a sculptor thet leaves her mark

photographs and words by Massimo Pacifico

The catalogue of history of art in the voice “sculptors” is not rich. Not one in classicism, very few in the contemporary (Beverly Pepper, Vanessa Beecroft).
Sculpture is carried out in Helicon rooms since always reserved to males. Rooms where, however, Sieglinde Gros has penetrated with determination, and with a mallet and chainsaw carves, creates out of wood, three-dimensional figures of great intensity. From linden, locust, and especially oak.
-I like hard wood, where the chainsaw leaves important signs.
She sculpts dreams and impressions, real or imaginary encounters, visions “lasted even one instant as perceived from the window of a moving train”. She obtains intense groups of humans from a single trunk with a naturalness that resembles Academy training. She studied, in fact, at the Meisteschule in Munich, after her childhood spent in Darmstadt, the city of important avant-garde in the early twentieth century, inhaled by Sieglinde on the Mathilden Hohe, the hill of the artists.
-Above all women?
-No, mine are beings where sex is not decisive, but who share emotions and humanity.
Sieglinde talks very little, and does not smoke. But allows guests in her atelier in Michelstadt, Hesse, to smoke. She offers excellent coffee, even espresso.
- Initially there was the classical sculpture, in the manner of the Greeks, then came the primitive totems, almost two-dimensional, and in recent years these dense and colourful groups.
With little paint and only a few second thoughts. Off-white, grey, black, a few red and yellow combined with acidic tones.
The hands of her subjects are evident, as the traits that mark sketched profiles and the necks, elongated wanting to seek the invisible, often with eyes without pupils. The flat feet, firmly planted in the trunk.
The tension in her work is such that it does not allow her to stop giving shape to her ideas even while we chat. From a sheet of white tissue paper, she models ephemeral bodies in miniature, with the same ease that a packager would use, and with the same material, to crumple the paper for protection of a porcelain to store in a box. Or, with a cutter, she extracts from a minimum polystyrene block a figure that seeps energy.
She has exhibited in Wiesbaden and Berlin, Dortmund and Darmstadt. She works and meets her guests in an old half-timbered house in Michelstadt, Hesse, in Einhardspforte 3 – Kellerhof.


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