Jochen Seidel created a tremendous amount of work in his brief life. Born in Germany in 1927, he didn’t study art until after serving as a soldier in the German Army in World War II. He left without completing his studies when he found he could make a living painting propagandistic murals for the newly-formed East German government. He came into contact with several modernist painters, and Seidel began to explore non-representational painting. However, like many artists of the time, Seidel came into aesthetic conflict with the East German government, and fled to the artistic freedom of West Berlin.
In West Berlin Seidel resumed his studies and began to find success as a painter. In 1961 his work was included in the Carnegie International Exhibition. Through his association with the Rudolf Springer Gallery he obtained a position at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and immersed himself in the New York art scene, where he brought a distinctly European sensibility. Seidel explored a wide range of styles in both drawing and painting, and made associations with prominent artists of the day, including Frank Stella, Robert Motherwell, and Helen Frankenthaler. He was prolific, but did not achieve the success he hoped for. He took his own life in 1971 at the age of 47. He left behind more than 200 large paintings and 1200 drawings. His work is widely collected, and can be found in museums around the world.