DryStoneGarden

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Basalt Woodcuts

Possibly the last post from my Euro bike trip last summer, Kolumba Chapel and Museum in Cologne. I’d heard about Kolumba because Peter Zumthor designed the museum around a chapel that had itself been built around the ruins of a church that had been bombed during World War II, and that church had in turn been built over Roman ruins. So the layering is very cool, and Zumthor’s design is austere and graceful; it’s one of the more interesting structures I’ve ever seen, worth clicking through to see the photos in the link. The actual museum was underwhelming, though, especially after seeing Scarpa’s Castelvecchio a year earlier. The collection on display was way too subtle for my taste and I didn’t spent much time looking at it.

I spent a much longer time in the chapel studying the wall of sunken reliefs depicting the Stations of the Cross. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, or at least not at this scale or in basalt. I guess there are precedents: some of the sunken reliefs at Karnak; there’s a Henry Moore relief head from his school days; Eric Gill did a limestone relief version of Stations of the Cross. The closest things are probably the woodcuts by Emil Nolde and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and other Die Brucke artists. Schmidt-Rottluff’s Little Prophetess could be a figure in one of these scenes.

The artist is named Rudolf Peer but I don’t know anything about him and didn’t find any sign of him on the google. My taste is sometimes a bit niche, but to me this seems way too good to be a one-off by an unknown artist. If anyone knows about Rudolf Peer or has seen any of his other work, please tell me in the comments or by email. German primitivist woodcuts carved in basalt… awesome, please show me more.

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