Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hug Mundinger Remembered Again

Hug Mundinger Sketching Self-Portrait
(Image from Kunst für alle)

About a year and a half ago, I posted an entry on Hug Mundinger, an artist whom I met while living in Tübingen, Germany, where I was conducting research for my doctoral dissertation and teaching English on the side to support my studies.

Hug was one of my older, private students.

I was again reminded of him because his daughter, Ms. Angela Mundinger-Tausch, read my blog entry and generously offered to provide more stories of her father, who was -- as she put it -- "a great personality." He certainly was that! He was humorous, irrepressible, open, and amazing -- especially amazing, for if you look closely at the photo above, you'll see that he is sketching his 'self-portrait' without any hands . . . and despite having only one eye. How? I once asked him:
He told me that he had been a young soldier in World War II and that a grenade had landed and exploded in front of him. When he regained consciousness some minutes later, his hands were missing, and his eye was hanging out of its socket.

American soldiers found him and put him in a military hospital for treatment. During his recovery, he made the decision not to give up his dream of becoming an artist, so he practiced his drawing by holding a pencil tightly between his two wrists and sketching that way.

"But how do you perceive dimensions?" I asked him. "Isn't everything flat with just one eye?"

"I stand like this," he explained, standing in one place, "then like this," he added, having shifted himself slightly to one side.

He had taught himself to see in perspective by using his one eye to look at the same object twice, from two different positions -- something that the rest of us do automatically by virtue of our two sound eyes.
The image above also includes a biographical 'sketch' that touches on these points:
Selbstporträtmalerei in jeder form hat mich schon als jugendlicher begeistert. selbst nach der amputation beider unterarme und dem verlust des rechten auges durch eine kriegsverletzung hat mich die malerei nie losgelassen. ab ca. 1969 entwickelte ich eine eigenständige mal-und spritztechnik: multivalenz des raumes und der zeit. ab dieser zeit widmete ich mich auch großformatiger räumlicher darstellungen wie z.b. "DIE GROßE ZEITMASCHINE" (360x560 cm). während der beschäftigung mit derart großen formaten bis hin zum "UNENDLICHEN BILD" habe ich mich immer auch kleineren formaten gewidmet und viele verschiedene techniken benutzt z.b. lithographie aktmalerei aquarell und sprayfarben.
Translated, this more or less reads:
Paintings of self-portraits in any form have inspired me since my youth. Even after the amputation of my lower arms and the loss of my right eye through a war injury, painting did not abandon me. Starting about 1969, I developed my own independent painting and spraying technique: multivalence of space and time. Since then, I have devoted myself to large-scale spatial depictions such as "The Great Time Machine" (360 x 560 cm). During my engagement with this sort of large format, up until the time of my "Unending Image," I have also always dedicated myself to smaller formats and used many different techniques, such as lithography, nude portraits, watercolor, and spray painting.
That's my rough, rushed translation, so feel free to improve on it. Perhaps somebody could explain what Hug meant by "multivalenz des raumes und der zeit," which I've translated literally as "multivalence of space and time" -- an instance of my understanding the words but not the larger meaning.

I'd link to more colorful online illustrations of Hug Mundinger's art, but the links that I've received from his family don't seem to work from here in Korea, so all that I can provide are links to black-and-white images on the same website as the one above.

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At 6:37 AM, Blogger Hathor said...

"multivalence of space and time"

An instance of time and space is what he sees and paints. The object become most accessible in this state.

This is probably over analyzed.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps you're correct.

I'm thinking of asking his daughter if she knows.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(F)rom what I gather, hathor is most on.

I seem to gather that it might be an "instant", taking from that Old Greek that there is, "no such thing as motion".

As I understand it, at any point in time, the object occupies one space and only one space. I kind of understand the string or multi-dimensional.

From that perspective: I might seem to agree. (I'm uncertain that I comprehend.)


At 10:16 AM, Blogger jeanie oliver said...

I speak no German besides, "Gesundheit".(if that counts) but I'm using this as one of my "inspire me" keepers.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I think that I'll just have to see what Mundinger's daughter explains . . . if she has time.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:27 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jeanie, I'm glad to be of service.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"JK, I think that I'll just have to see what Mundinger's daughter explains . . . if she has time."

I expect you'd be better served by this. Hawking's thing confuses me. Plus there's the problem of the other guys. Too many string and instant things. Not to mention my forthcoming and second interview with Fulton County Hospital's first Administrator,in Alabama-many items to clear up.

I admit I could be wrong, being in or from the instant-and considering tends to get one into inconsistencies.

I read an article in your former local paper which had a few: well self-servings.


At 4:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I've never understood string theory and all those multiple dimensions all curled up, waiting to be unfurled.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jeffery,

JK wanting to figure out something about HD. Guessing about 1970-74, ol' HD got his rear end kicked pretty good at the 62 Dairy Freeze. That night he went to the ER at FCH.

Dr. D and Dr. A sewed him up but that's not the thing, at the time there was a rag called "The Sharp County Citizen." I've managed to get hold of subsequent issues but not the issue of Dr. D as the "Sharp Co Citizen" accused him.

There was a recent article in the Salem paper that seemed to give every credit for medical advancement in your hometown to Dr. A. I've done a recent search and found that Dr. D seems to have been the guy that "gave" the property for FCH as well as the first Arnold/Ducker clinic.

I have found that Doc D had surgery experience when he first arrived and Doc A had to return to UAMS for same. Both graduated in the UAMS class of '58. Doc D had US Navy experience in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam (well it's on his grave). Dr A. (so far as JK has found had no military experience).

Dr D's Aunt, Sarah Elizabeth Ducker married a feller named Roe in December 1904 (incidentally he was an MD and they had a son who became known as "Preacher Roe": I believe there's a ballpark named for Elwyn in Salem). This can be checked here:


Anyway, I need a confirming source for the person accusing Dr D as he was portrayed in the "Sharp Citizen" I'm simply doing fact-checking. As it seems now, one Doctor is being relegated to the background.

His son apparently accused a basketball player of placing him in the ER to blackmail the Doc for something the Doc would not do.

Any assistance would be appreciated. Not that the son was without guilt, but apparently his Dad nor he deserved the "Sharp County Citizen." As portrayed.


At 5:51 AM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

I'm glad you posted about this man again, Jeffery. He...as your posts describe...is an inspiration.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hug Mundinger was certainly that, Daddio, and I'm glad that his daughter contacted me with more details.

Jeffery Hodges

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