Born in Detmold, Germany in 1944, Karl Wiebke studied Fine Art at the Hochschule fűr bildende Kunst in Hamburg from 1972-1976 before arriving in Australia in 1981. He settled in Perth for a period of twenty years and relocated to Melbourne in 2001, where he currently lives and works.

Since his first solo exhibition in 1968 at Die Malwand in Rotenburg, Germany, Wiebke has exhibited consistently in Germany, India, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. He has won several notable awards including the Australia Council Artists Development Fellowship Grant (1990), the Australia-India Council Grant (1999) and an Arts WA Creative Development Grant Fellowship in 2000.

As Margaret Moore observed in her 1995 essay, ‘What Constitutes Painting?’ in Monument magazine (Monument no.7,1995, p.62): “Through mercurial manipulations and an understanding that comes from practice and experience, Karl Wiebke transforms enamel paints on unconventional surfaces into jewel-like, seductive objects which command the space they occupy.” By setting a working agenda for himself, such as applying one layer of paint each day to a ground or support for a period of five or six years (thus reflected in his title Six 1-6, 1984-1989) or adhering to strict daily hours of work, Wiebke acknowledges the mundane, day-in day-out experience that is work for most people. The product of his labour, however, is never mundane as his finished paintings mesmerize with an unparalleled depth and complexity of colours and textures.

Wiebke’s contribution to Australian painting was celebrated in 1994 with a major survey exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. Since then he has been included in frequent exhibitions in public museums in Australia, including: 3dx5, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst, Fertile Soil: Fifty Years of the City of Freemantle Art Collection, Freemantle Arts Centre, Freemantle, Western Australia, Cross Currents: Focus on Australian Contemporary Art, curated by John Stringer, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Assembled Works from the Holmes à Court Collection, Holmes à Court Gallery, Perth. In 2012, Wiebke held a survey exhibition at the Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University titled Painting 1994-2012. In 2013-14, Wiebke’s paintings featured in the Wesfarmers Collection touring exhibition Luminous Worlds at the Art Gallery of Western Australia; Charles Darwin University Art Gallery; the National Library of Australia, Canberra; the Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide; and in 2015 at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne. In 2013, the National Gallery of Australia acquired a collection of 46 Sticks (2013) (currently on display), as well as the significant painting India (2000-2002) and an edition of My Favourite Colours (2004). Wiebke’s work was also recently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney where a body of Sticks were being exhibited as part of curator, Glenn Barkley’s “Collection: Volume One”.

Wiebke has also held regular solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney at galleries including; Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Gow Langsford Gallery, Sydney, Deutscher Brunswick Street, Melbourne and Watters Gallery, Sydney. Wiebke’s work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Museum

of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of Western Australia and numerous corporate and private collections in Germany, the United Kingdom, India and Australia.

Karl Wiebke lives and works in Melbourne.