Approved: 16.08.2006

Robert Koenig

Artist

Approved: 16.08.2006

Carved wood figures, roughly hewn or finely carved, polychromed, from 30cm to 3.5m tall, in public or private spaces, have dominated my work since 1995. They are made to commission for roundabouts, country parks, schools etc. The technique is rooted in the folk art of Central Europe. With the most simple gestures, the most seemingly nave articulation, the figures acquire a level of pathos. This collection

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  • Location: Hove, South East
  • Artforms: Sculpture
  • Tags: carving, montage
 
 

Artist Statement

Carved wood figures, roughly hewn or finely carved, polychromed, from 30cm to 3.5m tall, in public or private spaces, have dominated my work since 1995. They are made to commission for roundabouts, country parks, schools etc. The technique is rooted in the folk art of Central Europe. With the most simple gestures, the most seemingly nave articulation, the figures acquire a level of pathos. This collection of carved figures has been described as following in the shadows of forgotten ancestors. This theme is best illustrated by the project Odyssey which consists of 23 limewood figures, male and female, each 2.5m tall, which were created in my ancestral village of Dominikowice in South East Poland. They have been touring venues in Poland and the Ukraine since 1997 undertaking a journey, which has significance to family history. The project is also part installation as the carved group is placed for brief moments in public places where they bear witness to past events. They are then photographed and filmed. It is an attempt to call up ancestral ghosts and in a wider sense to acknowledge the history of European migration both forced and otherwise. My commissions often involve public consultation, running workshops and residencies. I am interested in the Culture of Wood. As a student I enjoyed looking at the large carved wood reclining figures of Henry Moore, the sculpture of Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Brancusi and Michelangelo and also the renaissance woodcarvers of Central Europe. They were all inspiring people but did not directly influence my work. I found my own way, decided what were my personal concerns and developed the inherited facility with working wood to make my statements. I have carved, assembled, constructed, painted, used tree trunks, planks, sawdust to tell my stories.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training 1978 - Postgraduate Sculpture Course, Slade School Of Art, London Solo exhibitions 2004 - Galician Odyssey Tour, Lwow, Tarnow, Zakopane, Gorlice, Krakow Galleries, Poland, Ukraine. 2002 - 20 year Retrospective Exhibition, Cadzow Gallery, Chatelherault Country Park, Hamilton Group exhibitions 1980 - Summer Show, Serpentine Gallery, London Residencies 1984 - Artists in Industry, Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, Wolverhampton Public commissions 2004 - Miners Memorial, Bargoed Country Park, Bargoed, South Wales

Odyssey project touring Germany since 2013. Memorial Structure, created in 2015 and touring 20/21 Arts Centre, Scunthorpe 2015, Grimsby Minster 2016.