Rolf Szymanski was born in 1928 in Leipzig where, from 1945 to 1950, he studied at the School of Applied Art. In 1950 he moved to West Berlin and continued his study of sculpture until 1955 at the University of the Fine Arts. He received various scholar- ships, including those for the Villa Massimo in Rome, the Villa Romana in Florence and the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 1964 he took part in documenta III, in 1969 and 1990 in the Venice Biennale. From 1974 to 1996 he was director of the department for fine art at the Academy of Arts, West Berlin, and also professor at the University of Arts from 1986 to 1996. Szymanski died in Berlin in 2013.