Alexander Braun

© Erich Malter

Alexander Braun

Laudation by Andrea Heinze:

It is breathtaking how Alexander Braun, in his books and exhibitions, puts classics of comic history into the context of visual art: the stalking beds with the elongated legs in which Winsor McCay's little Nemo moves through his dreams bear a striking resemblance to stalking animals in Salvador Dalí's paintings. Similar to Magritte, people also float through Winsor McCay's pictorial worlds. Winsor McCay's drawings were created some 40 years before the works of Dalí or Magritte.

Alexander Braun shows how comic artists were forerunners of art movements such as Surrealism. And he shows how comic artists stand in the tradition of fine art, for example when he compares depictions from horror comics with those of the baroque painter Caravaggio. What is special about this is that Alexander Braun does not legitimize comics by comparing them to the fine arts, but shows them as equals among the arts.

Alexander Braun was born in Dortmund in 1966. He is a visual artist, art historian, comics collector. And he is tremendously meticulous when it comes to exploring the history of comics in all its facets. In this way, he repeatedly produces standard works - and was the only German to win the prestigious Eisner Award for them twice.

In his work on the comics of Will Eisner, he not only shows how his Jewish origins and the milieu of the New York tenements influenced his work, but also digs up comics that Will Eisner drew for years as a bread job for the U.S. Army.

Alexander Braun is a great analyst, who in his books and exhibitions repeatedly shows how life circumstances, personality and work are connected. In this way, he writes authoritative works of comic history and opens up new perspectives on cultural history that are relevant and perceived far beyond the comic scene.