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