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Painting / Drawing

Painting / Drawing in the Bachelor study programme

The »Painting and Drawing« department aims to lay the foundations for an independent artistic position and to provide guidance for reflection on theoretical and practical questions about painting and drawing in the present day and in the past. In addition to this, it follows the HFBK's interdisciplinary approach to study by addressing related disciplines and consequently locating the students' own artistic efforts specifically within this extended context of art and image production, including the old and new technical media (photography, film, video, computer).

Painting and drawing are among the oldest artistic genres, but the technical possibilities open to them today are just as diverse as the scope for artistic expression. Students should gain an insight into the technical, genre-specific and general aesthetic and theoretical requirements and fundamentals of painting and drawing as genres, and learn to use them to develop their own ideas and concepts. Here the main composition categories are the classical fields of form, colour and surface design, with all their many variation and combination possibilities. Students' learning and research in this context are structured by their own artistic development intentions, and an individual artistic approach emerges through the interplay between practical and conceptual work. The craft aspects of the technical painting and drawing processes and printed graphics techniques (etching, lithography, screen printing) are explored in the context of special teaching sessions, including lab and workshop programmes.

As well as the realization of artistic work, the subject also deals with presenting and mediating art in the context of the various institutional and social fields available within the art business system. As well as gallery visits and annual exhibitions, the university´s own gallery also offers an opportunity to explore and discuss matters relating to presenting pictures and to their reception.

The accompanying academic training gives additional depth to the artistic questions and experiences, and offers historical and theoretical knowledge and practical methods that help to advance students' artistic understanding of themselves and of history.

Painting / Drawing in the Master study programme

The aim of Master study in the department »Painting/Drawing« is to expand students’ individual artistic ideas and abilities as well as their ability to critically analyse theoretical and practical questions posed by painting and drawing throughout history and in the present day.

Today, the technical possibilities available are as diverse as the possibilities for expression within art. Students should be able to expand their technical, art-form-specific, aesthetic and theoretical knowledge and learn to carry out autonomous artistic development plans largely under their own guidance. The criteria by which composition is judged will be the areas into which painting and drawing have classically been divided: form, colour and surface creation with their diverse variations and combinations.

Students’ learning will be structured by their own individual artistic plans, and their individual artistic position will be strengthened by the interplay between practical and conceptual projects. The core area of this course of study is therefore the actual artistic praxis, which includes technical painting and drawing processes as well as graphical printing techniques (such as etching, lithography, screen printing etc.). Students will also gain knowledge relating to planning and working strategy, presentation and publication techniques, production, functional aesthetics and the aesthetics of effect. Aside from the annual exhibition, the University gallery offers the opportunity to, for instance, discuss questions of image presentation and reception.

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

New articles at is the social network of the HFBK. It opens a digital forum for exchange and discussion in which students, teachers, guest authors, art critics and the interested public provide a wide range of content and perspectives.

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.