At the Haus am Wehrsteg, the Prinzhorn Collection meets comics and public space

The Haus am Wehrsteg and the Prinzhorn Collection have invited comic strip artists to take an artistic stance on works and artists from the Prinzhorn Collection. The resulting works are printed on tarpaulin in a large format of 6.5 x 4.5 metres and exhibited at the tower of the Künstlerhaus Haus am Wehrsteg, and thus in Heidelberg's public space, in monthly rotation from January to June 2022. The participating artists (Anke Feuchtenberger, Anna Haifisch, Wolfgang Klee, Lucie Langston, Mawil, and Henning Wagenbreth) represent current artistic developments in the field of comic strips and graphic novels in Germany.

The concept

As the most important collection of artistic works by psychiatric patients, with a focus on drawings, the Prinzhorn Collection offers a wide field of results of diverse creativity. Communicating them to a broad audience is a challenge due to the small size of the works and their fragility. Comic strips, with their narrative tendency, accommodate the narrative character of many works in the collection. The topos of the outside is also an important motif in the collection via the experience of "limits of the ego" and "custody“, and can additionally find its way into the artistic debate.

The artists

Six artists have each created a comic strip page or a picture on a theme of their own choice.

Henning Wagenbreth, a long-time professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, was the first. He dealt with inventory number 1 and “case” 1 of the collection - "Bischoffstanz" by Gustav Sievers - and reinterpreted it in a richly coloured way. In February, Anna Haifisch (Leipzig), winner of the Max-und-Moritz-Prize as the best German comic strip artist of 2020, followed, working on "Bitte um ein Stück Kuchen!" by the patient artist Helene Maisch. In March, Lucie Langston (Mainz) shows - based on a letter - an examination of Josef Grebing's life, which ended with the National Socialist "euthanasia" programme. Langston's work was recently published in the New York Times. In April, former stage designer and draughtsman Wolfgang Klee (Frankfurt) will follow with an examination of Carl Genzel. The comic strip artist Mawil (Berlin) is another invitee in May. Anke Feuchtenberger (Hamburg), a university professor and winner of the Max-und-Moritz-Preis 2008 as best German comic artist, will take part in June.

Art education

The project is accompanied by a magazine and a podcast series in which the artists and curators have their say.

HERE you can find the podcast.


Außenseiten is supported by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, a donation, and the city of Heidelberg.