Katharina Neumann-WolffKatharina Neumann-Wolff studied Arts and Philology in Munich, Würzburg und Münster. Today she lives in Kiel and creates colorful sculptures made from wood, aluminum and steel for the indoor- and outdoor area.

„Katharina Neumann-Wolff’s trees once were growing towards the sky. But something interrupting came up: A storm, rotting, a straightening measure of a street, and it became an objet trouvé on her long forays through Schleswig-Holstein’s landscape. Acknowledging the individual character of the tree’s growth, developing associations to various and numerous individual forms of nature and to its sensual aura, still feeling the attraction of the material texture in a morbid forfeiture, that is the first act. Leonardo da Vinci described it when analyzing the natural beauty of coincidence. The second step means to create a living creature from dead nature or better: creating a symbol or an analogy of a living creature.

The trunks are erected, they receive a base and a stand, sometimes colorful heads and its original organic character, they are annexed by the synthetic world of arts with colorful discs and signs made of plastic and metal and they rebuke against it with their cheerful liveliness. 

With columns they share the plinth, but they don’t carry anything. With prehistoric cultures they have in common being straightened up, but they lack any strictness and monumentality.

A key-insight provide the names: mind-wander, little chorus girl, messenger of the gods, titan, open wing, stele of delight, moon man, or simply long blue, boy and girl – mostly beings, which reside between heaven and earth and want to lift us above the material heaviness of the daily routine. But it doesn’t require profound insights of arts theory in order to sense that.

What I like is the happenstance by which they arise and the cheekiness of their effect. It is absolutely aesthetically appealing and decorative but at the same time it leads the observer in a sphere of a magically animated nature, and thereby back to the archaic understanding of the trees, from which the creations arose. In the trees once were living mysterious winged beings, the trees quasi had their own soul. Recognizing it is a challenge.

Adrian von Buttlar
Art historian, Professor at the Technical University Berlin