The gallery owner, printer and publisher Christoph Dürr is dead – Munich

He could be quick-tempered and very direct. This is how Dimitri Gkotses remembers Christoph Dürr. And with this blunt manner, the gallery owner, printer and publisher polarized. That’s why some valued him. Others preferred to avoid him, and that was to be recommended above all for right-wingers and Nazis. Dürr immediately gave them his opinion. Since February 9, 2023, this is no longer possible. Because Dürr died that day at the age of 87. What remains are pictures, friends, a daughter, a son (the gallery owner Christian Nagel), many stories as well as his Gallery and book printing workshop, which are located on Hübnerstrasse in Munich. Now the question is: What will happen to it, to Dürr’s legacy?

Christoph Dürr had been in the print shop since 1978. Since 1996 it has also housed the gallery that Dimitri Gkotses last ran with him. The two met in 2010. As neighbors in the back building. Gkotses, about half their age and a district chimney sweep by trade, and Dürr became friends. Gkotses’ mother took care of Dürr for the last few months after she was diagnosed with cancer after problems with her back, her foot and a new heart valve. Together with artist friends he brought pictures to Dürr’s hospital room and hung them up, says Gkotses. “The pictures were the most important thing to him.”

Born on April 1, 1935 in Bromberg (today Bydgoszcz), Poland, Dürr started out as a printer. In 1959 he registered his first print shop in Hohenzollernstraße, which later moved toblossom street. As a publisher, he published the “1 Pfennig-Blatt” in the early 1960s. An advertising paper with editorial content whose annual subscription, hence the title, cost a penny. From 1963 he ran the “Muttis Pfennig-Blatt-Galerie” as a gallery owner, which was located on Ursulastrasse opposite the laughing and shooting society. It got its name because the rooms belonged to the landlady of the “Mutti-Bräu” pub. Dürr didn’t pay any rent, in return he gave “Mum” a picture from every second exhibition.

These exhibitions sometimes caused a great stir. For example “Modern painting and graphics from Czechoslovakia” in 1965, which received around 150 reviews throughout Germany. Because abstract painting from Czechoslovakia? You hadn’t seen that before. The church-critical exhibition “Hot-water bottle 67” even became a Picture– Lead story. In 1968 he got a gallery space in the Villa Stuck. A steep rise for Dürr, who ended up as a war orphan in Potsdam with foster parents, left the GDR alone in 1953, came to Lower Saxony and went to Munich in 1958 to study business administration. In 1991 it went to Maximilianstraße for a short time. From 1995 to 2002 Dürr also had a gallery in Berlin.

What will happen to Dürr’s gallery and book printing workshop now? The rooms belong to a community of heirs. It sounds complicated.

(Photo: Robert Sakowski)

Dürr was never concerned with money. He cross-financed the gallery, in which works by Will McBride or Ira Blazejewska recently hung, through the printing shop. Like Dürr, it has an eventful history. It was founded 96 years ago by a sympathizer of the NSDAP and printed their pamphlets there. When Dürr found out, he had to swallow. As in the past, the printing presses are still analog today. “You only find something like this in museums,” says Gkotses, who would therefore like to see them preserved.

This also applies to the club Friends of the book printing workshop, which was founded five years ago. Actions were planned, but were slowed down by Corona, says club member Lorenz Kloska, who also shot the film “Portrait Christoph Dürr” (to be found on And now? The rooms belong to a community of heirs. It sounds complicated. Christoph Dürr will be buried at 9 a.m. on March 16 at Munich’s North Cemetery.

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