Georg Kolbe:
Sculpture "Grief" (1921), Bronze


Georg Kolbe:
Sculpture "Grief" (1921), Bronze

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ars mundi special edition | Limited, 199 copies | Numbered | Signatur | Foundry stamp | Bronze | Patinated | Format 38 x 52,5 x 23 cm (H/W/D) | Weight 11 kg

Georg Kolbe: Sculpture "Grief" (1921), Bronze

In 191 the "Dancer" by Georg Kolbe has becomehis most popular work till nowadays, and in Berlin of those times it created a real sensation. The topic of dace and the expressive, even extatic movement, runs through all the works of the artist up to the 20-s when he created the famous "Kneeling".

In the decade between these two works Kolbe had received the title of professor (1918) and found - together with Ernst Barlach and Wilhelm Lehmbruck - admission to the Prussian Academy of the Arts (1919). In the 1920s he was undoubtedly one of the most important plastic artists in Germany, and so the great art collectors all over the world became aware of him. A copy later found its way into the legendary Nelson Rockefeller art collection. It was the model for our exclusive edition.

Original: Rockefeller Collection/The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Sculpture in fine bronze, patinated. Cast by hand in lost wax casting technique. The shape was taken directly from the original. Limited edition of 199 copies, individually numbered and signed, and provided with the foundry hallmark. Format 38 x 52.5 x 23 cm (H/W/D). Weight 11 kg. ars mundi Exclusive Edition.

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Georg Kolbe began to study sculpture during a stay in Rome from 1898-1901. The artist born in 1877 in Waldheim in Saxony had traveled there as a trained painter and graphic artist, who had studied in Dresden, Munich, and Paris during the seven years before his initial success in these areas. Like many other artists of his generation, Kolbe was strongly influenced by the works of Rodin work in Paris. The sculptor Louis Tuallion offered him help and provided technical support during his first creative attempts in Rome. The artist quickly found his way into the sculptural work, but he didn't concentrate on it until 1904 when he came back to Berlin. Kolbe promptly gained recognition: he became a member of the Berlin Secession, and, together with Paul Cassirer, he was soon represented by the city's most important art dealer.

The "Dancer" (1910) had brought him the final breakthrough. He rose to the ranks of the most important German sculptors of his time. The "Dancer" is still one of his best-known works. Thanks to the dancer's "modern" hairstyle and the highly contemporary expressive dance style, a self-forgotten posture, the statue has become an idol that attracts the pilgrimage of the art-interested youth.

The nude figure, often associated with the motif of dance, continued to be the center of his creative work until the twenties. After the First World War, Kolbe's oeuvre indicates at his engagement with Expressionism, later turning to the classical-monumental. When Kolbe died in 1947, he left behind the heritage that can be found in the significant collections around the world.

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.

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