Work of the week: fresh water breaks stone |

In the 1980s, a song by the Dutch group Bots was very popular in the peace movement in East and West Germany: the song about “fresh water”. “Soft water breaks stone. / It tears apart the heaviest walls / And if we are weak and we are small / We want to be like water / Soft water breaks stone.”

In the 1980s, a song by the Dutch group Bots was very popular in the peace movement in East and West Germany: the song about “fresh water”. “Soft water breaks stone. / It tears apart the heaviest walls / And if we are weak and we are small / We want to be like water / Soft water breaks stone.”

In the “Rieselbrunnen Azzano” by sculptor Armin Forbrig in Chemnitz between the Galeria Kaufhof, which donated the fountain in 2002, and Am Rathaus street, you can watch the water eat away at the stone, slowly change the white Italian marble, discolored, rinsed. It will take a long time for the water to really break the stone – just like most of the changes that people seek for good take a long time and are often not experienced by those who initiated them.

This perhaps fits perfectly with the intentions of sculptor, graphic designer and draftsman Armin Forbrig, who has worked his whole life like a berserk, tried every technique and material possible, even dealt with the computer graphics towards the end. in his life, left a rich job and never a sheet of paper took his mouth. Born May 24, 1937 in Chemnitz, Armin Forbrig trained as a stonemason with his father, obtained his master craftsman’s license in 1959 and took over the family stonemason business in 1964. As a teenager, Armin Forbrig had already received drawing course by Chemnitz artist Rudi Gruner – drawing remained the basis of all artistic work for him until the end of his life. “Plus, everyone should pull their pants down in hand drawing. It is old and ever new wisdom for those who get involved. Hand drawing is the most subtle, intimate of a creator. There is nothing to hide. Fairly naked and you just sit there, “he once said. Forbrig continued to learn: from 1962 to 1965 he studied character design illegally with Albert Kapr in Leipzig, so to speak. In 1968 he was accepted into the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR. He dealt with scriptural graphics, including texts by Else Lasker-Schüler and Christa Wolf, drew relentlessly, crafted cheerful and buxom female reliefs, and, from the mid-1980s onwards, was also turned to political questions. The “turning point”, which he never wanted to call that, was shaped by Armin Forbrig in Chemnitz, and it marked a profound turning point in his life and that of all inhabitants of the GDR. “Nonsense,” he called the term “Wende” in 1991 in a conversation with the “Free Press”, “it was an absolute collapse – with consequences that changed the world.” He neither transfigured the GDR, nor had any illusions about unified capitalist Germany: “The market economy is the law of the wolf. We must fight for the social, ”he said. But also appreciated the freedoms offered by the new society. Until 1990 he had exhibited almost exclusively in his hometown and in Saxony, Forbrig’s works have now reached the whole world: they are now visible throughout Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Spain. and in Japan.

And he was also able to travel to Azzano, the sculptor’s mecca near Carrara, where Italy’s most famous Italian marble is mined, where “every sculptor who is truly a must have been there once in his life”. Some sculptures have caused a sensation, like the block of marble “Wir 91”, which shows two columns meticulously held together by a rope, not only in allusion to the difficult process of bringing the two Germanies together. The depictions of people in all their mighty fragility were also impressive again and again. In January 2004, Armin Forbrig was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the artist died on February 26, 2007 in Chemnitz. Several of his works can be seen in the streets and squares of Chemnitz. And next to the department store, fresh water is still working on the stone – as Bots sang: “It demolishes the heaviest walls / And we are weak and we are small / We want to be like water / The soft the water breaks the stone. “

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