* 1939 IN EISGRUB IN SÜDMÄHREN
† 2010 IN NEU-RIETZ (TREUENBRIETZEN)
IN SEARCH OF SIMPLICITY
Walter Lauche begins to paint during his army service in the Bundeswehr, the West German military. Although just a hobby at first, it quickly becomes his passion. He wants to become an artist and avoid the hierarchical structures of traditional work life. He studies visual art in Braunschweig and West Berlin. As a member of the left-wing orientied artists' group “Rote Nelke”, Lauche also has contact with artists in the East. He is fascinated by the GDR and its political system. On 1 Mai 1965, he moves to the GDR – not least in order to escape his parents’ strict control.
They didn’t actually want strange birds like me.
Upon arrival, Lauche must spend four weeks in the reception centre at Berlin-Blankenfelde. The Stasi monitor the stubborn and unconventional artist with suspicion, but his contacts in the GDR art scene provide him with support. Lea Grundig, the president of the GDR Association of Visual Artists, advocates for Lauche’s case, and he eventually receives GDR citizenship. He volunteers in a stainless steel plant in Freital called “8. Mai” for a year and a half in order to get to know the GDR better. Only afterwards does he continue with his work as an artist. He spends many happy years in the GDR. His art focuses on reflecting on simple things, such as landscapes, portraits and still lifes.