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Biographical Note

Born on March 23, 1941 in Quirl in the Riesengebirge. After the end of the Second World War, the family was expelled from Upper Silesia and came to Emsdetten in Münsterland via various camps. For a while they lived in a barrack where forced laborers were housed during the National Socialist rule. Hallmann's talent for drawing was already noticeable at school. In 1950, after being confined to bed for two years, his father died as a result of war wounds. After developing his drawing skills as a teenager under the encouragement of a painter, he was accepted as a sixteen-year-old for trial studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1957. After a year he was sent back home and then began an apprenticeship as a painter and decorator. In 1960 he came to the Art Academy in Nuremberg, where he was given the name Blalla because of his unacademic paintings. On a trip to Paris in the early 60s, he was confirmed in his view that art is more likely to be found among the so-called naive than in the academic camp. At the age of twenty-two he slept with a woman for the first time. After completing his art studies, Hallmann and fellow students founded a traveling theater in the spring of 1965, which later became "Hoffmann's Comic Theater." In 1967 he went to San Francisco for several years, where he met, among others, the underground cartoonist Robert Cromb, had a drastic experience with drugs and pursued a teaching position at the University of California. In 1969 he returned to Germany. Completely out of step, he spent several months in a psychiatric institution. In the following years, despite intermittent activities on the "art front," he remained trapped in his despair between psychotropic drugs and psychiatric stays. Pills and alcohol, suicide attempts accompanied his artistic work, in which he gave as little normality as in his lived life. After numerous moves, he began in the early 1980s to paint his disgust with humanity off his soul in so-called "horror paintings." In 1982 he moved to Brühl, in 1984 to Cologne. There, in the boom of the New Wild Painting, his unconventionally drastic painting also found wide recognition. Wilder than the savages and at the same time painterly more careful, he remained, however, an artistic outsider. In 1992 he left Cologne. He tried to gain a foothold in Berlin, then in 1994 moved to Windsbach near Ansbach, where he died on July 2, 1997, at the age of 56. (written down by Jürgen Kisters)