Joachim Karsch (1897-1945) - the other German sculpture
There's the German classicism of Adolph Von Hildebrand (and his better known protege, Georg Kolbe) -- but then there's the expressionism of Lehmbruch -- and the newly discovered (for me) Joachim Karsch.
When classicism goes bad -- it's stiff and boring -- but when expressionism goes bad, it's really bad -- it's creepy/ugly. So I think there's more of a risk involved -- and when successfull -- more of a thrill.
And I'm thrilled by Joachim Karsch ! Thanks, mostly, to his octagenarian son, Florian, who has a gallery that specializes in German expressionism - and who has photographed and catalogued his father's work. (Here's his website.)
I don't know if the above is supposed to be an Adam & Eve -- but that's how it works for me -- where the beauty of the their presence is not the beauty of a god or godess.
This is the kind of figure I'm always doing - and it's so nice to see a figure so alive -- in the moment.
This is the piece that first caught my attention -- pulled out of a book sometime last year -- and a bit more somber and medieval
This one has an interesting story: it's a portrait of the lecturer/novelist John Cowper Powys -- who seems to have been a kind of eccentric stoic-taoist Thoreau type whose writing greatly appealed to the sculptor -- who began a correspondance with him and did this portrait from photographs and imagination.
And this might be the place to note that most of Karsch's sculpture and writing was lost - along with his life -- following the Russian invasion that engulfed eastern Germany at the end of the war.
Something about the big sad head and the angular, stylized body really appeals to me -- I guess I'm just a Northern-European guy.
Something else to think about -- it doesn't look like Karsch was a modern art-star or making either public monuments or art-deco collectibles -- so I'm wondering just how much of an income he had from sculpture. Perhaps a family fortune made him financially independant.
This is an exciting period of my life -- every week I discover another sculptor that I really like. How many more are left to be discovered -- and how many more weeks have I got left?