On May 20th, 2017 Pashmin Art Gallery Hamburg celebrated the 80th birthday of the established artist Helga Kreuzritter with the vernissage “The world of Helga Kreuzritter – Five Decades of Sculpting and Painting”.
In the following is an excerpt from the speech on the opening of the exhibition by the art critic Dr. Peter Schütt.
Helga Kreuzritter’s artistic work is characterized by an ingenious variety of forms. It includes caricatures, drawings, paintings, relief works, collages, pastels, gouaches, watercolors, colored inks, material pictures, montages, objects, graffiti, bronzes, aluminum paintings, sculptures and installations. The transitions from one art form to the other are fluid. In a manner reminiscent of Beuys, she creates mixed media works of incomparable originality. What she creates is almost all made of scrap metal. She uses waste materials such as old wood, tree roots preserved in the bog, beach goods and random finds from the roadside, boards and slats, plywood panels, ceramic and glass fragments, plastic waste, newspaper clippings, paper banknotes, plexiglass, aluminum and rusty iron. She reassembles dead fabrics and brings them back to life. She is an alchemist, a master of artistic recycling, she turns scrap into silver and gold.
Despite the sharpness of the critical and satirical view, Helga Kreuzritter’s artworks are never evil, or even malicious. On the contrary, they are permeated with love and mercy, love of people, animals and nature. The pollution and destruction of the natural environment was on her artistic agenda very early in the 1970s. From the very beginning, her attention has been on the animals. They are not humanized and not trivialized, but represented as living beings of their own kind, on an equal footing with members of the human race.
Helga Kreuzritter addresses her fellow men with the same attention, sometimes with a wink and sometimes with a gentle irony. Her portraits of people – they affect far more women than men – always have a personal connection. When she puts others in the picture, she means a little bit of herself. That’s why her lust for ridicule is never inhumane.
Even if the first impression appears to be deceptive: Helga Kreuzritter’s work is by no means based on a pessimistic worldview and exaggerated fears of doom. If you take a closer look, you are surprised by the abundance of positive signals. Hope is a basic motif of her entire artistic work. She wants to encourage her viewers to embark on new shores. She takes her signs of hope from seafaring. She equips her ships with towering sails, she breaks into boundlessness with a forest of masts, and repeatedly she sends boats out into the open sea as a beacon of hope. She would like to take us, the viewers and admirers of her works, on a journey into the fantastic realm of her art.