Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hug Mundinger: Follow-Up

Hug Mundinger (1925-2005)
(Image from Kunst für alle)

In yesterday's entry on Hug Mundinger, I openly wondered what he meant by his remark on the "multivalenz des raumes und der zeit," which I translated literally as the "multivalence of space and time."

His daughter, Ms. Angela Mundinger-Tausch, sent me an email with a bit of context to her father's remark:
He had written his doctor [thesis] about Picasso and Braque. He studied a lot about cubes. He was interested in Bauhaus. He had met Kahnweiler -- a friend from Picasso. These were the influences he had had whilst studying arts in Stuttgart. The movement, the relations of cubes, the space and time and life within were his themes. He always connected cubes, dimensions and figures in his paintings. These relationships within them fascinated him. Sometimes he drew figures upon his cubes, sometimes he added life-like things to the cubes.

By doing so he more and more thought about what "Time " (Zeit) means. Space also fascinated him What does it mean? "Raum-Zeit-Kontinuum" [i.e., "Space-Time-Continuum"] and so on were many of his themes on his paintings. Then he connected these meanings in his painings.
This information from his daughter suggests to me that Hug was drawing a great deal from the Cubist preoccupation with space and time, which doesn't exclude an interest in modern physics, of course, for Cubism drew upon that as well -- and Hug's fascination with the "Space-Time-Continuum" implies some interest in relativity theory. Yet, perhaps more to the point in understanding Hug's interest is that the Cubists experimented with multiple perspectives in their paintings, and I suppose that such could imply multiple temporal moments as the perspectival eye moves from one point of view to another, all in one single painting (which is what makes Cubist paintings so disorienting).

Hug's daughter has corrected some of what I wrote about her father and also provided more information. First, the corrections:
He was wounded and walked on his own to the hospital . . . . In hosptal in Holland he asked the nurse to tie a pencil to his right fist (we always said fist to his injured arms), and he thus started drawing. (He could not hold it at that time, for the fists had bandges.)
These corrected details provide an even more impressive picture of Hug Mundinger. Imagine walking to a hospital after losing your hands and an eye!

Now, the additional information:
His own daddy was a worker (a plumber) working in the small village Löchgau, having a shop there and repairing everything. Hugo was his only son, and 2 sisters. As he came home from war, everybody said: you can't work any more. But he said: "Now I'll learn and study for I have my head and this is not injured." So he finished A- level in Ludwigsburg and then wanted to start studying arts in Stuttgart. They did not accept him first . . . [but eventually did so.]

He finished his studies in Stuttgart Kunsthochschule, married my mother, studied German in Tübingen (I was born) and became a teacher for arts in Gymnasium [i.e., high school] in Tübingen. He had his hobby everyday, painted every day throughout his life . . . [and developed] different styles.
Hug's daughter also provides a resume of his accomplishments. Among these were the doctoral dissertation alluded to above, "Die Landschaft im Kubismus bei Pablo Picasso und Georges Braque" [i.e., "Landscape in the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque"], and studies and exhibitions in such varied places as Tübingen, Kernen, Stuttgart, Straßburg, Paris, Rome, Perugia, Moscow, Jerusalem, New York, and Ann Arbor.

An impressive man, an impressive life.

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