The boundaries of the material
Notes on the works of Georg Scheele by Art historian Jürgen Raap
Georg Scheele is a trained stonemason and this professional experience continues to shape his work as a sculptor. Because just like his sculptor colleague Ulrich Rückriem, who also completed a stonemason apprenticeship, and whose material experience with breaking and splitting a stone substantially determines the artistic expression, Georg Scheele too is constantly pushing the “limits of the possible”: Sculpting (the German term is: “Bildhauerei” = “image chopping/beating”) in the exact sense of the word means, as is generally known, a removal of material. During the work process the basic structure of the stone, i.e. the inherent power, the hardness or the resistance of the material and the artists previously outlined idea of form meet each other.
But for the work to „succeed”, as well in the aesthetic as in the practical sense, the artistic will to form and the material properties must be compatible with one another. The sculptor lives through a permanent conflict between his ideas of form and his mental state on one side, and the physical properties of the material on the other side. Georg Scheele: “Following my mental images, my forms stand for treading the transitional boundary between inside and outside, body and soul and show intuitively shaped atomic structures, for which I had not even sought”.
Thus, the process of making is consequently described as a “dialogue” between artist and rock mass. Each artist, painting a picture with an emotional intensity increased almost into the ecstatic, or working on the stone plastic with the highest degree of concentration and seriousness, always does this with the absolute will to transcend his previous achievements and the art-historically known in an innovative way. An artist must therefore also have a profound knowledge of art history, as only through that he can ultimately understand his own time slot and may conduct his own stylistic and conceptual demarcations for his work.