiesbaden (E)
  • 1984 - Galerie Ad Hoc, Munich (E)
  • 1985 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Galerie Monte Langenwang / Oberstdorf (E)
  • 1985 - Galerie Ruf, Art Fair Basel (E)
  • 1985 - Jugglers, clowns, acrobats - Circus today , Galerie Ruf Munich
  • 1985 - Circus in Art , Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin
  • 1985 - The Journey to the Rainbow , KaDeWe Gallery, Berlin (E)
  • 1985 - Ruf Gallery, Munich
  • 1985 - To the small gallery, Berlin (E)
  • 1985 - Gallery Ruine, Berlin (E)
  • 1985 - BBK annual exhibition
  • 1985 - 10 years of artist workshops at Betanienhaus, BBK Berlin's cultural center
  • 1986 - 16th Free Berlin Art Exhibition
  • 1986 - Circus today , Galerie Moderne, Kissingen
  • 1986 - Trilogy of masks , Galerie Brigitte Wölffer, Berlin (E)
  • 1986 - Principle of Hope? , House on Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • 1986 - 10 years Galerie Lilo Schmidt, Schneverdingen
  • 1986 - Circus world and country life , Galerie Kunststück, Berlin (E)
  • 1986 - A cage full of fools , Theater des Westens, Berlin (E)
  • 1987 - 17th Berlin Art Exhibition, Berlin
  • 1987 - A cage full of fools , Wertheim Steglitz Pavilion, Berlin (E)
  • 1987 - Janssen Gallery, Berlin (E)
  • 1987 - Circus , museum pavilion 750 years of Berlin (E)
  • 1987 - 750 years of Berlin , Hertie Gallery Munich (E)
  • 1988 - Spring Pictures , Gallery Kunststück, Berlin (E)
  • 1988 - A cage full of fools , 600 years of Soltau (E)
  • 1988 - Window , Gallery Lilo Schmidt, Schneverdingen (E)
  • 1989 - 19th Free Berlin Art Exhibition, Berlin
  • 1990 - CVs , gallery in the Tempelhof town hall, Berlin (E)
  • 1991 - 21st Free Berlin Art Exhibition, Berlin
  • 1992 - Marlene Dietrich - from Weißensee to Hollywood , City History Museum Weißensee, Berlin
  • 1994 - 24th Free Berlin Art Exhibition, Berlin
  • 2002 - Factory of feelings , homage to RF Fassbinder, Schwules Museum, Berlin
  • 2004 - The journey with Willy Brandt 1990 , Renaissance-Theater-Berlin (E)
  • 2009 - Magical Characters , Dogon Gallery
  • 2009 - The journey with Willy Brandt 1990 , Open Monument Day 2009, Berlin (E)
  • 2010 - The Querelle Cycle , Open Monument Day 2010, Berlin (E)
  • 2011 - The Journey to the Rainbow , Open Monument Day 2011, Berlin (E)
  • 2012 - A cage full of fools , Open Monument Day 2012, Berlin (E)
  • 2013 - Jürgen Draeger: My trip with Willy Brandt , Rotes Rathaus, Berlin (E)
  • 2014 - Dance with clay , Open Monument Day 2014, Berlin (E)

(E) = solo exhibition



Individual evidence

  1. Figures ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template: Webachiv / IABot / atelier-draeger.info
  2. Figures ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template: Webachiv / IABot / atelier-draeger.info
  3. According to Langen Müller's Acting Dictionary of the Present (1986) and some websites such as www.welt.de and morgenpost.de . In the official directory of the recipients of the Federal Film Prize 1965 ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@2Template: Toter Link / www.deutsche-filmakademie.de Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. However, Draeger is not mentioned, and the IMDb does not recognize these awards either.