Gerhard Altenbourg was born Gerhard Ströch in 1926 in Thuringia. From 1948 to 1950 he studied at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. He participated in II. documenta in Kassel in 1959, received the Burda Prize for Graphic Art in 1966, the Prize of the 2nd Internationale for Drawing in 1967 and the Will Grohmann Prize in 1968. A first retrospective was held in 1968 in Hanover, Baden-Baden, West Berlin, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. In 1970 he was appointed a member of the Academy of Arts, West Berlin. In 1986 a retrospective was held for the first time in the GDR in Leipzig, Dresden and East Berlin. Altenbourg died in Meissen (Saxony) at the end of 1989.