Type face of the exhibition WE WRITE INSPIRED - WRITING INSPIRES
by Jean Larcher
(J. Larcher is member and guest lecturer of theSchreibwerkstatt Klingspor Offenbach
2003 in the Summer School, several workshops - between 1993 and 2000.)
W O R D S A N D T H O U G H T S O N T H E A N N I V E R S A R Y
A N D F R O M T H E G R E A T E X H I B I T I O N
It all started with an idea from Karlgeorg Hoefer for conveying the pleasure of
writing to a larger group of interested people with the intention of igniting
the same enthusiasm he experienced himself during contact with calligraphers
in the USA. Now, 25 years later, after so much undiluted joy in writing, the
Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor has celebrated its anniversary with an exhibition in
the Klingspor Museum and has taken the opportunity to look back on the development
of that first idea.
Two themes formed the motto for this exhibition. Namely, writing and movement
– as an active process, an activity and then also as a passive experience.
Writing has many facets. Authors write novels typed into a laptop, women write
shopping lists of careful legibility for their partners and letters once written
between lovers have now turned into coded SMS messages created with a
fleeting touch of a thumb on the keypad.
And, as is often the case, when they are not writing as authors, calligraphers
mostly write quite differently from those scribes mentioned above.
The exhibition displayed the complete range of the calligrapher’s work – from
tidily written rows of letters with a “printed“ look and freely designed texts
through to expressive, often pictorial word formations, in black and white or
colour, on paper, canvas or in the form of books or three-dimensional objects.
Often there is admiration for the very skill and dexterity of a writer or the low
legibility of a work is criticised.
But here, one forgets that it is the expression that matters which is in turn
the result of the movement actively employed during writing. It is undecided
whether this is caused by actual physical application or by internal movement due
to the transfer of an appropriate text content.
The other, passive side of this motto is the movement with which the writing
advances the writer. Put differently, writing proves to be an excellent means of
educating, training and sensitising the eye, i.e. in particular, the vision.
Leonardo da Vinci put vision on a par with recognition. According to Hans-Joachim
Burgert, the graphical thought promoted in this way determines to a certain
extent the grammar of design. In this respect the artistic, creative design with
marks, which we might call letters, is an activity that contributes to the retention
of our graphical culture. And taken in terms of characterising our humanity, we
can say even our whole culture.
As a form of writing, calligraphy moves the external world, i.e. it influences it.
You can see this at any exhibition of this genre. But at the same time it
moves our inner being, acting on our emotional balance and energy. Perhaps
this goes some way to explaining the recent increasing trend of writing by
hand. Constant practice, without which writing would not be possible, invigorates
the human organism and increases its resistance to external effects and
even helps, so they say, against ageing.
Karlgeorg Hoefer once maintained that all calligraphers would live a long time –
exceptions, such as Villu Toots, prove this rule. He, the founder, remained associated
with the Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor well into old age and gave it impetus. It
was 12 years ago that Karlgeorg Hoefer died aged 87, but his idea lives on. His
legacy is now maintained and augmented by more than 200 members.
Chairman of the Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor Offenbach
P.S.: The exhibition catalogue contains illustrations of the members' works which
present many of the above sentiments in a variety of calligraphic forms.
PICTURES FROM THE OPENING CEREMONY
Otmar Hoefer im Klingspor Museum: Im Kaminzimmer wurden während der
Ausstellung auch Werke seiner Eltern gezeigt.
E C H O
The anniversary exhibition WE WRITE INSPIRED - WRITING INSPIRES
in the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach has now ended.
The committee of the Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor would like to take this opportunity
of warmly thanking the many visitors, most of whom travelled a substantial distance
to visit the exhibition. Their extremely positive feedback confirms that the anniversary
exhibition was a very successful presentation of our Schreibwerkstatt and
furthermore that the members' works were able to show the wide variety of
calligraphy at a high and skilfully respectable level.
Our heartfelt gratitude also for the many good wishes which have reached us
from all over the world for the anniversary and exhibition.
The patronage of Hessen's Minister President, Volker Bouffier, for the
anniversary and the event as well as the presence of the Mayor of Offenbach,
Horst Schneider, and the Manager of the Office of Culture, Ludo Kaiser,
at the opening ceremony bequeathed a great honour on our institution.
The success of the whole exhibition is thanks to Professor Gottfried Pott
and his team in support of Dr. Stefan Soltek, the Manager of the Klingspor Museum.
The invitations for the opening ceremony were accepted by almost all founding
members, companions and guests of honour. Their appearance shows respect and
indicates the importance, tradition and also the forward-looking attitude of
the Schreibwerkstatt Klingspor Offenbach in promoting international calligraphy.
In addition to the exhibits and the calligraphic works from the members, the
works of the founder of the Schreibwerkstatt, Karlgeorg Hoefer, and his wife,
Maria Hoefer, were the focus of attention and received much acclaim from the visitors.
(Word has got around: The catalogue is still much in demand even after the
exhibition. With over one hundred illustrated exhibits, welcoming texts, themes
for the anniversary and inspiration for the calligraphy of today, the book represents
a wide spectrum with enduring value.)