Jürgen Brodwolf – NEKRO_POLIS Jürgen Brodwolf – NEKRO_POLIS
Jürgen Brodwolf – NEKRO_POLIS
© Archiv Brodwolf, Kandern
Photo: Christoph Brodwolf


24. January 2004 – 14. March 2004

Sculptures and installations

The Exhibition NEKRO_POLIS Shows Works by the Artist Jürgen Brodwolf at the Museum for Sepulchral Culture, Kassel.


these are the issues of this exhibition.  Even if the Museum for Sepulchral Culture wants to be understood as a place of encounter with burial and mourning culture, and even if Brodwolf's works cannot escape this context of dying, death and remembrance, there is more than death and transience inherent in his work.

The spectrum of meaning in his work cannot be reduced to this. "The fragmentary, fragile, vulnerable, and that which reminds us of transience is one of the characteristics of all of Jürgen Brodwolf's works. Be it the crushed tube figures from the early phase of his sculptural career (since 1959), be it later canvas and Pappmach? figures (since 1974), or be it entire ensembles of sculptures: Jürgen Brodwolf's theme is always the human being, the bent, the broken, burnt, but also the rising, the upright walking person" (Andreas Martin, 2002).

In the installation "The Night" (Kassel, October 22, 1943) Brodwolf takes Kassel itself as the context and allows himself to be challenged by the fateful night of bombing on October 22, 1943 to create this unusual memorial work.  It was created in view of the exhibition at the Museum for Sepulchral Culture and is shown here for the first time. Even though the subtitle has an immanent reference to Kassel, the work stands exemplarily for suffering and sacrifice.

The worst thing about the 20th century is forgetting, says Brodwolf.

"Jürgen Brodwolf is one of the great rediscoverers and formulators of figuration after the all-dominant abstraction of the mid-20th century" (Susanne Wedewer, 1995).  This accounts for his artistic significance, which was recognized in his first major exhibition participation at the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart at the beginning of his artistic career (1969) up to the documenta in Kassel (1977). Numerous exhibitions followed.

A catalog has been published for the exhibition at a price of 22,-EUR.  The special edition with an original tube figure by Jürgen Brodwolf is available for 180,-EUR (30 copies).

The "Necropolis" as food for thought, "The Night" (Kassel 22.10. 1943) illustrates the real relationship to Kassel, but the work is exemplary for suffering and sacrifice. "Boats" implies the last journey to the afterlife in many cultural circles, the center of the "Altar" is the human being, to whose person joy and suffering are bound, in whose memory grave constructions and rituals are performed and who hovers between life, death and the hope for an afterlife, the "Archive" turns against forgetting, against the threatening loss of the past as a living component of the present, and in "Books" he reminds us of the events of the May 10, 1933, where books by numerous authors were burnt in public.


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
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