ARTe Wiesbaden

Skulpturen auf der ARTe Wiesbaden
ARTe Wiesbaden 2021

Today I wallowed in memories of the ARTe Wiesbaden art fair. It were intense days with many interesting encounters and conversations. Despite the large number of visitors, there was always enough space in the large hall of the RheinMain CongressCenter to keep the necessary distance. I am already looking forward to the ARTe Wiesbaden next year. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere at the fair, to the great variety of works of art and artists. I look forward to showing my work. Most of all, I'm looking forward to meeting old friends and continuing on the conversations from last year.

In the large hall my sculptures were shown beautifully. This video shows them better than many photos:

Rundgang um den Skulpturenstand von Wiebke Bader auf der ARTe Wiesbaden 2021

Bronze sculpture Two Points

Two PointsBronze, Edition 2/9, about 36/30/27 cm

Only recently did I pick up the second cast of the bronze sculpture Two Points from the foundry. And it already found a new home again. Even if I'm happy that it is now pleasing someone else, I still miss it in the studio. This seemingly simple shape has a very special charisma.

It's a long way from the first drafts to the finished sculpture. The following photos of the making of the bronze sculpture Two Points show only a small part of this path.

First draft of the sculpture Two Points

Design in plaster

I put a layer of plaster over a core made of styrofoam. The shape of the sculpture has already been found, but the surface is still very roughly worked.

Plaster model

I keep applying plaster of paris and sanding it down until the shape is really right. When the plaster model is finished, I use it to create the negative form.

Plaster model of the sculpture Two Points
Mold of the sculpture Two Points

The mold

The mold consists of an inner, soft silicone form and an outer support form made of plaster of paris. It is made around the model. Its most important property is therefore that it can be removed from the model without destroying it. In this case, two parts are sufficient. I take the negative mold and model to the foundry to have a bronze cast made of the sculpture Two Points .

Raw casting of the sculpture Two Points

Raw casting of the sculpture

The production of a bronze cast is very complex. First, a wax model is created with the negative form. The sprues are attached to this from wax. Then the wax model is repeatedly dipped in a kind of thin clay soup and dried for several days. When the clay gets fired, the wax flows out, leaving a cavity in which the bronze can be poured.

Surface treatment of the bronze casting

After casting, the clay must be knocked off on the outside and inside. Holes have to be cut in a closed shape like this so that the clay on the inside can be removed. Then the holes are welded shut again. I took on the surface treatment of the bronze sculpture Two Points with file and sandpaper. I like to work by hand because it gives me a better feel for the smoothness and tension of the surface.

The raw casting is filed and ground.
Bronze sculpture Two Points

Patinating the bronze sculpture Two Points

For the final surface treatment, I bring the sculpture back to the foundry. Patinating is an art in itself. With the help of various chemicals, the bronze reacts and changes its color. In this case, the Art foundry Kollinger brought out a beautiful red-brown color.

Art salon in Constance

Wiebke Bader, „Bewegt“, Messing, 80/65/56 cm

Der ARTe Kunstsalon in Konstanz war großartig. Das Bodenseeforum bot gleichzeitig einen herrlichen Blick auf den Bodensee und den Genuss der Kunstausstellung. Meine beiden Skulpturen In Harmony and Moving hatten einen schönen Platz vor der großen Fensterfront. Der weite Raum ließ sie wunderbar zur Geltung kommen. Während sich draußen Sonne und Regen abwechselten, wirkten die Figuren im unterschiedlichen Licht immer wieder anders. Ich habe unzählige Fotos davon gemacht. Es war auch für mich faszinierend, sie in diesem großen Raum zu erleben.

My new sculpture Moving made its debut at the ARTe art salon in Konstanz. I was always happy to see it in this light and in this place. I am very curious to see where it will finally find its place.

Wiebke Bader, „Im Einklang“, 114/54/58 cm
Wiebke Bader, „Kreisend“ und „Freund I und II“

Above all, the conversations with visitors and colleagues at the ARTe art salon in Constance were a great enrichment for me. And so I am now full of anticipation for the next exhibition: At the ARTe Wiesbaden my sculptures can be seen again from September 10th to 12th, 2021. my sculptures vom 10. bis 12. September 2021 wieder zu sehen sein.

I received a scholarship

Für die Weiterentwicklung dieser Skulptur habe ich ein Stipendium erhalten.

I received a scholarship! The Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg hat mir zur Förderung meines künstlerischen Vorhabens ein Stipendium bewilligt. Was für eine schöne Bestätigung meiner Arbeit. Ich habe mich riesig gefreut.

What does art have to do with research? The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts puts it in a nutshell on its website: Kreativität ist die wichtigste Ressource des Hochtechnologielandes Baden-Württemberg.

What is my project?

Based on the existing model of the sculpture Life I would like to develop a series of sculptures that build up on one another. All sculptures will be about one meter high and will have a similar direction of movement.

With each new development step, the slender loops of the sculpture Life become fuller and eventually merge into a monolithic block. Each of the sculptures is clearly based on its predecessor, but has its very own charisma that can be associated with different phases of life:

The play of children, the swing of youth, the abundance of young adult life, the responsibility in mid-life, the calm of old age.

The grant from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg enables me to concentrate on this series of sculptures over the next few months. I see that as a great gift and it makes me very happy.

