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 Stefan Maximilian Szczesny  (1951 - )

About: Stefan Maximilian Szczesny


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Lived/Active: Germany/France      Known for: expressionist flower and landscape painting, female nude, sculpture, ceramics

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An example of work by Stefan Maximilian Szczesny
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Mainau Island

A Dream of Earthly Paradise

The yearning for Arcadia and the dream of an earthly paradise have always fascinated people.  So it’s no wonder that this yearning has also been a favorite subject for painters and poets. Two great names in modern painting stand for this: Paul Cézanne, with his bathers, and Henri Matisse, with his key work Luxe, Calme, et Volupté.

Stefan Szczesny chose a whole island, Mainau, as the goal of his artistic longing, by stylizing and transforming it into his very personal, modern Arcadia.  The island itself, embedded in one of Europe’s most beautiful cultural landscapes, with its lush vegetation and an evening mood in the pale light, radiates a paradisaical calm and primal vibrancy.  In this primeval mood, Stefan Szczesny has placed his sculptures – silhouettes of people, black, dark, enigmatic, accentuating the transparence of the light even further.  This statuary of cut out steel is supplemented with hundreds of vases, on which nudes seem to float away in a downright weightless state.  On them we find the archetypal signs and stylistic elements that recall the genesis of art in the cave drawings in Cuevas de Altamira and Lascaux.  Here Stefan Szczesny repeatedly attempts to capture old myths and to bring out what is original and essential in them.  Let’s not forget the tremendous fascination of the Mediterranean landscape where the artist lives and works, the dream of water, and the virility of fire in this landscape of South France, which so strongly resembles that of Greece, and where he puts Arcadian scenes on his vases.  Burned earth, purified by the consuming fire and the water-quenched embers, all this suggests an unfalsified, primeval mood.  Szczesny’s art displays its allegiance to Primitivism, which generated the great artistic transformations of the 20th centuries in the work of Pablo Picasso. Szczesny’s inspiration thereby is more spontaneous, direct, and lighthearted.  He does not re-invent Primitivism, but gives it a modern meaning with his ciphers and abbreviations.  The connecting element between the mainland and the island – the access to Arcadia, so to speak – is floatingly light and transparent.  The artist gave the 138-meter, glass-clad bridge a filigree design with floral elements, fruits, and nudes, so that one can cast a mysterious gaze upon the water, as well as on the island.

The very color symbolism of the iconography that the artist brought onto the glass in a prehistoric black, vegetative green, and aquatic blue recalls an ancient paradisaical mood.  Whoever sets a light foot on this bridge will find his way to the sculptures, to flags waving in a suggested breeze, to the iridescent light of the glass elements with their sharp, crystalline reliefs, and to the haptic vases.

Stefan Szczesny’s great merit is to have subjected Mainau Island to an artistic metamorphosis. The trademark of his art will remain the ceramic vases, the sculptures, the ceramic wall, the glass reliefs, and the newly designed entrance bridge.  Under Szczesny’s sure hand, Mainau has become a Gesamtkunstwerk whose dimensions, artistic pluralism, and diversity of techniques seek their match. To a natural paradise he has added his own, humanly created one.  Stefan Szczesny has invented Mainau Island anew, given it new radiance, and with his artistic elements placed ancient signs, traces of human creativity and design, traces of the greatest human mystery, that of inspiration and its artistic expression.

Prof. Dr. Roland Doschka

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
Shadow sculptures, Grimaud
Shadow sculptures, Tegernsee
A trip to sensuality, Airport Stuttgart
Drupa, Heidelberg

Insel Mainau

Images Érotiques - Kunsthalle, Mannheim
Painting on Photo, Contemporary Fine Arts, Saint Tropez
Schattenskulpturen Villa Belrose

Szczesny -Mediterràneo-La Esthética del Sur, Ses Voltes - Centre d'Exposicions, Palma de Mallorca
Fiesta - ein Fest für die Augen, Gustav-Lübcke-Museum, Hamm
Power your life, Heidelberger Druckzentrum

Szczesny, artrium, Genf
Una fiesta para los ojos, Museum Casa dela Provincia, Sevilla
Kohle für Kohle, Haus Hartmann, Grevenbroich
Ausstellung von Keramiken auf der NogaHilton Roof Terrace anläßlich der Premiere von "Szczesny the Film", Guy Beddington Fine Art Contraste, Galerie du Chateau Suffren, Saint Tropez
Präsentation von Szczsny Mustique, Collecterors Edition und Limited edition bei Christies, London und Galerie Terminus München Galerie Ludorff, Düsseldorf

Painting meets Photography, Museum Villa Dessauer, Bamberg
Luxe, calme et volupté...ou la joie de vivre, Museum La Malmaison, Cannes

Weltkarte des Lebens, 12 großformatige(je 3x8m) Keramikwandbilder im Auftrag des WWF für die EXPO 2000, Hannover
The Kempinski Art Project, Estepona/Marbella
La joie de vivre, Museo del grabado espanol contemporaneo, Marbella
Szczesny , Frankfurter Hypo Centralboden AG

Bilder von der Côte d'Azur, Museum Moderner Kunst, Passau
Szczesny - Glas und Keramik, Keramikmuseum Mettlach
Painting meets Photography, Beck & Eggeling L'Ambassade, St. tropez

Skulpturen & Keramik, Badisches Landesmuseum,Karlsruhe

Kabale und Liebe - ein Bilderzyklus, Galerie Pfefferle, München

Musikerportraits,Philharmonie, Köln

Caribbean Style, Neue Galerie Linz

Portraits, Kunstverein Heidelberg
Portraits, DuMont Kunsthalle, Köln
Kunsthalle Bremen
Arte Contemporanea Hirmer, Greve in Chianti
Museo Communale, Greve in Chianti
Stadttheater Schweinfurt

Idole, Kunstverein Heidelberg

Kunstverein Augsburg
Kunstverein Mannheim
Kunstverein Uelzen, Schloß Holdenstedt

Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn

Metamorphosen, Glyptothek u. Staatliche Antikensammlung, München

Villa Massimo, Rom

Galerie Friedrich und Knust, München

Städtische Galerie im Lehnbachhaus Kunstforum, München

Goethe-Institut, Paris

Lenbachhaus München, Kunsthalle Emden, Kunsthalle Bremen, Kunsthalle Kiel, Museum Linz, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Villeroy & Boch Mettlach , König Pilsener Duisburg, Mannheimer Versicherung Mannheim, Südzucker Stuttgart, Deutsche Bank Köln und Frankfurt/M, Eurohypo Bremen und Frankfurt/M, Stiftung Wild HeidelbergLandesbank Hessen-Thüringen, Hellaba Frankfurt/M, Theater des Westens Dortmund, Anse Chastanet St. Lucia W.I., Kempinski Resort Estepona, Hotel Voltaire Potsdam, Interlutions Köln, Arag Düsseldorf

Information courtesy of the artist.

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