Holger Walter’s monumental stone sculptures are based on an elemental architectural vocabulary: asymmetrical leaning obelisks with a sliver of light between them; ovoid-shaped voids, their thick stone frames broken and open; deep-black zigzagging forms. The artist trained as a stone mason specializing in church restoration and has created altars for evangelical churches in Germany. His sculptures reside in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, and Ettlingen, as well as in Japan and Korea. One tall, vertical altar set on a circle of what appears to be crushed stone was erected before its surrounding chapel (a bell-like asymmetrical dome) was even designed. Walter prefers to work in lava, a raw, porous material; he mixes its strong textures with smoother, semi-geometric surfaces. He finds the lava in quarries in Vulkaneifer, a volcanic region in Germany.
Born in 1968, Walter began his sculpture studies in Karlsruhe. A one-year fellowship took him to Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1997–98. A two-month travel period in Egypt followed in 1990.
Walter’s book is hard to find, but his stone sculptures, drawings, prints, biography, and an essay on his work by Hans Gercke (“Discovering Hidden Space: On the Ex-cavations of Holger Walter”) are all on his Web site. Gercke’s essay discusses the artist’s respect for the histories and properties of stone and his intuitive process for forming sculpture. Other essays in the book are by Ursula Merkel, Thomas Erne, Helmut A. Müller, and Barbara Schmid.
—Jan Garden Castro
Holger Walter Aus _ Grabungen
Galerie Alfred Knecht, 80 pages