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Arte Algarve Open IX

20. September  – 21. November 2013
Lagoa, Portugal, Galeria Arte Algarve

  • Vernissage Galeria Arte Algarve, Samstag, 21. September 2013 – 01:00

Interview mit Natasha Donn für One of her teachers years ago at the Dusseldorf arts academy was Joseph Beuys – the legendary hero of revolutionary post-war art – and her passion for working with wood has carried her through life. In many ways, it has been her life-saver. Even in her darkest moments, the dialogue Rose Lichtenberger has with wood has kept her focused and trucking. With Arte Algarve since the very beginning, Rose ›discovered‹ cork on extended visits to the region and has done a number of sculptures and wood carvings in the material. Her sensuous »Geisha« is currently on show in our OPEN IX. But it has been the burnt roots of wild heather from Monchique that lead to a whole new approach since the fires of 2008. Works like »Umkehrung« and »Kirschwurzeltorso« – extraordinary abstracts in gleaming polished hardwood. »I’ve got a stock of these wonderful blackened roots«, she tells us. »They have inspired me.« Back home in Germany, she works mainly with fruit trees: cherry, plum, apple. Always either dead trees, or those that people want to get rid of. The wood has been through one life; Rose sets out to give it another. »A new form,« she stresses. »Not an image from reality, but a discovery within the structure of the wood. I am looking for the story of the tree«… Working with her hands, not her eyes, the story unfurls as she goes on this tactile journey. »I like to touch my sculptures… People like to touch my sculptures. They have a special smooth inviting surface, from the hours and hours spent sanding and rubbing«. In the old days when Rose taught art to schoolchildren, she could only sculpt in her spare time, but since early retirement three years ago, she has been able to dedicate her life to her sculptures and is now exhibiting at least three times a year in various locations near her home base in Germany. It all sounds perfect, and then you hear that tragedy too has played its part. Rose’s artist husband of 45 years died suddenly three years ago. The shockwaves threatened to engulf her. »I live these days for my sons«, she starts explaining. »They have kept me alive. They and the work – the dialogue I have with the wood. If I am sad, I work«… Three sculptures date from the time of tragedy. One, »Abschied« (German for ›goodbye‹) was already on its way; »Zerbrochener Ring« (the broken ring) followed, and then there came the hauntingly sad »Der Schlag«. But since then, Rose has been buoyed along by happier themes, producing »Esperanza«, »Oval«, »Dagny« and many other refreshing pieces, full of hope. »I never feel alone«, she smiles. »There is always me and the conversation I have with the wood. If the sadness gets to me – which of course sometimes it does – I work«. For a beautiful visual journey through Rose Lichtenberger’s life’s work, enjoy: The text is in German, but the stories tell themselves.

Abbildung: Arte Algarve Open IX