Carved Figures Emerge From Wooden Beams That Were Once in a Historic German Palace

Wood Carved Sculptures

Some creatives work with raw materials that are always on hand, but not German artist Christian Kosmas Mayer. It was decades before the wood he'd eventually use in his sculptures would be unearthed. In 2012, pine trunks were recovered after the demolition of Berlin’s Palast der Republik, a symbol for the German Democratic Republic that lasted from 1949 to 1990. Mayer purchased the wood at auction. Its historical significance not lost on him, the beams he had just bought once supported the Prussian Berlin Palace for hundreds of years—1443 to 1918. With this in mind, Mayer fashioned the trunks into figures that emerge from the raw wood. It's as if with his carving, the artist unearthed these figures. And in a way, he has.

The carved figures have historical significance. Their style and poses are based on the photos of the atlas figures that once decorated the stairwell of the Prussian Berlin Palace. Mayer’s recreations are smaller than the originals and have a rustic aesthetic. Although not exactly the same, the act of recreation is his way of “memorializing an erased and disappearing past” to be reborn in a new way—all while maintaining ties to what was from long ago.

Mayer’s work appears with artist Andreas Fogarasi in an exhibition titled Mi. It is now on view through November 6, 2020, at Vintage Galéria in Budapest, Hungary.

German artist Christian Kosmas Mayer carved wooden figures from beams that came from the Prussian Berlin Palace.

Wood Carved SculpturesWood Carved Sculptures

Their style and poses are based on the photos of the atlas figures that once decorated the stairwell of the palace.

Wood Carved SculpturesWood Carved SculpturesWood Carved Sculptures

Mayer’s work appears with artist Andreas Fogarasi in an exhibition titled Mi.

Wood Carved SculpturesWood Carved Sculptures

Christian Kosmas Mayer: Website 

All photos via BIRÓ Dávid. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Christian Kosmas Mayer.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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