Diving, Dancing, Climbing: The Dynamic Human Forms of Sculptor Rainer Lagemann
With locations in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach, DTR Modern Galleries are notable for their reach and clout—the galleries house an impressive privately-held collection of contemporary and modern works. From the likes of Picasso and Dalí to Haring and Hirst, DTR Modern represents an impressive range of works by acclaimed artists. Which is what makes it particularly interesting to hear which artists they consider up and coming. You heard it here: it’s Rainer Lagemann and his signature stainless steel sculptures of the human form.
When observing Lagemann’s work, it’s perhaps unsurprising to learn that the German artist started out his career as an interior architect. Such technical skill seems prerequisite to the task of creating sculptures like Winning III (2014) and the elegant Diving (2013)—each portrays a human form in motion and is composed entirely of cut metal squares. The process is complex: Lagemann first makes a life-sized plaster cast of a model’s form, then positions the hollow metal pieces onto it, placing them in various directions before welding the piece together. As the artist himself aptly says, the resulting sculptures “elicit both the strength and delicacy of the body.” Indeed, the square shape, as well, is significant to Lagemann; its four sides represent the intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional dimensions of the human being.
Lagemann’s work has been featured in Detroit Home and New England Home magazines, but the sculptures bear the greatest impact when viewed in person. DTR Modern’s collection includes bold neon-hued sculptures that practically glow in the dark, like the recently completed Skull (2014), and ethereal pieces like Diver Damion (2014), a figure that appears to be peacefully sky-diving through the air. Some of the finest examples of Lagemann’s unique sculptures are on permanent view at the Baker Museum in Naples, Florida, where lithe steel figures appear to be diving and flying through the air under the museum’s glass dome. The artist also left a playful stamp on the nation’s capital: Sean, Sara, Jess (2013–2014) is a trio of metal sculptures that appear to be climbing up the outside of the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C.
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