Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Woman in Wind" (1931), reduction in bronze


Ernst Barlach:
Sculpture "Woman in Wind" (1931), reduction in bronze

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Ars Mundi exclusive edition | Limited, 980 exemplars | Bronze | Patinated | Serially numbered | Signature | Casting stamp | Certificate | Reduction | Format: 7.3 x 32 x 5.5 cm (W/H/D) | Weight 1.95 kg

Ernst Barlach: Sculpture "Woman in Wind" (1931), reduction in bronze

Ernst Barlach´s "Community of Saints": Symbol of human existence

Ernst Barlach was well known until the 1930s as a writer and figurative sculptor. In 1925, he became an honorary member of the Art Academy in München. In this time were created various monumental memorials reaching international standing, among others, "Güstrower Memorial", the famous "Floating Angel" in Güstrower Dome. However, in 1934, the tide turned. Barlach, in his sixties, had to see his works being accused as being degenerate, and disappearing from museums. The memorials created by him were destroyed, "The Floating Angel" of Güstrower Dome being even melted down and, this work would have been lost today if some friend of him did not hide a second casting until the end of the war.

His sculptures "Woman in Wind" and "The Singer" had a similar fate. They were confiscated, together with some other 380 of his works. Their rescuer was also his customer: Carl Georg Heise, a museum director in Lübeck. He asked Barlach in 1929 to create a sculpture ensemble with the title "Community of the Saints" for the Western façade of Lübeck Katharine church. They should have been 16, however only three were done between 1930 and 1932: "The Beggar", "The Singer" and "The Woman in Wind". Three other figures: "The Enthralled", "The Pilgrim" and "The Horn Blower" remained as male models. Carl Georg Heise was dismissed in 1933, and the above three figures were taken in private possession. In 1939, after Barlach´s death, they were handed over to him and survived the war years "in crates [...] under the veranda in the house of my mother-in-law", as he told afterwards. Only in 1947 they found their way to the intended niches of the Katharine Church.

The spatial effect of the Gothic church in the narrow niches determined Barlach´s form concepts. The proximity of the medieval art is obvious; however, Barlach did not create any holy characters of the Christian iconography, but rather symbols of human existence and world, focused on, "suffering and avowed human beings, each of them fighting their gods" (Carl Georg Heise).

Sculpture "Woman in Wind":
The folded garment wrapped around highlights the corporality of the young woman and focuses the view on the essence, which serves as expression base. Bronze after a 1:4 reduced work model of 1931. Cast by hand using the lost wax technique and patinated. Limited series 980 exemplars, individually serially numbered and with signature "E. Barlach" taken over from the original and casting punch. ars mundi exclusive edition, made in cooperation with the Ernst Barlach Company. With serially numbered authenticity and limiting certificate. Format: 7.3 x 32 x 5.5 cm (W/H/D), Weight 1.95 kg.

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1870-1938, Sculptor, writer and artist

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.

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