The artist Christa Näher studied with Martin Engelmann at the Hochschule der bildenden Künste in Berlin and was a master student of Marwan. From 1987 to 2013, she was the first female artist to hold the professorship of painting at Städelschule. Her paintings and drawings draw from the historical and self-experienced past. Existential fears, nightmares and feelings such as pain are processed in her artistic work. Her view of the dark and negative comes from a deep darkness which she came into the world with. Mixed creatures of animal and human, werewolves and centaurs are recurring motifs in Näher's paintings and, as mediators between the worlds, they relate to her conviction that nature is superior to humans. In the course of her artistic work, she has developed her own visual language, combining form and vision genuinely. The ambivalence of the living and the polarity of light and darkness form constants in her artistic works. Näher reaches deep into the collective consciousness of our time with her multilayered and enigmatic visual worlds. Thus, her rapturous paintings trigger existential emotions and forcefully show the viewers who they are. Näher was a participant in Documenta 9 (1992) and her work has been included in numerous exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Important solo exhibitions include: Aus Deutschland..., Museum of Art Lucerne (1984); Portikus, Frankfurt (1995); Die Vertreibung der Mauren, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (1999); Nachgesang. Das Malwerk und das Schöne, Kunstraum Innsbruck and Frankfurter Kunstverein (2001); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (2005); Aus heiterem Himmel, Kunstverein Konstanz (2017); Schwarze Wanderung, Kunstmuseum Bernau (20019). Her work was included in numerous group exhibitions, including: Von Hier aus - Zwei Monate neue deutsche Kunst in Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf (1984); Open Mind, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent (1989); Refigured Painting: The German Image 1960-1988, Toledo/Ohio, New York and Williamstown/Massachusetts and the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf and the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (1988/89); Art from Köln, Tate Gallery, Liverpool (1989); Arbeiten auf Papier aus der Sammlung des Westfälischen Kunstvereins, Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster (1996); Einfühlung und Abstraktion – Die Moderne der Frauen in Deutschland, Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2015/16) and Die 80er – Figurative Malerei in der BRD, Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2015/16). In 2019, Näher was awarded the Hans-Thoma-Preis by the State of Baden-Württemberg in recognition of her lifetime achievements as an artist.