"The new lyric of the gods "

Cultural intuition and formal synthesis in the sculpture of Gilbert Kruft

"The forms of divine power are diverse,
and the gods accomplish many things, unexpectedly…
Euripedes, Alkestis, 1159-1160
The questions of form are, as acknowledged, conceptual decisions in the essential questions of ideological content that show the seriousness of thought in the synthesis of aesthetic principles and its worldview. As audience and critics are well awere, Kruft's sculptural language form has a personally founded and persuasive tradition that does not allow itself to be bound by the limitation of a school or an art trend. Fot this artist, the foundamental is the obligation to perfection in the details and the widest possible freedom of interpretation in the concept; a process which emerges in the work, free from the confines of a particular artistic direction.

The choice is not between figurative, non-figurative, surreal, imperialism, symbolism, abstract, conceptual or primitive. The choice is between anatomical competence and incopetence, the knowledge of proportion and its original meaning, the consciousness of the cultural tradition, unbroken for hundred of years, and an unconscious mixture of superficials solutions, improvised techniques and unmotivated experimentalism. To be able to create, one must, along with the pre-required natural talent, to be "able to see", primarily "able to understand", or even better, "want to understand".

Confronted with the gods, Kruft reacts as always with the earnest intention of wanting to understand; the same spirit that provided the soul for the unusual sculptural handworkers of ancient time.

Long used to researching the dynamic line direction in anatomy, the realistic form movement, the rapresentation of the human being in its spatial appearance in its final synthesis, reduced to its utmost in the necessary forms, where more, with its baroque and rethoric, and less, would be barren simplifications instead of interpretation, Kruft intuitively seeks to grasp and to express the lines of potency of the divine appearance.

He as therefore created sculptures not just through the removal of materials, as with Michelangelo's desire to liberate the prisoner from the marble, not through the sole addition of armor as in the creative process of great ceramics, but rather through the individualization of the internal strengths of the divine concept in general and for each of the individual divinities by making the necessary symbolism visible, which, on the one hand, becomes the form concept and, as a consequence, the tale of the mythological entanglement that every Greek divinity representation presupposes.

The mighty arms of Zeus or Poseidon are (not will be) also lightning and tripod, and simultaneously solve a static or dynamic problem of the sculpture and play on the divine enigmatic quality that exists (not that will exist). Apollo's bow is simultaneously the appearance of the arc of the sun, the productive base of illuminating virility, the energy of the perfect weapon and space that creates musical tones, a synthetic combination of symbolic motifs, from which condensation derives the divine diversity. " The forms of divine power are diverse, and the gods accomplish many things, unexpectedly", as Euripides said and thereby teaches us that it is impossible to determine all of the sides of divine existence. The other symbolic additions of this sculpturing cycle have the same function. They are not simple out fitting of the form, but instead they throughly interpret the divine substance.

And so, for these reasons the events and phenomena are symbolically (and therewith, synthetically) naratted, as they can only be relayed with difficultis in words. The double-nature of Dionysus, the God of suffering who teaches life, the God of Joy who teaches death; Demetrius'annual cycle of vegetation and entreating disappearance of Spring; the wild but intensive psychic consent between hunter and game in Artemis and the power of the lunarcycle upon which the femininity leans; the consciousness in the mind of Athena, suffering over humanity; the loveliness of Aphrodite's youthful body, without a face because the precious heart of her form, the mysterious mussel, should thrust out into the foreground without distraction, but also through the doves formed in a circle indicating pure love.He has an interpretative intention without ever being able to maintain the flow of the swinging and simultaneously striving to break away from one another lines of Hermes, the bringer of messages, health, seed and money; or the conniving, tortured face of Hephaestus,supported by the instrumental fire that he controls, giving work a purpose, even coming out of the emptiness of the surrounding space, as forme the same emptiness and surrounding space Aries comes, who, although using the devices created by Hephaestus, demonstrate the unavoidable destiny: we can flee neither from the urge to create, not from the impulse to destroy. Eventually mysterious, but in priciple accessible is the solemn and silent presence of Hera; is she unifying with violence, or divise, always with violence? Does she envy or does she condemn? Has she selected the guilty, or does seh protect them in the marital noose formed by her own body, the Ying and Yang of human existence, the inseparable polarity, without which neither man or woman can exist?

As one sees, these sculptures must be seen in conjunction with one another, without separating the one from the other. They are a complete cycle, a totality divided into twelwe aspects, like the circle of the signs of the zodiac in the heavens to which they have been attributed for an incomprehensible period of time. Whoever follows only one god runs the risk of misunderstanding the others. A compelled individual aspect of the divine creates no heavenly appearance, but rather only demonic convulsions.

The complex totality provides this work with its meaning. These are not twelve individual sculptures, but a single one, a large room sculpture comprised of twelve forms, the twelve stars of the zodiac. Altogether they affect every destiny and vary their influence in accordance with their own opposing positions in dialectic relation, also in the preparation and intention of those who indulge in the observation of their representation.

Yes, one discovers here a small philosophical secret in this aesthetic work of Kruft's: we are attendant in an alchemistic effect, not solely as a result of the control of fire and metal, or of the research of hidden symbolism in the forms created and their congruence in presenting gifts to the attentive visitor, the respectful and cultivated seeker.

"The gods accomplish many things, unexpectedly..."

docente di Lettere Classiche, Bologna, dicembre 1998