AMPHITHEATRE VIERSEN, GERMANY, 1980


Open air sculptures in Viersen, Germany.

Concrete. Circumference approximately 40m.

 

"Amphithéatre", Ettl's first outdoor installation, was realized on the grounds of the Erasmus-von-Rotterdam Gymnasium and would be used regularly by the artist/teacher and students for performances and happenings.

At the time of its construction, Georg Ettl had already developed a personal vocabulary expressed in previous graphic and sculptural works. Employed here are a range of iconic figures from his repertoire - house, marabou stork and horse-head - the latter being more wooden than real, a merry-go-round horse-head, cut off at it's neck and raised at a stately angle. The figures are repeated like bas-reliefs or antique sculptures, moulded in concrete slabs, placed in a frieze or sometimes set on top of columns. Relatively stoic and attentive in the seating area, animal figures suddenly appear to spring to life.

All these diverse elements are perfectly integrated in their architectural environment, placed intelligently so as to enhance rather than clothe in remnants or decorations thus celebrating the amphitheatre's function rather than its memory.

THE ENTRANCE HALL OF THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING VIERSEN, GERMANY, 1982-1985

Georg Ettl's first wall painting, made for the entrance hall of the regional administration building in Viersen, Germany. Mineral pigments. Height: 3,5m.

 

 

For his first public commission, Georg Ettl sought to relieve the overbearing mass of this concrete-structured entrance hall. Inspired by the architectural representation of the early Italian Renaissance paintings, the artist offers his own lesson in"architectural studies".

After eliminating all figurative and decorative elements, Ettl enlarged every motive, drew and painted them in the same scale in pastel shades and blended them in a geometrically cognent yet totally unreal "ideal city". Although they represent a concentration of artistic quotes from art history, the wall paintings of "The Halle" have little in common with the architectural forms of the 14th and 15th century.

In contrast, the variety of the painted columns refer back in time and offer a variety of color and imitations - marble, wood and mosaic- which subtly strengthen the phenomenon of illusion.

SWIMMING POOL VIERSEN, GERMANY, 1990-1992

 

Private swimming pool in Viersen, Germany 

Walls, pools, bar, benches and partly figurative floor mosaic. Approximately 20nx 30m

 

In 1990, Gerog Ettl was commissioned to design the tiled area in and around a private swimming pool.

The design the artist created utilizes motives from his repertoire - pink flamingoes, dog on a leash, human silhouettes in profile. However, common, ordinary objects are also present chosen mainly for the possibilities of stylization. Despite several designs depicting figures in movement, these elements appear as if frozen, immobile and statue-like. The two flamingoes, for example, are shown bolt upright from leg to neck yet lack a head as if to remind us that these birds are nothing other than images.

The pools tiled grid pattern perfectly complements Ettl's graphic style and use of axonometric projection used for the representation of flexible forms. Allied with the clear, perpendicular lines of the architectural plans, the design produces the effect of a homogenous, airy and spiritual open space.  

MODEL FOR A MONUMENTAL HORSE STEED, 1982

Painted wood, gilded and painted paper mâché, 66 cm high - Photo Hadler/Stuhr

Realisation after the artist's death in memory of the victims of the National Socialist Military Justice

 

MODEL FOR A MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE, 1983

Painted cardboard , hight 47 cm - Photo Hadler/Stuhr

FACADE OF THE CHURCH SAINT ALBERTUS, MÖNCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY, 1985

 

MONUMENT IN MEMORY OF KARL FEGERS,

MÖNCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY, 1990

Granite, steel, acrylic lacquer, gold, hight: 244 cm.  Municipal Music School of Mönchengladbach, Germany

KARLSPLATZ ET MUSEUM COURTYARD KREFELD, ALLEMAGNE,

1991-1992 et 1997

New design for the surroundings of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, Germany

 

 

Following an invitation by Krefeld town council to improve the surroundings of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Georg Ettl initially proposed reviving and replicating the former 19th century area that had once existed in front of the museum. This was considered to be too ambitious by the town council, so Ettl restricted himself to redesigning the museum courtyard.

He laid down a natural stone floor combined with pebble incrusted concrete. Figures discretely emerge from this accessible, horizontal space, not unlike Ettl's early work in the 70's which toyed with minimalism addressing the same issues of volume and relationship to the surroundings but palpably different in the way they exploit potential reference metaphors. Above all, in an effort to open up the courtyard, Ettl replaced the boundary walls by a simple fence surmounted by steel sculptures of crows. Their dark silhouettes lift their heads towards the heavens, are a direct symbol of civic pride for the citizens of Krefeld reminding them that the town's name means "Crow Field" in German.

 

FRIEZE OF 28 HEADS, COURT OF EUSKIRCHEN, GERMANY, 1995

GREAT WHEEL, GARDEN OF GREVENBROICH, GERMANY, 1995

Painted steel structure. Hight: 8 meters - Photo Lecat

 

The wheel symbolises a brown coal shovel. Instead of blades, they are heads eating the soil.  The sculpture intends to raise awareness about the fields of tension between nature and industry.

