Marianne Maderna

Approaching Figure, 1984

At the heart of Maderna’s work lies an examination of the human being. Her primary focus is the visualisation of the inner self, of feelings, emotions and shared human sentiments. She does this by eliminating any elements that are not directly relevant to the expression she is seeking to achieve. Although the artist largely draws on her own impressions and experiences, her works always contain familiar situations and fundamental sentiments that are common to all people. Thus, this bronze work also reflects at least one human situation.


At the centre of Marianne Maderna’s work is the investigation of the human condition. She is not only concerned with the human shape, i.e. with the solution of formal problems, but also with the visualisation of what is “inside”: a mood, a state of mind that is woven through with feelings, emotions, and atmospheres, and that she tries to pinpoint via the analytical observation of motion sequences and body positions. 

She arrives at this state via a successive and consistent reduction which eliminates all elements that are not of immediate importance for the desired expression, thus emphasising volumes and the spaces between and around them. Only this clarified, abstract form makes the idea and the situational context visible, and the abstraction is borne by the principles of classic sculpture that define themselves via the concepts of ponderation and the relation between the supporting leg and the free leg, thus defining the basic positions of the human body.

Although Marianne Maderna chooses her subjects before she starts on a piece, the titles develop only during the sculpturing process. As they accompany the creation of the pieces from the first inspirational thought to their final crystallisation, they are essential aids for interpretation. The sculpture “Zukommender” also unmistakeably reflects a human situation in the form of “a creature at pains to assert itself” (Wolfgang Hilger). Although Maderna mainly refers to personal impressions and experiences in her works, they nevertheless succeed in depicting archetypal human situations and moods. 


Author: Peter Peer

Plan & Overview: Position 10

Owner: [Federal Artothek]
Biography:Marianne Maderna

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