Into the Light: The Art of Egon Altdorf
sculpture, woodcuts, glass design, poetry
Authors: Judith LeGrove, Graham Ward, Deborah Lewer, Dorothea Schöne, Julia Kelly, Elaine Morley, Nicolette David, David Jasper, Ulrich Knufinke, Arie Hartog
Translators: Judith LeGrove and Deborah Lewer
Into the Light is the first English language study of the German artist, Egon Altdorf (1922–2008), whose encounter with British sculptors at the Unknown Political Prisoner competition in 1953 informed a unique body of sculpture, woodcuts, stained glass, poetry, and designs for Wiesbaden’s new synagogue (1966).
From sculpture to woodcuts, glass design to poetry, the work of German artist Egon Altdorf crossed boundaries. ‘Making culture behind the barbed wire’ was how Altdorf endured wartime captivity, inspiring a life dedicated to art that was innovative, spiritual and redemptive. Exhibiting in London alongside sculptors Barbara Hepworth, Lynn Chadwick and Reg Butler at the Unknown Political Prisoner exhibition (1953), he adopted an increasingly abstract approach, rooted in Biblical symbolism yet embracing different faiths, notably in designs for the outstanding interior of Wiesbaden’s new synagogue. Exploring Altdorf’s work in ten interdisciplinary chapters, this book illuminates the still-overlooked contribution of artists who reshaped postwar existence: the lost generation.