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Rudolf Kügler (1921-2013)

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

KÜGLER, Rudolf [1921–2013; German]

“The Dock”

color etching / 15.5 inches by 19.5 inches / #167 of 200

1961

“Marble Quarry”

color etching / 15.5 inches by 19.5 inches / #194 of 200

1958

Once again the mid-century modern taste of the Bendix family has brought us these fine etchings by German artist Rudolf Kügler. Of his career and work, the internet has little to say, which is unfortunate:

Rudolf Kügler, painter, printmaker, and sculptor, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1921. He studied at the University of Applied Arts in Berlin from 1946 to 1947 with Hans Speidel, and then at the Academy of Fine Arts under Max Kaus until 1954. During this time he studied abroad throughout Spain, Greece, Egypt, and stayed extensively in Rome and Paris. He took a position as a professor of art at the Berlin Academy of Art in 1956 where he taught until 1986.

And from another source, on the 1958 print specifically:

Kügler’s eye finds the pace and rhythm of industry in “Marble Quarry”, contrasting the angular, sharp-edged machinery of human development against the wild patterns of exposed geological history.

Abstracted depictions of civilization dominated Kügler’s early to mid-century work before he moved solidly into a non-representational style. Cities, villages, and sparsely populated natural landscapes were equally vibrant with life. His sculptural handling of the matrix to coax forth scenes of humankind’s footprint from the plate creates a nearly three-dimensional illusion, as seen in the sharply-outlined, rigid shapes containing the freeform textures of this etching.

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