One week after we posted Anni Albers words about “listening to the materials”, we found this quote by sculptor Ulrich Rückriemon on the great art blog Rolu:

“my basic principle is: i start from an idea and from the material. it is not fixed which of the two comes in the first place. for me, sculpture begins before design. when i speak of sculpture i think of material, form, mass, process and the location.”

Rückriemon’s is a slightly different approach than Albers’ perhaps; it also requires the ability to LISTEN…to hear and follow ideas.

We view listening as a practice, something that might not come easily at first. It can be like identifying a sound in the distance…gradually, through practice, it becomes clearer and clearer, as we cultivate our ability to hear …

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

 Karl Rudiger/Picassa

Photo of sculpture by Karl Rudiger/Picassa


Related post: improvising as listening

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

2 replies on “improvising as listening pt.2

  1. You’ve reminded me of a quote from Louis Kahn who is well known for listening to the materials of his art:

    “To express is to drive.
    And when you want to give something presence,
    you have to consult nature.
    And there is where Design comes in.

    And if you think of Brick, for instance,
    and you say to Brick,
    “What do you want Brick?”
    And Brick says to you
    “I like an Arch.”
    And if you say to Brick
    “Look, arches are expensive,
    and I can use a concrete lintel over you.
    What do you think of that?”
    Brick says:
    “… I like an Arch””

    See his incredible use of the humble brick in the National Assembly Building in Dhaka Bangledesh:

  2. Hi, Thanks for this terrifically wonderful quote. I’m afraid Google won’t let us look at your link. But I found a nice riff on Louis Kahn here. If you have a direct link to an image you like, please post it for us to look at.

    When I first started ‘the improvised life’, my sister advised me to “ask it what it wants to say”…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *