Seen and Not Seen

Posted on Jun 9, 2024 in News

Sculptures by Gisela-Heidi Strunck and Monoprints by Juergen Strunck

May 4-June 8, 2024

Reception with the Artists: Saturday, May 4 (6-8 PM) • Free and open to the public

The Bath House Cultural Center proudly hosts artists Gisela-Heidi Strunck and Juergen Strunck in 2024, celebrating their illustrious careers through an exhibition of sculptures and monoprints entitled {Seen and Not Seen}. While both artists have previously showcased their individual works at the center, this exhibition marks the first occasion where the husband and wife come together to present their creations jointly in our gallery.

Despite the differing mediums of the two artists, astute observers will recognize a subtle yet intriguing connection among some of the pieces featured in this showcase. Whether purposefully crafted or arising by chance, a noticeable bond of mutual influence and inspiration runs through the works.  While each artist undeniably possesses a unique style and perspective, which merits recognition and commendation, the collaborative nature of this exhibition offers viewers a rare opportunity to appreciate the interconnectedness and resonance of their works as a cohesive whole. Through their exhibition at the Bath House, Heidi and Juergen exemplify how individual artistic approaches can converge, finding common ground and shared sensibilities to convey powerful statements within the realm of art.

In exploring the shared aspects of the works of both artists, one immediately notices a symphony of elements that intertwine seamlessly.  They use graceful lines, harmonious color palettes, and solid structural compositions that create a strong sense of order and beauty.  They also have a clear tendency towards imitation of nature and man-made forms, reflecting a deep contemplation and wonder for these subjects. Additionally, the artists demonstrate a fascination with organic and geometric shapes, often employing symmetric compositions to showcase their aesthetic sensibilities. Their works are saturated with vibrant hues and materials, which contribute to an overall sense of vibrancy and liveliness. Moreover, a bright and dynamic rhythmic movement is present throughout their creations, lending an undeniable sense of elegance to their artistry.

Heidi’s meticulously crafted sculptures, fashioned from a blend of domestic and exotic wood species, copper, metallic threads, acrylic, mirrors, and assorted materials, invite viewers to delve into their intricate construction with admiration and fascination. Through the arrangement and aesthetic elements of her art, one can catch glimpses of the artist’s rich tapestry of experiences gained from extensive travels and studies across Europe, Morocco, the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, and notably, India. Her assembled sculptures, adorned with blocks of intricately patterned wood, spheres, and cascading metallic threads emerging from copper pipes, serve as visual tributes to these locations and they encapsulate the essence of their architecture, spirituality, and unique visual language that left an indelible mark on her journey as an artist.

Juergen has long been passionate about expanding the horizons of printmaking art. Despite today’s prevalence of digitally generated images and modern methods of printing, he remains a steadfast advocate for traditional hand-pulled prints. He continues to champion the fundamental processes that encourage a deeper, more tactile connection between artist and material. Juergen’s vibrant compositions on paper radiate against their predominantly dark backdrops, showcasing his mastery of monoprints and chine collé techniques. Employing his skillful technique, Juergen applies smooth gradients of multiple ink hues onto the paper, frequently employing a conical brayer to achieve a circular effect. He then cuts these colored sheets into intricate geometric shapes before delicately affixing them onto a dark background of Japanese paper and other cotton fibers. The result is a captivating work of art where the inked shapes, brimming with graceful textures and vibrant colors, appear poised to spring to life, evoking imagery reminiscent of performers on a dimly lit theatrical stage or imposing structures standing resolutely amidst the darkness of night.

At the heart of this exhibition lies the overarching theme of collaboration. While Heidi and Juergen have each attained individual success as artists, their partnership reveals a profound sense of synergy. Despite encountering vision-related challenges in recent years, Heidi’s commitment to artistic creation remains steadfast and unwavering. Though her eyesight may have been affected, her creative vision remains animated and resilient. Juergen, on the other hand, continues to serve as a mentor, showcasing the boundless possibilities of printmaking in the 21st century through his exhibitions. Beyond their artistic endeavors, the artists provide mutual support in their daily lives, acknowledging that they continue to learn from one another, enriching not only their own practices but also the experience of their audience.