Home | Prometheus Nr. 202| Alexander Order

The Sculptor Kurt Arentz has the 80th Birthday

A master of the art of the portrait--dedicated to creation and life.

By bpb-Korrespondent Joe F. Bodenstein


The sculptor Kurt Arentz is a guest of the German President Joachim Gauck (left) at the Bellevue Castle in Berlin. The artist was a regular visitor of the German Presidents and has also supported various charitable causes of the „First Ladies" unterstützt.

Foto: press-pool.


Köln/Leverkusen (bpb) The sculptor Kurt Arentz will celebrate on May 30, 2014 his 80th birthday. The „European Art Foundation (Germany) praised the artist on this occasion as one of "the great contemporary artists in the Classical tradition". „This great talent has enabled Kurt Arentz to create portraits of contemporary personalities from politics, business, science, culture, church and society. His merits in art history also lie in encouraging other artists through his own successes to continue the thousand years old tradition of realistic art of the antiquity to the present, unstained by the impermanent spirit of the modern time.

Kurt Arentz was born on May 30, 1934 in Cologne as the only child of Emil Arentz and Henriette, born Wieden. He grew up in a shop-owner's family in Leverkusen, and in those days no one had any idea that his life calling would turn out to be art. So, after many years of quiet, private efforts of artistic creation, being inspired by the great examples in painting and sculpture, he accumulated a rich body of his art works. From 1975 Arentz started to show his work in the public. In the following decades he has participated in many exhibitions, international art shows, public state and private collections as well as in museums in Europe and also on other continents.


A many-sided, colorful palette of artistic ability

The artist's power of expression is many-sided. The work includes sculptures, paintings and drawings. The central interests of lovers and collectors are in the work which are connected to the history of creation. To this belong portraits of men and women, as well as the depictions of the animal world. Due to this talent, the sculptor has been ranked with the great tradition of famous French animal sculptors. The French writer Roger Peyrefitte (Paris) praised the sculptor at a museum exhibition: "It is a special good fortune to meet an artist of our time, who fits into the line of great animal sculptors, with which France has been so blessed",


German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (right) with the Minister of Defense Volker Rühe and sculptor Kurt Arentz (left) at the presentation of the portrait-bust „Helmut Kohl". Also present on this occasion: representatives of the German business.

Foto: Archiv


A „Who is Who in the World"

The long list of his portrait-busts reads like a „Who is Who in the World". To mention only a few of the contemporary personalities, there are among others: the US presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton; the statesmen Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Papst Benedikt XVI, Shimon Perez, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, the ministers: Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Franz-Josef Strauß, Manfred Wörner, Kai-Uwe von Hassel; the German presidents: Roman Herzog, Richard von Weizsäcker, Karl Carstens; the publishers Axel Springer and Gustav Lübbe as well as the lady-publisher Aenne Burda; the artists Ernst Fuchs, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Peter Hofmann, Mstislaw Rostropowitsch, Angerer der Ältere, Peter Ustinov. The Olympic lady champion Ulrike Meyfarth, as well as the star chefs Jean Pierre Haeberlin and Paul Haeberlin.


Special attention of citizens goes to the sculptures displayed outside in public spaces. To them belongs the monument of the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Frings. The dedication of this monument on the Laurenz Square took place in the presence of Cardinal Joachim Meisner and the German minister Dr. Norbert Blüm, as well as of the Mayor Norbert Burger. To this monument to the legendary man of church of the post-war time are also added several life-size figures of persons who had historical or cultural connection to the landscape. In this way, the jubilant has the honor to have, so to speak, already during his lifetime, an open-air museum in his native region. In addition, the Museum Europäische Kunst at the Noervenich Castle (near Cologne) shows regularly works by arents in their permanent collection, as well as on special occasions.


His life is reflected in his work

Kurt Arentz belongs to those artists, in whose work is reflected the fundamental harmony of experience, education and a disciplined life. Since 1959 he has been married to Maria-Therese Klein from Morsbach/Sieg (in Nordrhein-Westfalen). The marriage resulted in two children, now both grown-up: son Frank and daughter Dagmar. And he enjoys also his grandchildren. This happy family situation belongs to the traditional ideal of "having both feet on the ground", which enriches the creative and artistic creative work.

Arentz has been for decades a popular and informed discussion partner with many art lovers and artists. This is made possible especially by his far-reaching general knowledge, straighfullness of his thoughts, common sense as well as hunger for knowledge and his curiosity to see behind the stage.


Pope John Paul II. blessed with his „Message to Artists" in 1999 all artists who, like Kurt Arentz, are dedicated in their work and thinking to God's creation. The artists on the right path are following in the footsteps of God the Creator, proclaimed the Holy Father in Rome.

Photo: Vatican-Bild


The Pope, the artists and the work

Thanks to these abilities, Arentz was impressed by the message in 1999 by Pope John Paul II to the artists of the world to "seek with passion for new epiphanies of beauty, in order to give them to the world in their artistic creative work".

In his letter, the Holy Father sees the artists of his vision as follows: "The theme of beauty is decisive for a discourse on art. It was already present when I stressed God's delighted gaze upon creation. In perceiving that all he had created was good, God saw that it was beautiful as well. The link between good and beautiful stirs fruitful reflection. In a certain sense, beauty is the visible form of the good, just as the good is the metaphysical condition of beauty. This was well understood by the Greeks who, by fusing the two concepts, coined a term which embraces both: kalokagathía, or beauty-goodness. On this point Plato writes: "The power of the Good has taken refuge in the nature of the Beautiful. It is in living and acting that man establishes his relationship with being, with the truth and with the good. The artist has a special relationship to beauty. In a very true sense it can be said that beauty is the vocation bestowed on him by the Creator in the gift of "artistic talent".

To conclude, on ther occasion of his birthday, the appreciation of this artist, who has been much honored during his lifetime, we have to note the following: Friends of the art of Kurt Arentz notice, when viewing the works of this sculptor, the qualities that Pope John Paul expressed in his message to the artists of the world.


The mailing address to which congratulations may be sent to the artist is: Museum Schloss Nörvenich, Kurt Arentz, 52388 Nörvenich / Germany.(E-Mail: schloss-noervenich@gmx.de) , www.schloss-noervenich.de , http://www.europaeische-kultur-stiftung.org






Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The journal PROMETHEUS will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. 

www.meaus.com contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner. 

For media enquiries: info@meaus.com

Copyright 2014 Prometheus

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science, Nr. 202, June 2014