Roswitha van der Zander

Biography, Texts


Roswitha van der Zander
1953 born in Viersen/Germany
1973 Abitur (A-levels high school graduation)
1973/74 studied mathematics at University of Karlsruhe
1974-79 studied sculpture and drawing at art college Karlsruhe studied art science at University Karlsruhe
1973-84 trips to Peru,Bolivien,USA, Egypt, Spain, England, Sweden, Kuba
1989 und 1995 birth of her two sons
2003 work in educational mathematics: "Erziehung zum mathematischen Denken" (book about mathematical development in early childhood with instructions and materials) and teaching material for publisher Dieck.
Roswitha van der Zander has been living as self-employed artist in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany since 2014, previously she had lived in Karlsruhe and Düsseldorf.

"Roswitha van der Zander
Das plastische Werk"
Verlag Murken-Altrogge
Herzogenrath, 2017
ISBN 978-3-935791-51-9

"Roswitha van der Zander"
catalogue, 25 black and white images with works 1977-1984
author's edition, 1984

"Roswitha van der Zander
Sculptures and Drawings
published by Murken-Altrogge
ISBN 3-921801-74-5

Solo Exibitiones:
1982 Gallery Görlach,Walldorf
1983 Gallery 2a ,Viersen
1989 Haus Flehe,Düsseldorf
1990 Neuer Aachener Kunstverein,Aachen
1995 Kamilianerkrankenhaus Mönchengladbach
1996 FBZ Gallery,Düsseldorf
1996 Gallery of Bad Waldsee

Group Exhibitions 1978-2016:
Kreismuseum Syke
Künstlerhaus Karlsruhe
Badischer Kunstverein ,Karlsruhe
Villa Engelhardt,Düsseldorf
Gallery of Viersen
Haus Opherdicke,Unna
Frauenmuseum Bonn
Kreismuseum Syke
Künstlerhaus Karlsruhe
Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
Villa Engelhardt, Düsseldorf
Städtische Galerie Viersen
Haus Opherdicke, Unna
Frauenmuseum Bonn
Galerie plan.d., Düsseldorf
Galerie d-52., Düsseldorf
Galerie Bienchenhof, Hochstadt
Galerie1, Königswinter
BBK-Kunstforum, Düsseldorf
3. André Evard Kunstpreis, Riegel am Kaiserstuhl (exhibition of nominees for the 2013 art award)
Junges Forum Kunst, Siegburg
Kunstverein Neustadt
Herrenhof Neustadt-Mussbach
RAR-Galerie Spijkenisse (exhibition of nominees for the art price Rosenheim-foundation 2016)

From: The erotic dimension of nature – the sculptures and drawings of Roswitha van der Zander

Roswitha van der Zander succeeds in devising high class aesthetics and sensuality with simplest thematic demand. Where details of nature are taken for granted even ignored, her artistic eye commences to evoke utterly miraculous, idiosyncratic, anthropomorphic shapes with intense regard to her own imagination.
It seems, that just the social constraints, under which she regards human existance, upen her up to the scopes of nature. In this manner she has, over years been creating her own cosmos, that gets impetus from the outside world but is still existing perfectly autonomous and comprising closeness. This closeness in conjunction with her exquisitely individual, animated view on the appearences of nature, which only canny peering, an introverted glance is able to detect, find an adequate expression in their definite and harmonious formal structure.
Her artistic work, as it is today, mirrors Roswitha van der Zander’s critical awareness of social and cultural structures.
Her critical differentiating way of looking at the naked male body through a woman‘s point of view has yet been unprecedented in the world of art.
By creating manifold asthetic analogies between botanical and human „sexual shapes“, she does not only enrich the spectrum of European sculpture but also the tradition of erotic art in a surprising, sovereign way.

Dr. Christa Murken

From: Reflections on sculptural work

Since its origins in the middle of the ninety-seventies Roswitha van der Zander’s sculptural work based on reality, without renouncing surrealistic and substracting elements. In doing so she manages to develope a monumental realistic style even in small format that inheres caricature-like, occasionelly even cynical moments.
Within the art at the end of the twentieth century that concentrated on aspects of shape alone and neglected a narration, the terms of content moving into the background, the sculptures of Roswitha van der Zander gain their own status in their explicit significance.
She has developed her own characteristic sculptural style within the artistic range between what has been referred to as „the great real“ and „the great abstraction“.

Dr. Axel Hinrich Murken

The excerpts are taken from the book about Roswitha van der Zanders artistic work, 1981 – 1994, published 1994 by Murken-Altrogge (volume 34 of the studies on history of medicine, art and literature)

About the work - Roswitha van der Zander

In my sculptural works, as well as in my drawings, real, abstract and surreal elements are included, while the motive mainly prescribes the direction.

For the sculptural work I use the traditional materials of a sculptor, such as clay, plaster and wood. However, I do not follow any art historical tradition, neither formally nor with regard to content.
I have rather questioned this tradition since my first sculptural works, which are portraits of men and women. In these figurative works the emphasis lays on the representation of the nude.
Here my view differs greatly from the representation in the traditional European art, which I see embossed through a single-sided perspective of the male, which I oppose with a new, independent female perspective.
Formally, the relief takes the first place, while I experiment with intermediate forms of relief and full sculpture, as for example in the work “Man in the bath“.

Starting out from figurative sculptures, I have devised two ways of abstraction – one by approaching the body closer and making its details the subject, the other by stepping back and looking at the figure in space.

The first path leads from different parts of the body as an organic form to organic forms in general, the part of my sculptural work showing the greatest analogy with my drawings, since these always have organic objects as basis. To this subject of the organic, including the human body, the art historian Christa Murken refers in the “The erotic dimension of nature – the sculptures and drawings of Roswitha van der Zander”, writing: “From the outset her stylistic peculiarity and strength lay in the sensual sculpturing of human organic and vegetable forms and lines, understanding to elicit from them astonishing interludes with predominantly erotic touches” and “By creating aesthetic analogies between plant and human 'sexual forms', she enriches not only the spectrum of European sculpture, but also the tradition of erotic in art in a surprisingly sovereign way”.

The other path leads from the figure into the room, as in “Nude, climbing the ladder”, over the room with staircases and ladders, to works made up of purely geometric shapes. These architectural abstractions are, on the one hand, reliefs whose basic elements are interlocked forms of rectangle, triangle, stairways and steps, on the other hand, full sculptures, mostly on the basic form of the pyramid, which show complex arrangements of steps and slopes.
The full sculptures in particular offer a variety of different views, depending on the viewing angle and lighting. In the work “Two architectural forms”, the relationship between the two parts and the resulting voidage between them is as a further form element.

The areas of work described here are not to be understood as arranged linearly one behind the other, instead they are interpenetrating circles and the fundamental view of the form is always the same. Certain elements of shape like intersections or the way of structuring the elements are not only found in the architectural, but also in the organic forms.
The characteristic concept of the form, which still appears monumental even in small format, is marked by gravity and volume. In spite of its complexity, a concentration on basic forms remains, a severity of forms, which is limited to the essential.

The excerpts are taken and translated from the book “Babylon-Wunder, Wahn und Wirklichkeit, Kunstpreis der Bernd und Gisela Rosenheim-Stiftung 2016”, ISBN 978-3-9813067-6-7

Interview mit Singulart, 2017