Norbert Prangenberg, Figur, 1994.

Norbert Prangenberg

Cologne, Germany

Galerie Karsten Greve

Nearly every top-heavy Figure sculpted by Norbert Prangenberg (1949– 2012) is reminiscent of an ancient amphora or pithos, although without the lid or twin handles. The rest of his symmetrical Figuren approximate modern barrels. We eventually realize that neither of his container types can hold liquid or grain, because they remain fundamentally un-reconstituted ropes of clay. The concentric coils were crudely kneaded into lengths up to 2.5 inches thick before being barely smoothed and vertically stacked. Prangenberg’s favored ellipsoid is the three-dimensional manifestation of an ellipse, but the volume’s rounded ends are snipped off, like the tips of a giant, bulging cigar. The cropped, or never attached, tips provide the top and bottom orifices of his standing Figuren while also functioning as stable bases. Eerily, both variations of his signature form are sufficiently voluminous to inter a human body or two.…see the entire review in the print version of sept’s Sculpture magazine.

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