The third and last post from the Australian Art Blog goes to Europe trilogy is here! This time we went to Wuppertal in Northern Germany to visit the Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden. Tony Cragg, a British sculptor living in Wuppertal since the late 1970’s founded and established this Sculpture Park which was opened in 2008. It is set on sloping grounds of about 30 acres. The following is a small selection of my personal favourites and more information on Tony Cragg’s artworks can be found here
As well as a permanent collection of Tony Cragg’s own works there are sculptures by Richard Deacon, Thomas Schütte, a realistic covered motorbike sitting outside the cafe by Jonathan Monk and a rather anxious yet humour oversized figure struggling inside a jumper by the Belgian artist Erwin Wurm.
There are also beautiful exhibition buildings to house the changing exhibitions of international artists work. On my visit there was artwork exhibited by Ichwan Noor in a glass walled vaulted ceiling space and an exhibiton of Imi Noebel’s work.
Ichwan Noor is a Yogyakarta-based artist renowned for his large-scale sculptures of hybrid human, animal and technological forms. His Beetle Sphere features the 1953 Volkswagen Beetle (or ‘People’s Car’) reimagined as a sphere and is comprised of authentic and fabricated components. To avoid the damage involved in reshaping a real car, Noor carved a spherical polyurethane replica of the vehicle’s body and then cast it in aluminium. A separate spherical interior was produced and fit to the cast exterior. The resulting sculpture is augmented with original car parts by the manufacturer to complete the illusion. This work was exhibited in the foyer of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) last year and an interview with the artist by Serena Bentley can be found by clicking here
Imi Knoebel (born 1940) is a German artist who lives and works in Dusseldorf. Knoebel is known for his minimalist and abstract artworks that explore the relationship between space, picture support and color. The “Messerschnitt” or “knife cuts,” are a recurring technique he employs, along with his regular use of the primary colors, red, yellow and blue. A student of Joseph Beuys, Knoebel began in the late 1960’s creating his first major work, an installation with a variety of geometrical objects called Raum 19, comprising seventy-seven components made from wood and untreated Masonite (this work was on display at the time of my visit). From the mid-1970s on, Knoebel then turned towards a gestural use of color on layered plywood boards or metal plates.
Of course no sculpture park is complete without a Henry Moore and this one is no exception. Draped seated lady in bronze sits proudly outside the Waldfrieden villa on the lawn which is used for open air performance in the summer months.
For more information on the Sculpturenpark Waldfrieden go to http://skulpturenpark-waldfrieden.de