Hella Santarossa



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Born on 12th June in Düsseldorf, Germany. The father, Wilhelm Derix, is glass painter, business manager and artist and manages the family business in the third generation, which was granted a Papal privilege for church and profane art.


After her fathers death the mother takes over management of the glass painting firm Derix, which has three different production locations. During her childhood Hella De Santarossa is influenced by such artists as Meistermann, Berke, Thorn-Prikker and Thomkins who visit the house.


Hella S. designs her first glass work of art: »chicken-coop scenario«.


In order to finance her own artistic projects Hella S. takes on commissions from other artists in the school holidays and carries out large scale artistic and technical glazed art areas for, among others, Prof. K. Berke and Prof. Hoehme.


At the Hadamar College of Design Hella S. attains the Diploma for state examined glass painters.


After marriage with Renato Santarossa and the birth of daughter Maya, she and her husband set up a ConceptArt-Gallery, which exhibits Joseph Beuys, Jochen Gerz, Terry Fox and Klaus Staeck among others.


After separation from her husband, Hella S. moves to Berlin to study fine art at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin under Prof. K. H. Hödicke. She makes a living for herself and her daughter with commissions for her art. Among other things she designs glass collages for the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, an etched glass Collage for the ioyer in the Press Club in Bonn and the windows for the entrance hall in Bethanien House of the Arts, Berlin.


Hella S. completes her studies as pupil in a master class. The Moritzplatz Gallery exhibits her “Fahrradbilder” (Bike-Paintings). She receives the Annette-Kade-Scholarship and studies for one year in the film department at the San Francisco Art Institute. There she makes the film essay “Und dann kommt der Pacific” (And then comes the Pacific) and three short experimental films which are shown at the Berlinale in 1981. The series “FlagPaintings” is completed.


Hella S. receives a DAAD (German Academic Exchange) scholarship. Lives and works for one year in Florence of which two months is spent as guest at the Villa Romana. Her “Schlagerbilder” (Hit-Paintings) are produced here.


Hella S. holds guest lectures in department 6 at the Hochschule der Künste (State College of Art), Berlin.


By means of a scholarship Hella S. works at the Villa Massimo, Olevano. In the autumn she accepts an invitation from the Oslo Art Academy to hold a series of lectures followed by workshops.


With assistance from the Schmidt-Rottluff Foundation, which grants her a scholarship from 1982-1984, Hella S. undertakes a three month journey through Brazil. She accepts invitations from the Goethe-Institute in Brazil, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro to hold lectures and take part in symposiums. In Sao Paulo she presents the performance >ll Salto di Azuro«. The series of paintings »Siedender Samba« (Seething Samba) arises. On her return from Brazil she accepts an invitation from Bruce McLean to teach at the Slade School in London.


After a further stay in Brazil the series »Flirrende Nacht« (Shimmering Night) and »Heiße Erde« (Hot Earth) are produced.


Hella De Santarossa wins first prize in the competition held by the Senat for Housing and Construction for the restructuring of the central spuare at Theodor-Heuss-Platz, Berlin with her design for a glass fountain obelisk: »Blauer Obelisk«.


With the fall of the wall the series >Brandenburger Tor« (Brandenburg Gate) and the cycle »Rim-Ram-Rum« are produced.


After a scholarship residence in the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, Hella S. takes on a guest professorship at the Sidney College of the Arts and at the Fine Arts School, Melbourne.


Accepting an invitation from the Association of Fine Arts, Potsdam, She heads the summer seminar Strohdehne. In autumn she begins with the cycle »Blaue Serie«.


The workgroup Roter Kreml (Red Kremlin) is set up.


Hella S. starts the cycle of paintings »Brandenburger Früchte« (Brandenburg Fruits) and the photo series »Taucherbilder« (Dive-Pictures).


Eight years after the announcement of the competition, the sculpture »Blauer Obelisk« is completed at Theodor-Heuss-Platz in September. The idea of a network of obelisks, which should link up the metropolises of the world, designs are being made for obelisks in New York, Tel Aviv, Peking and Cape Town.


»Transit-Station« Exhitition, Schloß Charlottenburg, Orangerie Berlin


Exhibits her sculpture »Time-Needle« at the Documenta in Kassel

»People come and passing« 200 qm gestaltete Glasfläche für das Spielkasino Stuttgart


Wins first price in a competition for designing the windows of the Heilig-Geist church, Heidelberg. Starting with zhe realisation


Exhibition »Löwenbauten« at the galleries Vostell and Fine Art, Berlin

Arbeiten am Regenbogen-Obelisken für Südafrika

Teilnahme am längsten Gemälde der Welt zugunsten der Medecins Sans Frontieres in Dubai


First price Competition for the EXPO 2000 Hannover »Mary’s coat«, Christus-Pavillon


»Der Rot-Weiße Karren« – 3000 cm wide and 160 cm high painting, Reichstag – Bundestag Berlin


Complete design of the St.Florian community center in Munich-Riem


Concept of the windows of the Simon-Petrus-Church in Bremen

ÖKT (Ökomenischer Kirchentag in Berlin), Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Church in Berlin, Light project on the top of the roof

ÖKT (Ökomenischer Kirchentag in Berlin), »Mata sapientae turns to Mata dolo Rosa«, Action against sgression


»Kurt and the Red Poppies« – comprising & panels of oil on canvas

Fenstergestaltung für die Kapelle im Neubau der Karl-Rahner-Akademie in Freiburg, 1000 cm hoch und 160 cm breit


Realisation und Einbau des Auferstehungsfensters sowie zweier Seitenaltäre in der neuen St.Floriankirche in München-Riem.


Yellow Landmark, Tessinska Palatsen, Stockholm, Schweden

Broken Glass, Heerlen, Niederlande: In Trans Luc IV, Glasobelisk mit Video- und Lichtinstallation


Büste von Walter Sickert, ehem. Parlamentspräsident, Abgeordnetenhaus, Berlin

Hoher Tresen, George-Grosz-Platz Skulptur- und Platzgestaltung, Berlin