Brigitte und Martin Matschinsky-Denninghoff Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff Martin Matschinsky - Afrika IV
Brigitte und Martin Matschinsky-Denninghoff
Brass and tin. 300 x 98 x 85 cm. Metal base 15 x 110 x 100 cm. - Minor traces of age.
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In 1959, the artist couple Brigitte and Martin Matschinsky-Denninghoff received the first Prix Bourdelle, named after the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, and as a result moved in 1961 into a studio in the rue Cels in the 14th arrondissement in Paris. One of the sculptures produced here was the monumental Afrika IV, exhibited in the German pavilion in Venice in 1962.
The artists had been working together since 1955. Their individual talents allow them together to design unusual, forceful sculptural works in which the line, the rod in brass, copper and later chrome-nickel steel, is always the source and the exit. The connecting element that welds them together is tin. The fine, freely and rhythmically-shaped rod elements develop dynamically into lively contrasts with ever increasing clustering of thicker metal rods and tubes. With time, they lose the habitus of modelling and change into solid constructions of surfaces and shapes.
From the 1950s, the artistic development of their work showed an obvious correlation to works by Antoine Pevsner, in whose studio Brigitte Meier-Denninghoff worked following her studies, and who soldered thin metal rods together to make concave and convex volumes, the surfaces of which penetrate, interlock and bend. Meier-Denninghoff already knew of this use of malleable material to create suggestive bodies from her student days with Henry Moore in 1949/50. With this in mind, her works from 1961/62 in Paris, with tall rod elements forming a skin around a cavity, radiate a dense corporeality, which regain a playful lightness through the contours frayed at the top and bottom. “The structure pattern”, says Johannes Langner about Matschinsky-Denninghoff's sculpture in 1992, “can be compared to the French brick Gothic such as the exterior of Albi Cathedral, without naming it as a direct source of inspiration. The artists themselves allude to a different direction with the title Afrika, which they gave to a number of works of this type. It suggests a wickerwork of vegetable material which would soon stretch like a pole, as if pulled together around its own axis by an inner suction, before long, voluminous, a structure between basket and hut”. (Johannes Langner, Wandel und Entfaltung, Zum plastischen Werk von Matschinsky-Denninghoff, in: Georg-W. Költzsch, Matschinsky-Denninghoff, Monographie und Werkverzeichnis der Skulpturen, Cologne 1992, p.94).
The sculpture was exhibited for decades on loan in the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Its last location was the terrace of Schloss Bellevue in Berlin.
Directly from the artist; Marlborough International Fine Art
Deutsche Bank Berlin (ed.), Skulptur Berlin, Berlin 1988, p.8 with illus.
Manfred de la Motte (ed.), Matschinsky-Denninghoff, Dokumentation 26th exhib.cat. Galerie Hennemann, Bonn 1980, n.pag. with illus.
Jürgen Morschel, Deutsche Kunst der 60er Jahre, Plastik, Objekte, Aktionen, Munich 1972, p.88 with illus.
Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz (ed.), Bestandskatalog, Verzeichnis der Vereinigten Kunstsammlungen-Nationalgalerie (SMPK), Galerie des 20. Jahrhunderts, Berlin 1968, p.356 with illus.
Metro (ed.), International Directory of Contemporary Art, Milan 1964, p.233 with illus.
Art International, The XXXI. Venice Biennale, Paris 1962, p.67 with illus.
Berlin 1985 (Akademie der Künste), Matschinsky-Denninghoff, Skulpturen und Zeichnungen 1955-1985, exhib.cat.no.19, p.92 with colour illus.
Berlin 1985 (Neue Nationalgalerie), Kunst in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945-1985, exhib.cat.no.174, p.136 with colour illus.
Hanover 1966 (Kestner-Gesellschaft), Karlsruhe (Badischer Kunstverein), Essen 1967 (Museum Folkwang), Meier-Denninghoff, exhib.cat.no.6, p.24 with illus.6
Berlin 1966 (Haus am Waldsee), Brigitte Meier-Denninghoff, exhib.cat.no.7, n.pag. with illus.5
Paris 1963 (Grand Palais des Champs-Elysée), Art Contemporain
Venice 1962 (Deutscher Pavillon), XXXI. Esposizione Internationale d´Arte la Biennale di Venezia, exhib.cat.no.89