The sculptress
Karin Hertz (1921–2017)
vorschau rückblick museum hb-stiftung vereine anfahrt impressum

The sculptress Karin Hertz(1921–2017)

This year, the Hamburg-born sculptress Karin Hertz would have turned 100
years old. Since Karin Hertz also belongs to the circle of artists of the artists'
colony Heikendorf, the Artists' museum Heikendorf-Kieler Förde honors her
work this year during the summer months with a comprehensive exhibition
both in the exhibition hall and in the garden area of the museum.

The sculptress is probably known to a wider public primarily for her works in
public spaces, which have been created since the end of the 1950s, among
other things as part of the "Kunst am Bau" program (meaning dedicating a
certain percentage of construction costs to art), and can be found not only
in Hamburg, but also in Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-
Westphalia, and Rhineland-Palatinate. They are both fully sculptural works
and decorative relief panels. They can be found in the open air, in parks
and in freely accessible places - such as the University Children's Hospital
in Kiel -, furthermore on school premises and sports fields, but also indoors
at gymnasiums or public pools - also in Heikendorf.

Karin Hertz was born in Hamburg in 1921. When she was eight years old,
her mother moved with her and her sister to Kitzeberg on the Kiel Fjord,
where she spent her youth and school years. In 1940, Karin Hertz went to
Munich to study at Maria Weber's private sculpture school and then to work
at the Academy of Art under the sculptor Richard Knecht. In the turmoil
towards the end of the war, she made her way back to Hamburg via the
Sudetenland and the Harz Mountains. Here, she set up a studio in the early
1950s and was able to establish herself as a freelance sculptor. Later she
added a studio on the North Frisian Island of Amrum, and one in Möltenort,
which is also located in Kitzeberg, belonging to the municipality of
Heikendorf. Here, she also gave modeling courses during the summer

Her mostly free-standing bronze sculptures are not obtrusive, silently
occupying the space without wanting to raise a deeper meaning. They sit in
a meadow, next to a bush, under a tree, or in a quiet spot - such as the
garden of the Artists' Museum. Her œuvre also includes sculptures that
convey summer emotions of vacation or are narrative in character. Her
monuments and portraits of important personalities, such as the portrait of
the writer Ricarda Huch for the school named after her in Kiel, should not be

The sculptress also devoted herself in many ways to the design of small-
format works, statuettes, which were created primarily as private
commissions or out of free motivation. They show, among other things,
mythological figures or public figures - such as the political activist Rudi
Dutschke in moving lecture gestures - then athletes, playing children and
groups of children and animals, especially dogs in the most diverse
situations of a dog's life.

In the early 1960s, Karin Hertz also got to know the sculptors Gerhard
Marcks and Gustav Seitz, with whose works the sculptor dealt in many ways.
The exhibition is also dedicated to this other side of Karin Hertz's oeuvre.
Thus, attention will also be paid to her lesser-known work, compositions of a
sometimes quite unusual nature and conception, for example, in the
process designs for a fountain or the design of a sacred space. These are
mainly pieces which reveal her independent conception and innermost

The artist Karin Hertz observed the development of representational
sculpture in the 20th century with an open mind, and even got in touch with
the art of the Far East and used it as an inspiration. She modified it and
succeeded in developing independent forms of expression that
corresponded to her free spirit. The exhibition is accompanied by a
comprehensive catalog with contributions by Lars Olof Larsson, Sabine
Behrens, Hans-Joachim Mocka and Henning Repetzky (only in German
available in the museum shop, 162 pages, 48 color plates, 20 euro)

photos studio Karin Hertz: Hans-Joachim Mocka
photos sculptures Karin Hertz: Christoph Baldrich


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