ONLINE ONLY - Small sculpture

Strong head
© Franz Bernhard / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Franz Bernhard

Kräftiger Kopf / Strong head, 2009

Wood, iron
25 × 17,5 × 24,5 cm

signed and inscribed below: Fr Bernhard WV 478 unique
(BERNHF/S 14)

€ 8.500
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Literature: Tilo Ruppert and Eva Krebs-Ruppert. Franz Bernhard. Catalog raisonné of sculptures 2004 to 2013, Freiburg 2015, p. 79, WV 478

Franz Bernhard's heads refer to essentials, even if the titles often appear apodictic, object-emphasizing, such as the late "Kräftige Kopf" from 2009. It is hardly recognizable as such: extremely reduced, the sculptor did not dwell on concrete facial features, and he also works downright against a natural rounding of the head. Rather, he squeezes a rounded, angular, "strong" - that is, expressive - wooden head, which shows clear traces of rough processing, into a steel form that extends over the back of the head to the presumed chin area. The coarse structure could pass for an abstract form if a conspicuous notch in the facial area did not actually insinuate a face. As a figurative sculptor, Bernhard was admittedly not concerned with pure abstraction. "It is always important to me that I see something human in things" - so the use of rusting steel as well as weather-susceptible wood says something about his image of man: vulnerable, distanced. In the unadorned form, however, lies an immense aesthetic appeal.
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