After training as a poster painter Klaus Rinke (born 1939) studied painting at the Folkwangschule in Essen. He gave up painting in 1967 and turned instead to performance and conceptual art; some of his works were based on water as an element. He began to document his ephemeral actions with photography. Around 1970 the photographic works, based on actions exploring relationships of body movement and gesture in time and space, evolved into artworks in their own right. Rinke was a professor of sculpture at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie from1974 to 2004 when he received a grant from the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles.