Primo gemitowas performed immediately after the transfer to Rome by Othmar Winkler, who arrived in the capital Jan. 6, 1930, at the German Youth quell’ostello in Via dei Pettinari that established his first home, First groan was exhibited at the first exhibition of the young Roman sculptor from Alto Adige, held in June 1931 at the Foreign Press Club.
To note the small sculpture, which belonged to the collection Di Marzo, was Gerardo Doctors, who in his positive review of the shows mentioned under the title of erroneous Firstborn among the “delicate female figures, as slender flower stalks conducted with a molding that looks like a caress “(Chartered 1931). In striking contrast with the expressive power of the works devoted to war, in the female figures of Winkler “matter becomes almost immaterial, it vanishes you can tell, under certain very thin veils of color” (ibid.).
The series, dedicated to women and the theme of motherhood, showed an intimate reflection of Nordic ancestry in the lightweight gothic suppleness of the body, as another reviewer felt the exhibition, Charles Boskowits, you could see the influence of the Austrian expressionist stylization Albin Egger-Lienz, the protagonist of the Munich Secession (see Boskowits 1931). In these works, the production of which will remain intense for all the thirties, the symbolic element is made through the simplicity of forms, combining them perfectly with the interior impulse with a voltage emotional and spiritual closely tied to the vicissitudes of life, the concepts of birth, origin, beauty.
The recovery of religious iconography is characterized by a strong subjective, which addresses the problem of the relationship between divine and human, trying to avoid both over-abstraction of humanity.
The wood is carved with gesture scratched, almost shouted, a gesture also strong that sometimes contrasts with the softness of the movements of sinuous lines. Winkler’s modernity lies in its ability to create evocative forms, which have a direct reference to the figure, especially – as here – the naturalness of gestures, but at the same time open up new thoughts, without the image is loaded with excess or, on the contrary, stripped of every appearance.
Through his sculptures, the artist communicates a story alive as ever, made of human feelings but also need an encounter with the divine. In this work the title that plays with the story of St. Luke about the birth of Jesus, Winkler tells the serenity of motherhood, the joy of being part of a world that moves and grows. Even the base, which is at one with the work, contributes to its mass and its shape to release the emergy contained in the figure. Because what the artist presses in 1930 coime the beginning of the nineties of the twentieth century, it is the inner, subjective intimacy: the inner world – reveals the end exegesis of Richard Turrina – is the content of his works. Alessandra Imbellone Selected bibliography: Carlo Boskowits, Austellung Othmar Winkler, “Alpenzeitung”, Bolzano, June 19, 1931 Gerardo Doctors, Othmar Winkler at the Foreign Press Club, in “Today and Tomorrow”, a. II, n. 43, June 26, 1931 Leo Andergassen, The sacred-themed works by Othmar Winkler and their iconographical, in Between Heaven and Earth: the sacred art of wooden Othmar Winkler 1928-1957. Exhibition catalog (Trento, Diocesan Museum of Trent, 2006), edited by Michael Anderle, Antonio Marchesi, Riccardo Turrina, with contributions from Leo Andergassen [et al.], Trento, 2006, pp.. 29-41 Between heaven and earth: the sacred art of wooden Othmar Winkler 1928-1957. Exhibition catalog (Trento, Diocesan Museum of Trent, 2006), edited by Michael Anderle, Antonio Marchesi, Riccardo Turrina, with contributions from Leo Andergassen [et al.], Trento, 2006 Riccardo Turrina, Expressing human and divine wisdom: the female figure in the works of sacred wood Othmar Winkler, Between Heaven and Earth: the sacred art of wooden Othmar Winkler 1928-1957. Exhibition catalog (Trento, Diocesan Museum of Trent, 2006), edited by Michael Anderle, Antonio Marchesi, Riccardo Turrina, with contributions from Leo Andergassen [et al.], Trento, 2006, pp.. 54-75 Marcella Cattaneo, For a European line. Othmar Winkler, a revolution in the tradition, in Henry Crispolti, Marcella Cattaneo, Othmar Winkler, Milano, Skira, 2007, pp.. 33-85