Fred Licht, Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice - 2007

Heilfurth and Siebel Exhibition "The faces speaks" in Pistoia (excerpts)


…  The style of Heilfurth is closely related….to the tradition of sculpture of German Expressionism (Kokoschka) …Heilfurth draws from a constant in German art, which is the capacity to separate the body from the head, the physical from the spiritual, in order to reach for the tortured experience of fearful isolation of humanity.
…The expression of the face is completely identical with the true expression of the soul only in those moments of ecstasy or desperation…such as that which the heads experience, that Heilfurth insets into each of his blocks of stone.
…In the sculptures of Heilfurth, the form (and these are forms free of any idealization) creates a unity with the material, which surrounds it. The prisoner is inseparable from his prison.
Extremely interesting is the difference between the heads, which are presented as wall stones and those, which are worked into the blocks. In the former, we see the heads on a horizontal axis. This is what we are accustomed to when we find ourselves in conversation with another individual. In the latter case, we are looking down upon them on a vertical axis … we are looking metaphorically and literally “into the depths”. Are we looking through a fissure in a grave? Or are we seeing, like Narcissus leaning over the water, the mirror image of our own face? Who of us has not at some time worn a mask similar to those heads of Günther Heilfurth?




Massimo Durante, University of Turin - 2007

Difficoltà della Bellezza e bellezza della Difficoltà (excerpts)


In his sculpture Günther Heilfurth does not wish to eliminate the material of the block of granite to obtain an image as in the Greek tradition. It is discovered  in the material and  comes to light through  a slow process. This hard material, thought of being the opposite of spirituality, here guards and supports such spirituality. Günther Heilfurth searches the ultimate affirmation in the heart of negation.
In the sculptures we meet a face along an axis horizontal and vertical. We meet it like an interviewer, who questions and brings back to us our responsibility. We meet it as something in our power but which returns to us from the depths of a mirror our image deformed. In the face excavated from the granite a dark and unfathomable dimension,  an involvement of man with the evil to which one must also testify.

 



Elisa Giannini - 2008

Progetto FACING (excerpts)

 

Gunther Heilfurth works by subtraction. He excavates what seem almost the negatives of a face out of black African granite, or rather, through his sculpting technique, the qualities of fullness and emptiness alternate, overlapping each other upon a single face, which thus becomes a simultaneous offer and denial of the self, both an expansion and implosion, intermittently assuming mythological or playful aspects that are always imbued with mystery. In fact, mystery is the predominant feature of this artist’s vision; cavities as deep as tunnels insinuate themselves within the granite blocks, which retain their outer shape as solid prisms, in some cases emphasized by straight grooves. Whether deliberately or not, the wind and sea are powerfully evoked through the sensations elicited by granite, which seems to have been shaped over the course of centuries by the forces of nature. Just as the cliffs along a coastline or the rocks of a mountain cliff sometimes casually assume anthropomorphic configurations. The human face here becomes a tortured crossroads of curves and angles, a kind of enigma, whose expressiveness is left to the spectator to read (not only visually, given that the pieces also possess strong tactile qualities).