Monday, 16 May 2011

The Gates of the Gutenberg Museum - The Artist- #1340

The Gates of the Gutenberg Museum - a 12 part series attempting to unravel the mystery of the bronze gates of the Gutenberg Museum.

4 massive sculptures by one of the most significant German figurative sculptors of the mid to late 20th century.

Until now.

In this series:
Part 1 - The Story so far 
Part 2 - Johannes Gutenberg and his museum
Part 3 - A new museum
Part 4 - The Commission
Part 5 - The Artist
Part 6 - The Decision
Part 7 - The Gates
One of the chosen few
Part 8 - The Process
Part 9 - Talkin' 'bout a Revolution
Part 10 - Lost and Unlost
Part 11 - But where are the originals?

Part 12 - Mystery solved?

Related posts:
Making a mark
Just like a bad dream
Elementary, my dear Watson 
An invitation
Karl-Heinz Krause was born in 1924 in Angemünde, a small town close to what is now the German-Polish border.

He's the same age as my father-in-law and their formative years were probably quite similar - both 9 years old when the Nazis came to power, both conscripted into the army at the age of 17, both PoWs in France until 1946.

My father-in-law went back to the family farm, Karl-Heinz Krause attended the Academy of Applied Arts in East Berlin in 1947, switching to the Academy of Fine Arts in West Berlin in 1948 where Renée Sintenis and Richard Scheibe were his teachers.

In 1959, he was awarded the prestigious Georg Kolbe prize for young sculptors.

In the same year, he was discovered by Otto Stangl, a Munich art dealer and signed to an exclusive contract which secured his financial independence. (He told me "There are only 3 career paths for an artist - teaching, architecture or galleries. I was lucky enough to be presented with the latter path")

By 1960, he was exhibiting at the Grace Borgenicht Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York and the Frank Perls Gallery in Hollywood.

His solo exhibitions - Basel, Bern, New York, New Delhi, Antwerp, Stockholm und Helsinki among many others - number more than 90.

His sculptures are displayed in the German Culture Institute in Paris, in the National Gallery in Berlin and the State Museum in Mainz.

The state of Baden-Württemberg purchased his "Großen Denker" - originally commissioned for the Goethe Institute in Paris, but objections were raised: Rodin's "Thinker", Rodin"s French, don't want to offend the neighbours... - for the grounds of the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe.

Karl Carstens, Germany's President at the time, presented Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with one of his sculptures.

From the laudatio at the opening of an exhibition in Berlin in 2007:

Krause has stayed true to the tradition of figurative sculpture. He belongs to  a minority - frequently attacked or ridiculed - shrugging off the trends of minimalism, junk sculpture,  hypernaturalism or environment sculpture. Clinging to the body, to the beautiful form, he masters them both.

But back in 1961, Rainer Schell came looking for an artist for his museum in Mainz.....

Tomorrow: The Decision


Nathalie said...

Is this photo yours?
Did you actually meet Karl-Heinz Krause and interview him?

I like the parallel you make with your father-in-law's early years.

paul said...

You don't disappoint, jb, interesting story and lovely portrait, you sense the empathy.

It is indeed surprising how little the web knows about this artist and his sculptures.

Virginia said...

Excellent portrait!

Kate said...

I am very impressed that you met the man and interviewed him. You must have had an amazing chat.


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