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Adolf Wamper, a sculptor of classical beauty

Genius of Victory and the Four Seasons are his typical works


By Joe F. Bodenstein


Copyright: Wamper-Archive, Marco-VG


Berlin (bpb) To the important classical sculptors of the 20th century in Europea belongs the German Adolf Wamper. He is a representative of the art which pays homage to the beautiful and the ideal. To his typical works belong the sculpture "Genius of Victory" from 1940, as well as the cyclus of sculptures "The Four Seasons". While he uses the figure of a young sportsman as symbol of victory, he used exclusively women for the representation of the four seasons.

Adolf Wamper was born on June 23, 1901 in Würseln, near Aachen. He died on May 22, 1977 in Essen. His most well-known work from his older years is "The Black Madonna of Remagen". The figure commemorates the US prisoners-of-war camp for the Germans. The camp was set up after the conquest of the town of Remagen on the Rhine river, lying south of Bonn and after the crossing of the Remagen Bridge by American troops. According to eye-witnesses, more than 300,000 soldiers of the German Army were imprisoned there in the open air worse than animals, between April and July, 1945.

It was during this time that the 44-year old artist made the figure of the black Madonna. He presented it to the pastor von Kripp. It is a unique Pieta: formed by hands from mud. This fragile material was after drying soaked in oil, in order to make it durable. The figure turned black, and today is preserved in a small chapel as a remembrance on this tragic time.

Actually, before being imprisoned and humiliated, Adolf Wamper has experiences some glorious times. In 1935 he settled down in Berlin. He took over with Prof. Baumgarten the project of construction of the Opera in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The talented Wamper, influenced by his trips to Paris and meetings with the important artists of his time such as Bourdelle, attracted attention to himself. Already a year later he creates a relief for the open-air podium of the Reichs-Sportfeld (The Reich Stadium) on the Olympic grounds in Berlin. Numerous official commission follow. In 1940, Wamper's "Genius of Victory" is shown at the great art exhibition in Munich. In the same hall is exhibited the famous relief "COMRADES" by his friend Arno Breker.


The contemporary author Kurt Lothar Tank writes after a visit to Adolf Wamper's atelier: "The spiritual openness of Adolf Wamper which comes out of him during conversation, has its source in the deepest levels of his being. Even his works reveal a peculiar multiplicity. It could be mistaken on the first glance for an imbalance, but in reality is an expression of an artistry in flux."



Copyright: Wamper-Archive, Marco-VG



Copyright 2004 West Art, Prometheus 93


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Copyright 2004 West-Art

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science.

Nr. 93, Autumn 2004