Foto: Barbara Gass ©

born in Munich on January, 12th.

At the end of the war in Poikam near Bad Abbach south of Regensburg, the home of the mother, a tailor.The father, by profession a car driver, did not return to the family after the war. In the winter of 1945, return of mother and son into the almost destroyed apartment in Munich, Landsberger Street 20. Attendance of the Volksschule (elementary school) at the Schwanthalerstreet.

After completion of school, apprenticeship as a servant of the German Federal Post Office in the post office 3, Arnulfstreet 195 (Neuhausen). In his spare time, the prospective postman paints and thus follows his father’s example who acts as a Sunday painter.

ca. 1955
Active member of the sports club of the Federal Post Office, department athletics (shot put, boxing). A foot injury obstructs him sorely and he cannot comply with the expectations that are raised by his gigantic appearance. Later, he changes to the wrestlers of Neuaubing.

He marries Elisabeth Schmelzer. Relocation to Germering. Now postman at the post office “Dorf (village) Germering”

Heinz Braun suffers from a nervous breakdown. Subsequently, abstract works come about.

In January, his son Alexander is born.

Seit 1971
At that time, Heinz Braun predominantly paints in oils/canvas technics in partly foto-realistic, partly surreal manner.

He is deeply impressed by a visit to the documenta 5 in Kassel with his artist friend Klaus Caspers where he controversially discusses artistic issues with students of Beuys

Heinz Braun meets Herbert Achternbusch in the restaurant “Würmbad” in Gauting during cracker-barrel talks. Achternbusch engages Braun for the part of the schools inspector in the movie “Andechser Gefühl (Andechs Feeling)”. Five further Achternbusch-movies with Heinz Braun as the leading actor follow subsequently. Braun rents an official abode in the Waldwirtschaft (restaurant in the forest) “Schusterhäusl” near Germering which he uses as an atelier.

Meeting with the painter and filmmaker Vlado Kristl who knows how to motivate Heinz Braun to paint in the landscape. Subsequently, relatively conventional landscapes come about, as well as a series of self portraits. First encounter with the journalist from Hamburg, Jürgen Serke, who notices Heinz Braun’s talent and who accompanies his evolvement to be a painter throughout the coming years.

The walking disability allows Heinz Braun to retire from the Post Office as an invalidity pensioner. In March, first single exhibition. In April shootings for Achternbusch‘s movie “Der Komantsche (The Comanche)”. Vlado Kristl gets a teaching assignment in Hamburg and leaves Munich.

Friends with the painter Thomas Niggl who lives in Feldafing. On joint excursions, landscapes come about.

The magazine ”Stern” publishes a report by Jürgen Serke on the painter Heinz Braun under the title – Lieber Idiot als Beamter (preferably an idiot than an official) – (Stern Magazine issue 40, 35th volume). End of June surgery in the hospital of Schwabing (cancer of the throat), in July and August 13 irradiations (or more). Heinz Braun escapes the hospital temporarily. In October trip to Switzerland, accompanied by the photographer Roswitha Pross. In November exhibition in Hochstadt, administrative district Starnberg (House Risse) with moderate success. In December opening of the exhibition ” Die Landschaft wackelt (The landscape bounces)” in the gallery Pon in Zurich.

Heinz meets Ute Crone Erdmann. The passionate relation continues until the end of his life and gives him inspiration in his artistic works.

Video-recording of a conversation with Karlheinz Hein. Between April and July several stays in Lower Bavaria at the gallery owner and painter Dazi Tyroller (Pilling and monastery Haindling near Straubing). Numerous portraits come about. Single exhibition in Straubing. Gallery Gegenwart (presence). In June trip to Vienna with the painter Beate Passow from Munich. In November, Heinz Braun takes over upon the urgent advice of his friends the atelier in Dachau of the painter Fred Zigldrum who had deceased in April. End of December back in the hospital in Schwabing.

January/February irradiations. Released from hospital, Heinz Braun paints obsessively and regardless of his state, also outside. In April stay with his son Alexander in Santorin. In May visit to Haindling. After that, stay in Bernau on the Chiemsee in the cancer hospital Dr. Hackethal. Once again stay at the friends’ in Haindling. His state of health gets worse rapidly. By the end of September, he has to proceed to the clinical centre Großhadern. There he starts a series of small-format sheets, predominantly in black and white. During the weeks to come, the artist works at this series in his hospital room. In November, wellness clinic Feldafing on the Starnberg Lake. Visits at Thomas and Issy Niggl’s place who live in close vicinity. At the beginning of December, the repeated referral to Großhadern is no longer deferrable.

Im January, the last sheets of the black-and-white series (Cycle Großhadern) come about. On February 21st, Heinz Braun succumbs to his disease in Großhadern.


Biography based on the catalogue of the municipal museum
Munich as of 1988 ISBN 3-922979-30-0