Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "The Thinker II" (1934), reduction in bronze

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Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "The Thinker II" (1934), reduction in bronze

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Ars Mundi exclusive edition | Limited, 980 exemplars | Serially numbered | Signature | Casting punch | Certificate | Bronze | Patinated | Reduction | Format: 8 x 34.5 x 5.5 cm (W/H/D) | Weight 2.5 kg

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Ernst Barlach: Sculpture "The Thinker II" (1934), reduction in bronze

Ernst Barlach and the work of mind Barlach´s "Thinker" was created in 1934. That was a year of great upheavals and important decisions for him. Indeed, at that time, Barlach testified with his signature of the "Appeal of Culture Creators" his availability to subordinate himself to the NS art system; however, his clearly formulated criticism reached so far that his works were removed from the public sphere. His "Wanderer in Wind" – also dated 1934 – is deemed today as the work with which he positioned himself against the Regime. His "Thinker" represents also an agonizing process: a young man, under the visible stress of thinking, as he has to make a momentous decision.

The sculpture "The Thinker II": With his fingertips on the cheek and deeply immersed in thoughts: Barlach´s "Thinker" presents thinking as a highly focused work. Hand-cast using the lost wax technique and patinated. The shape was taken directly from the original and reduced (reduction). Limited series of 980 exemplars, individually serially numbered and with signature taken from the original "E. Barlach" and casting punch. ars mundi exclusive edition, issued in cooperation with Ernst Barlach Company. With serially numbered authenticity and limiting certificate. Format: 8 x 34.5 x 5.5 cm (W/H/D). Weight 2.5 kg.

""For me, 'The Thinker' with its attitude, embodies the tranquility of great wisdom. The exhausted body shape is marked just by four long folds. The left hand, placed on the chin, seems as an active gesture of contemplation and introspection, while the right one is inactive, in the cloak folds. Frail and sensitive 'the Thinker' appears as the absolute contemplative existence. He seems to be a man reliant on outer, maybe higher help. He does not judge, does not evaluate, he is just testifying his existence. Spirituality and religious aura penetrate the overall apparition." (Dr. Jürgen Doppelstein, Ernst Barlach Company)

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1870-1938, Sculptor, writer and artist

Ernst Barlach Ernst Barlach was born on January 2,1870 in Wedel and died on August 24, 1938 in Rostok. He took the outstanding position in the German expressionism. As a graphic, painter and a writer and especially as an architect Barlach created the mileposts of the history of arts. The plastic works of Barlach search for the borderline experience and its expression and the special effect of his works lies in that. These are works of the multilayered meaning, in which the knowledge of a human is put in the foreground, what stands over “me” and “things” of the world.

The intention of Barlach roots in the deep, in something inner. He underwent the war and the difficult living conditions and experienced suffering and happiness. And also in the center of his creation there stands a human: Ecce homo.

“I request nothing else as bad and right to be an artist. This is my belief that everything that is not expressed through the work, through forms can pass in the sphere of something different. My desire and creative impulse circle round the problem of the sense of life and the other great mountains of the spiritual area.” (Ernst Barlach)

In 1925 Ernst Barlach became the member of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. In 1933 he became a member of the Peace Class of the military order "Pour le Mérite". In 1937 the national socialists declined his works as the “degraded art” at all the open collections and places. On October 24, 1938 Ernst Barlach died in Rostok. Today the works of Ernst Barlach became a tight part of the leading museums and collections and achieved – where available – the auction records.

“The Singing Man” was the most famous statue of Ernst Barlach, an icon of modern. He decorated the book illustrations and posters, the early edition is the important part of collections in the great museums of the world, e.g. the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.

Designation for an art object (sculpture, installation), which is produced according to the will of the artist in multiple copies in a limited and numbered edition.

Artist's multiple contributed to "democratization" of art as the work was made available and affordable for a wider audience.

A plastic work of sculptural art made of wood, stone, ivory, bronze or other metals.

While sculptures from wood, ivory or stone are made directly from the block of material, for bronze casting a working model is prepared at first. Usually it is made of clay or other easily shaped materials.

The prime time of sculpture after the Roman antiquity was the Renaissance. Impressionism gave a new impulse to the sculptural arts. Also the contemporary artists, such as Jorg Immendorf, Andora, and Markus Lupertz enriched the sculpture with outstanding works.

An alloy of copper with other metals (especially with tin) used since ancient times.

Bronze casting:

When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

Sculpture "The Book Reader" by Ernst Barlachs is shown here as an example:

Ernst Barlach: Sculpture 'The book reader'

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 1

First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould).

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 2Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1400 ° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light.

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 3Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work

For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

Related links:
Sand casting

Graphic or sculpture edition that was initiated by ars mundi and is available only at ars mundi or at distribution partner licensed by ars mundi.