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Joachim Propfe

Joachim  Propfe

Joachim Propfe

Braunschweig, Germany

Calligrapher, Artist, Diplom-Designer

About Calligraphy

To my mind, calligraphy is a fusion of two different art forms, literature and fine arts.  Calligraphy is not a purely interpretational art, like music, for example. One should never consider the words alone, but always in the context of the total image. The composition of this image is the broader artistic goal. Naturally, the calligrapher usually cannot know if the author would agree with his interpretation. The same is true for musicians. Likewise, an author usually has no knowledge of how his work is interpreted by his readers. The calligrapher designs a personal interpretation of a literary work.

At first I was fascinated by the shapes and proportions of the letters. I was fascinated, too, by the slowness and concentration with which one writes. I felt the inherent subtle rhythm of the letters, hidden in the line-up of the symbols.  Letters can have so much beauty.  If they are not used for their intended purpose of communication, they are ornaments. The meaning of words is very important to me. Doing this work, new approaches to literature have opened for me. Without calligraphy, this would never have happened. The relative slowness of the writing of the words makes possible for me a better, deeper understanding of the text. The key to finding the possibilities of interpretation is here. With further work, the possibilities are condensed and distilled down to one or two ideas.

The legibility of the text is very important to me, as well. It is essential, because, otherwise, the observer would be shut out from the literary meaning. The text, the basis of the work of art, would have to be read elsewhere in order to be understood. The calligraphy would be just an abstract illustration of the text. To be sure, it is not my intention that the text be as easily grasped as a newspaper headline. After a little while’s concentration, in which the reader has entered into the writing, he should be able to recognize the text word by word. A diminished legibility, with its concomitant slow speed of reading, provides the reader with some time to think. In this way, the viewer of a work of calligraphy has a possibility of a new understanding of a text. Each viewer approaches it anew.

Author works

Truth (Wahrheit)

Texts from Demokrit, Aristoteles, Leibniz, Feuerbach, Goethe, Schiller, Lichtenberg, La Mettrie, Hebel, Berger.
Acrylic on canvas, 140x100 cm, 2009

Gesellschaft (Society)

Excerpts from works by: Cicero, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Michel de Montaigne, Adolph Knigge and Thomas Hobbes.
Acrylic on canvas, 120x140 cm, 2007

Schreibkunsträume Kalligraphie im Raum (Calligraphy in the Room)

126 pages, 200 color illustrations, dimensions: 25.8x28.6 cm, hardcover, German Callwey, 2005
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Words Of Wisdom
For the largest part ill handwriting in the world is caused by hurry.
(Lewis Carroll)