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To enter the sculptural world of Karl-Heinz Diegner is to be transported to the heart of the opposed worlds - the never changing permanence of minerals, and the frailty and beauty of human existence. In his hands steatite, alabaster, those deep and creamy elements of complex minerals come to life as ephemeral dreams of a female form.
And jet, how can one say that this former engineer, this big handsome man, produces work that is ephemeral? The subject is youthful and evanescent – but his graceful curves and elongated female forms create classical landscapes of rich colors caressed by natural light which never fades.
How beautifully the dark verdigris hues of steatite give birth to goddesses in his hands: elegantly shaped torsos, solid and monumental and yet never still as each work is pivoted on its plinth – movable at a finger’s touch to catch the light – enticing us to caress a limb a back, in it’s fluidity and density of line. But abstract lines – not for Diegner the female form in total – but the monumentality of a thigh, a bust, a back in «contraposto».
His work in alabaster gives a timeless quality to limbs that resemble wings, to graceful bathers – their simple outlines touching earth with the grace that belies their solidity. Alabaster, that wonderful material of light and translucence becomes a whisper of vulnerability and jet even in stone or marble, the solidity of Diegner’s abstract forms reach out to us from a classical past that launches a new renaissance. Aurore, Naja, Pallas, and Phebus – names to conjure with and totally in unison with their character and with their creator.
Sensitive to the Mediterranean environment in with he now lives, Diegner’s work in bronze reflects the glorious sun. A German, impregnated by his long stay in Brazil, domiciled in his adopted France, his work harmonises angled and curvilinear lines with smooth volumes of rich intensity and jet ethereal delicacy.
His appreciation of the female form, of his subtleties and innocence, of its flamboyance and sexuality is expressed from the very centre of his being. When we experience his work, when we study and dare to touch, his celebration of beauty enters our world and can only make it feel a better place.

 

Janet Renshaw, Art Historian. Aix-en-Provence, august 2009.