The Muschel­künstler (The Mussel Artists)

The MUSCHELKÜNSTLER are a group of eight artists from the autistic spectrum.

Eva-Maria David, Jonas Deierling, Johannes Haag, Artur Lebtag, Christian Lutsch, Peter Matthews, Anna-Maria Thomas and Nicolas Wolf live and work together. Painting and presenting it in public means a lot to the young people, because through art they get the opportunity to get in touch with the world “out there” at eye level.

The MUSCHELKÜNSTLER move creatively and freely in their art. Their expressive paintings are characterised by bold spontaneity. They impressively counter the cliché that autistic people only move within a rigid set of rules and have hardly any imagination.

In March 2008, the non-profit association Muschelkünstler e.V. was founded by parents, assistants and art professionals to provide an organisational and financial framework for the artistic activities. The aim of the association is to introduce people from the autistic spectrum to a largely self-determined life through art. Through their works of art, the autistic artists, who are usually unable to speak, manage to express their emotional world. In addition to the therapeutic aspect, it was equally important to the initiators of the association to place the creative work of autistic people in an uninhibited relationship to cultural practices of the so-called “normal” world. This means drawing the attention of a broad public to the multifaceted world of perception of autistic people and bringing the MUSCHELKÜNSTLER into contact with their environment through art – in the form of vernissages, exhibitions, integrative workshops etc.

Still known as “shell children”, they presented their work for the first time in 2007 at an exhibition in the gallery of the Gemeinschaftshaus Nuremberg-Langwasser. In September 2007, the young artists made a name for themselves beyond the borders of the region at Documenta 12 in Kassel. Since then, many exhibitions and awards have followed, for example in the competition “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas”.

We are a member of the Muschelkünstler e.V. association and support the initiative of the Muschelkünstler. In our Munich office we have some exhibits on display.