Sunday, August 06, 2006

German sculptors - then and now

These are pictures from a 2001 exhibit that traveled between the museums dedicated to the legacy of Henry Moore, Georg Kolbe, and Gerhard Marcks -- an exhibit titled "Taking positions", and accompanied by this understated piece of text:

"The fact that this tradition - the single bronze figure - was largely brought into question in the post-war era is closely connected to its previous association with political propaganda. This means that we have not only lost our familiarity with its nuanced shades of meaning, but have also felt a moral imperative to turn away from it. Taking Positions proposes the need to look at this art, across its shades of meaning, so as to understand difference."

These pieces certainly do well in the alienating environment of the big-white-box gallery, don't they ?

The sculptors of the above figures include: Arno Breker, Hermann Blumenthal, Georg Kolbe, and Richard Scheibe -- but I confess that other than the Breker
(upper picture, far left) I can't tell which is which.

The artists in this room include: Karl Albiker, Ernesto de Fiori, Ludwig Kasper and Fritz Klimsch -- but, again, I'm not sure which is which.

I wonder why these pictures came unaccompanied by identification ? Possibly because the names of these minions of National Socialism do not yet deserve to be known?

Holger Lassen

And here are some sculptors born after the war -- and curiously enough -- all three were found on the website of a gallery serving that very upscale community of Carmel, California. (home of Clint Eastwood)

Stefan Reichmann

Has 20th C. classical German sculpture become the rage with America's glitterati ?

Heinz Spilker

Actually -- I think these are pretty good sculptors -- though not in the same league as those shown above from the previous generation -- except for maybe Holger Lassen. There must a story behind how the Hart Gallery found them -- because they're not found in any other gallery online.

To look at these two generations of German sculptors -- it's almost as if the last 50 years of contemporary art had never happened -- and, indeed, I wish it hadn't.


Anonymous Amanda J. Sisk said...

The Absence of Beauty (my snide, inaccurate generalization of the last 50 years) does play out its role - without comparison, we lose the ability to truly admire and esteem an any case, there are several fine articles on the return of beauty and the desire for the figurative within this decade...should you have an interest, I can dig them out and send them your way.

August 07, 2006  
Blogger chris miller said...

Doesn't the world offer ample opportunity to experience the "absence of beauty" -- without a genre of art being dedicated to it ?

And yes, if it's not too much trouble, I would like to see the articles to which you refer -- especially if the return to beauty and the desire for the figurative is discussed in the same article.


August 08, 2006  
Blogger JTgillespie said...

Interestingly, the sculptures in the "Taking positions" exhibit you posted reminded me of early Greek figures... like 'Kritios Boy' and more generally....kouros figures. They (the ones you show)have the solemn air of having been birthed in a long distant which we (much of 'contemporary' America)no longer understand.
The Germans are not to underestimated when it comes to making nuanced matter what the French think about themselves.

August 09, 2006  
Anonymous Amanda J. Sisk said...

I wrote too soon...I was in the process of moving to another country, and thus my files are in disrepair or in a landfill somewhere. I promise to send these to you when and where I happily locate them.

August 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP » »

March 01, 2007  

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