* 7 December 1907 in Leipzig; † 14 August 1998 in Zwickau
German painter and graphic artist
Albert Hennig belongs among the artists of the lost generation. As one of the last pupils of the Bauhaus, his oeuvre stands in the tradition of that influential art school. Hennig studies concrete construction and joins the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1928. He teaches himself photography. In 1932 he successfully applies for a place to study at the Dessau Bauhaus. His teachers here and – after the closure of the Dessau Bauhaus – in Berlin are, among others, Josef Albers (Preliminary Course), Walter Peterhans (Photography), Hinnerk Scheper, Joost Schmidt and, on occasions, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Wassily Kandinsky. Hennig’s photographic collection "Children of the Street" is destroyed by the National Socialists in 1933 during the occupation of the SPD-offices in Leipzig. He is summoned as a construction worker from 1934 until 1945. During an air raid on Leipzig in December 1943 Hennig’s apartment, and with it almost all of his early work, is destroyed. The artist moves to Zwickau.
After the war Henning is one of the founding members of the group “Visual Artists” at the Cultural Association of Zwickau. His fellow artists Max Schwimmer and Heinz Fleischer become major influences for him. He creates his first abstract works at the beginning of the 1950s, but with them he comes into conflict with the official cultural politics of the GDR. Hennig distances himself from this one-sided attitude to art and from 1953 until 1972 again works as concrete constructor. Subsequently he dedicates himself fully to painting and graphic art. His late work is quickly recognised and he receives a number of awards. In 1996 he is awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.