Ghisha Koenig – Machines Restrict their Movement

This is an exhibition in Gallery 4 (basically a small room) at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds . There are 7 small scale sculptures (up to ~ 12″ high with bas-reliefs up to ~ 30″) mostly in bronze with some terracotta and plaster plus a long roll of detailed drawings on paper labelled ‘Tentmakers 1977’ .

Calendar Shop I 1970

Teabreak 1972

The Tentmakers 1979

When looking up more information about her and her work I found that a lot of her works are listed under a variety of titles as well as dates – which last could be casting dates of course . I have used the information on the labels .

The title is a quotation from her on her observation of industrial workers . She said that even at rest they retained the bodily stances required by the machines they usually worked with . This is reasonably described as a humanistic view but it isn’t very historic . Even pre-industrially people had characteristic body positions and injuries according to their work . And machines pre-date the industrial era anyway . It sounds a little romantic but doesn’t look it . Clearly the works are based on her detailed drawings and are excellent 3d renderings of people in an everyday context . Particularly with the small scale they remind me of nothing so much as Ancient Egyptian tomb figures eg .

Model Carpentry shop ~ 2000 BCE

This is a very pleasing exhibition and is on until August 13 .


About rukshanaafia

Ceramic & textile artist
This entry was posted in Figurative sculpture images, other artists. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ghisha Koenig – Machines Restrict their Movement

  1. Kathy Bergen says:

    I love what I see of Koening’s mini sculptures. I would love to examine them up close in person. The quote that you shared of hers…that even in rest, humans maintain the stance or pose that their bodies were in from working with the machines….when I read this, I thought of dead trees…that even in death, they maintain the gestures and beauty of their lives. I have not heard of Ghiska Koening…and will look her up.

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