Life-size sculpture In harmony

lebensgroße Skulptur "Im Einklang"

Life-size sculpture In Harmony can finally be seen as a model. It has been with me for almost two years. The sculpture started as a small wax model. This little sculpture was close to my heart and so I had it cast in bronze. As such, it can also be seen on my homepage .

In February 2020 I created In Harmony in Thailand as a large clay sculpture. As soon as I was back home, the pandemic picked up speed and I could no longer pursue the project in Thailand. The negatives of the model were therefore sent to Germany and arrived in Aalen at the beginning of 2021. Almost a year had passed since the start of the work.

In my workshop I have revised and refined the form that was developed in Thailand. In the past few months I have tried out a number of new methods and materials. This model was created from plaster of paris, PU foam, steel and paint.

My goal was to create a model that is light enough to be able to take with me to the exhibitions in Konstanz and Wiesbaden . At the same time, it should give a good impression of how the life-size sculpture In Harmony would look in bronze. As soon as I have found a specific site, I will have the sculpture cast in bronze.

A few days ago I was able to take a picture of the finished model from In Harmony for the first time. I am so happy to finally be able to show it!

Preparation for ARTe Konstanz

Vorbereitung für die ARTe Konstanz

The days go by faster and faster and I am very busy preparing for ARTe Constanze.

Not all my sculptures can go on the journey with me. However, it is very difficult for me to make a selection, because every sculpture has its charm and wants to be seen. In the studio, I marked the size of the exhibition space on the floor. Here the sculptures wander around on their pedestals. Sometimes the will stand up front, then in the back, sometimes in the middle, then on the edge. I order new material for the bases almost every day, because the right size is always missing.

During this preparation for the ARTe Konstanz, an interplay of the works is slowly emerging, a small community in which each sculpture can come into its own. The sculptures stand there like divas and want to show their best side. I am happy to help them and am delighted by their glow.

Exhibition at ARTe Kunstsalon Konstanz

Einladung zur Ausstellung beim ARTe Kunstsalon Konstanz

I'm really looking forward to the exhibition at ARTe Kunstsalon in Konstanz. From July 23rd to 25th you can experience my art live.

Sculptures, summer, sun, water - that will be wonderful! I can hardly wait.

The opening times are:
Friday from 5pm to 9pm,
Saturday from 11am to 8pm,
Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

Admission to the exhibition at the ARTe Kunstsalon in Konstanz is free for people that are eather tested, recovered or vaccinated. A large test center is in the immediate vicinity. For a very relaxed visit, it is advisable to set the visiting time beforehand at  .

For me there is still a lot to do before the exhibition. Keep your fingers crossed that I can still realize the large sculpture In Harmony , which I would like to take with me to Konstanz.

Phoenix from the ashes

abstrakte Skulptur im Garten

Phoenix from the ashes is the name of my new sculpure.

In my workshop there was a lump of plaster on which I always wiped off my plaster residue. One day I thought that something could be made of this lump and began to scrape off the remains in specific places. Then came a phase in which I took away material, purposefully built it up, took it away and built it up. The lump began to form to a sculpture . It went through many metamorphoses until it found its final form.

This process made Phoenix from the ashes especially dear to me. A piece of beauty is hidden in everything, even if it is not recognizable at first. Just don't give up looking for it!

Phoenix from the ashes can be set up in three different positions and finds its balance in every position. A very balanced sculpture! In this video I show you their many possibilities:

How to make a bear

Bär aus Beton

was modeled in clay by me 30 years ago. Because he has a lot of friends, I have now made a cast out of concrete. This bear was modeled in clay by me 30 years ago. Because he has a lot of friends, I have now made a cast out of concrete.

In the video Birth of a Bear , I take the finished casting out of its mold. After many hours of making molds, this is always the most exciting moment: How will the sculpture come out? Are there air bubbles? How did the color turn out?

I think the bear turned out well.

At the end of a long life

At the end of a long life was featured at the online exhibition On being by Sculptors Allinace in New York. For the panel talk about the exhibition, I tell you how this piece was created: where I found the wood, how I designed the shape, which tools I used and which supposed disappointment ultimately defines the special character of the sculpture.

Link to the youtube-video:

The wood was given to me by friends. Their cherry tree had lost a branch. They had already sawed into firewood when I discovered it. At the beginning I design a new sculpture with a small piece of modeling clay. Then I saw the wood into shape with the chainsaw, using the clay model as a template. At one point the piece comes to life. I put the model aside and let the lines and curves of the wood guide me. This part of the job is what I enjoy most because it is no longer my mind but my soul that takes the lead. At the same time, however, the most exhausting part of my journey is with a new piece.

I switch from chainsaw to file and then to sandpaper. I love running my hands over the smooth surfaces and following the lines of the piece. This pleasure always seduces me to strive for perfection. In this case, the perfection was destroyed when the wood dried, as small cracks opened and distorted the smooth surfaces. At first I was disappointed, but soon this became the feature I value most about this piece because it reminds me of an old person.

Life inflicts physical and emotional wounds on us. In other places it grinds us smooth, makes us gentle. Everything about a person is a testimony to his life. The way we run, the way we hold our heads, the arching of our backs, the wrinkles on our faces: all of this tells of the difficulties we faced, how we dealt with them and how we live today.

So the name for this piece came naturally: At the end of a long life it shows both wounds and smoothness, like we do as humans.