Status: 26/09/2023, 13:37 p.m.
By: Ulrike Osman
This archaic-looking boat is an eye-catcher of the exhibition. Ute Richter sculpted it from paper and the branches of vines. © Peter Weber
Ute Richter exhibits an excerpt of her extensive oeuvre in the Stadthalle.
Germering – It is rare for solo exhibitions to be shown in the Forum of the Stadthalle. And even what is currently on display there does not make you think of a single artist at first glance. They are works by a painter, a wood sculptor, a ceramic artist and a glass artist. But all four bear the same name: Ute Richter.
"I need diversity because I can always develop anew in it," says the 81-year-old, who is a member of the Germering Art Circle. She looks as cheerful as the colorful scarf she has wrapped around her head like a turban. She once started making pottery. "Ceramics was the origin, but that was soon no longer enough for me." From soft clay, which can be shaped and built up, it went to hard wood, which must be trimmed and reduced if a work of art is to be created from it.
Proceeds from the sale will go to social services
In addition, Richter devoted himself to painting, experimented with printing techniques, and finally looked for something transparent and ended up with glass. Despite all the diversity of her works, parallels and motifs that have repeatedly occupied her become apparent at second glance. For example, there is the head ("Very important, it's our director"). In abstract picture strips, minds produce poetry or groundbreaking things such as Einstein's law of conservation of energy. Lightning flashes in a head made of glass, a thunderstorm upsets the control center – this is where the 81-year-old has processed the stroke of a relative.
Their heads usually bear gentle faces, as do numerous female ceramic figures and the pottery chess pieces that stand on a table at the front of the room. What is set up here – including many vases and decorative vessels – is for sale. Richter wants to donate the proceeds to social services.
Works are related to her life
The works always have a reference to stations in her life. A painting of the Strahlenburg in Schriesheim, Baden-Württemberg, reminds us of her childhood and youth. At that time, she wanted to become an architect – unthinkable for her parents, who could imagine little else for their daughter than an existence as a wife and mother. Until then, she was at least allowed to become a teacher – which she remained when she actually married and had four children.
"The biggest challenge is the material," says Ute Richter about her artistic work. She does not subjugate the material, but communicates with it, gives it freedom. For example, in the pit fire, which conjures up its own grains on pottery that cannot be influenced by the artist.
Cape of Guien Hope
Some of her paintings are almost hypnotic and radiate confidence. The deep blue sea around the island of Crete is such a picture. "My cape of good hope," says Richter and laughs. In front of it is an archaic-looking boat, which she has formed from paper and the branches of vines and decorated with found bird feathers.
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And then there was this soapstone that had been lying around her house for a long time, almost forgotten. "I didn't know what to do with it," says the grandmother of seven. One day, the stone shattered in half all by itself. And then it was clear to Ute Richter, who was living in divorce at the time, what she would make of it - sculptures of men and women that could turn towards or away from each other. More than 30 years of her work can be seen in the exhibition - a retrospective, but by no means a farewell. Ute Richter is still active in her workshop. "I can't be without it."
The exhibition "A Life with Art" by Ute Richter can be seen in the Forum of the Stadthalle until 5 October. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 16 p.m. to 20 p.m., and on Sunday from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.