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 Studio 1983 (Fr. Riehl) · © Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
Why do you paint?

Good question. Obviously, something wants to show up. Painting doesn't leave me alone, so I give in. I don't search, don't investigate, don't experiment, don't want anything, I simply open myself and just let the pictures come, being suprised myself. ( Spontaneous dialog 2004 )

What do these pictures mean?

My works don't tell stories, don't illustrate ideas, they aren't decoration, don't center around imminent art questions, are not arbitrary or volitional, not meant to provoke. Hence they are not "modern art". ( Spontaneous dialog 1998 )

What then? No easy answer. They are obviously meaningful and seem to talk about life as such, man's existence, basic questions of being. Who am I? What do I do here? Where do I stand? What is important?

Initially, every painting is as enigmatic for me as for any other person. Over the years, the dialog with the particular work produces deeper insight explaining the fascination induced by the mystery. Thus a new dimension of art is opened up. A titel would hinder this process and thus be counterproductive.

These works would not be possible without the predecessors of modern art and are indebted to a high degree to the colleagues » Rembrandt van Rijn, » Pablo Picasso und » Max Beckmann. ( Spontaneous dialog 1973 )

Why do you think others could be interested in your creations?

I am not any different from anybody else, so if I am touched and moved by my stuff, others will be as well. ( Spontaneous dialog 1973 )

What about the prints?

There is only one proof of etching  Nr. 230a1; it had been lost for some time, that's why it wasn't part of the oeuvre catalog and has been given a subnumber later.

I took the proofs myself on the litho press of Erich Engelbrecht; the editon was made as year's offer for the Art Club Bad Oeynhausen. For cost reasons, only half of the planned edition was printed. The professional printer, an artist hmself, suggested brown although the proofs were in black. Allegedly, this would sell better. As a compromise, brown-black was chosen. The print quality of the edition is excellent, much better than the proofs.

From some works, especially some aquatints, there are intermediate states. For this technique I built a classical dust box, but developed new techniques later to produce not a rich, monotonous and potentially dull black ( Nr. 235), but vivid painterly effects instead ( Nr. 235).

The small woodcuts were printed by my father on the » Heidelberger Tiegel, the big ones by the printing shop » Mail in Bünde. The poster for the exhibition in Löhne ( Nr. 601) is not numbered.  Nr. 639 has been printed in an unknown number of copies with title as exhibition poster for the show at Galerie Hergeröder in Bielefeld. I own one of those, slightly damaged.

In addition to the numbered edition of 110 on handmade paper (100 regular, 10 e.a. for the artist), colored by me differently each piece, there is a numbered edition of 100 on normal paper, printed later, numbered and framed as a gift for the customers of my company.

 Nr. 509 was discovered accidentally by me later in a drawer, I had completely forgotten the printing block and could not reconstruct the creation date. As a customer gift for my company at the 2003 » CeBIT exhibition, I produced a numbered edition of 300 and added the name of the company by pencil: Jura-PC; only few were given away, however. In 1998, I used it as a gift for an internet competition; the challenge was to find a title for this work. ( E-Mail July 2008 )

Is the inventory complete?

No. When created, the overview was gappy, later works appeared and have been inserted with an appropriate addition to the numbering (like 230a1).  Nr. 148, for example, has a back, as I discovered during a visit to the owner in 2000 much to my surprise, and I took the opportunity to make a photo of it, but it has not yet been incorporated into the work directory. So maybe other works may turn up which should be inserted later.

About 1975, I took down and rolled up some works in order to reuse the stretcher. Of these works, there are no pictures, and I have no memory of them. One day I will probably open the rolls. No doubt I considered these works as inferior at that time.

Naturally, there's always the question of what should be included or not. There are, for example, drawings by Rembrandt which I have not included because they were finger exercises for me which I deemed useful some day. Then there are some drawings I did for and with my daughters, in particular very fine portraits in profile, which I have not been included yet.

From my school days there are a number of copies and other attempts of which I also have only only included one as an example each. The copies, for example, show that I did quite well, not only with van Gogh ( Nr. 2), and the other example ( Nr. 3) proves that there was not terribly much to learn for me in school and besides that, I didn't have anything to say. ( E-Mail July 2008 )





Biography
1948  Born in Lower Saxony, (West) Germany
1983  One-Man-Show "Werner Stürenburg" at » Leopold-Hoesch-Museum Düren
1984  Participation Art Basel, Publication  Basel Manifesto
1985  15-piece Altar-Popus with 4 panels
One-Man-Show "Moon Time", Löhne



Note with a portrait study taken in a mathematical seminar of Prof. » Dress. In: Stürenburg, Sammelband 1. Erinnerungen und Anekdoten. S. 11 · © Copyright Werner Popken. 
Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
Note with a portrait study taken in a mathematical seminar of Prof. » Dress. In: Stürenburg, Sammelband 1. Erinnerungen und Anekdoten. S. 11

 




 
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