 

 

HOLY GHOST CHURCH, NEUSS, GERMANY,1991-1999

Interior decoration and painting of the Heilig Geist (Holy Ghost) Church and baptistry at Neuss (Germany). Mural painting, cut-out relief work, enamelled metalplate, windows, organ case, altar, pews, baptismal font, candlestick holders

 

 

Georg Ettl was asked by the abbot of a catholic church built in the 80's to completely redesign the buildings interior, including all furniture and lighting, so as to produce a coherent whole. Ettl accomplished this by using an almost logo-like representation of the human figure - a simple, mechanical profile - cloned and combined in three complex friezes. These  flat or relief figures tell stories from the Gospel with clarity and humour. Their entertainment value comes from the variety of human emotions Ettl manages to extract from his simplified figures - cunning, cocky and cruel, victimised or wounded, the figures always seem enthusiastic, harmonious and sometimes even spellbound. Ettl achieves a certain fluid unity between two- and three-dimensional representations running along side-aisle walls and choir creating a joyous visual symphony of voices recounting stories from the Bible. On the church baptistry walls, Ettl painted nine labyrinths  inspired by different cultures, mythologies or religions thus creating an allegory of the human journey through life with its eternal pursuits and struggles.  

THE HORSES OF OIRON, CHÂTEAU D'OIRON - DEUX-SÈVRES, FRANCE 1992-1993

Mural painting for Château d'Oiron (deux-S7vres, France).

Ground pastel pigments applied by brush to extant wall rendering.

 

 

In response to a public commission from the Ministry of Culture for an exhibition under the title of "Curios & Mirabilia", Georg Ettl was invited to create an artwork for the outside walls of the Gothic gallery wing of the Oiron castle, evoking an original mural by Claude Gouffier, Henri II's equerry, in honour of his horses. One important condition laid down by the Historical monuments Committee was that the artwork must be reversible; i.e. removable without damage to the support.

Georg Ettl got his inspiration from a medieval inscription in the middle of the gallery, boasting that here were the "most renowned" of horses. Following the still visible black marks left by the outline of the former stables, he painted eight heraldic horses directly onto the wall, thus creating a series of playful and ironic variations of his model along the gallery exterior and at the same time physically illustrating his own declarations on the importance of figurative representations in Gothic architecture.

THE APOCALYPSE, SAINT BERNARD, ROMANS, FRANCE, 1997-2000

Six stained glass windows at the West end of Saint Bernard's church at Romans (Drôme, France). Blown glass, lead, tin. Circular window: diameter 2.5m. Remaining windows each 5m high.

 

 

Ettl won a national competition in 1997 to design and - with the help of a master craftsman - make, stained glass windows illustrating passages from the last two chapters of the Apocalypse of saint John.

His literal and edifying interpretation gives weight to the message, a subject of much discussion within the church, and contrasting colours plus vigorous unflinching treatment imbue the work with powerful energy. According to Ettl, the work merely mirrors the profoundly epic quality of this passage in the Bible. At the same time, contemporary parallels are drawn in each of the three windows representing visions of Hell, the devil being portrayed successively in the guise of money, violence and death.

Whilst two of the stained glass windows show Man entering the city of Jerusalem, accompanied by a procession of mankind's suffering and instruments of alienation, the circular window depicts God's descent on earth. Upper segments of the windows show scenes from the new Jerusalem where souls are saved in a riot of exuberant colours and movement, accompanied by the jubilations of attendant angel musicians.

"BATTLE OF THE KINGS", ABBEY OF SAINT-SAVIN SUR GARTEMPE,

"DANCES", CHAPEL OF JEANNE D'ARC, THOUARS, FRANCE, 2000

 

Mural drawing for the refectory at Saint Savin sur Gartempe Abbey (Vienne, France).

Drawing. Length: 30m. Hight: 6,5m. Width of gable wall: 8m.

Mural  sketches, Jeanne d'Arc Chapel in Thouars (Deux-Sèvres, France). Hight: 2,50m

 

 

The "Centre International de l'Art Mural" at Saint Savin Abbey invited Georg Ettl to create a work in keeping with the site to be shown at the abbey between July and December 2000. Situated opposite the "Battle of the Kings" fresco, temporarily removed to the abbey for restoration, Ettl's "Combat des Rois" extends along the length of the wall as a series of line figures. His treatment of the subject betrays an ironic view of the Biblical story relating Abrahams battle with four kings - the struggle of a simple shepherd against royal power. At the base of the vaulting, two kings can be seen hurling insults at one another, each advised by his own "rabble-rouser" counsellor. Foot soldiers, gullible and dutiful, herald the forthcoming massacre with trumpets raised. What at first promises to be a mild skirmish ends up as a bloody fray with soldiers mercilessly killing each other whilst the two opposing kings, comfortably ensconced with smiles on their faces, survey the scene from afar. Systematic portrayal of figures in profile painted against a backdrop of medieval implements and objects (crowns, battlefield tents) may be deliberately reminiscent of Egyptian hieratic illustrations but nevertheless contrives to be modern with its repetition of undressed shop-window-dummy-like figures with no arms. The artist seems to be saying that ancient and modern are perhaps more closely bound than we had previously thought.