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Everything must be just right

Lights that move in the dark, leaving lines of light on our retina, fleeting moments in our memory. Such images inspire Christian Rudolph. He says such elements of light appear in his mind, and he tries to capture these and give them form. They must be circling, swerving lights that he sees before him, lights that separate, meet again, conquer space and, finally, gently perish through their own movement.

Christian follows them with his creativity, with his profession, with his materials, iron and steel. A contradiction? Not in his case. He strips the steel of its harsh and abrasive qualities and imbues it with momentum and elegance.

When I stand before Christian's metal sculptures, I am mesmerized; I feel compelled to circle them, to view them from all sides and angles and experience them completely in their three-dimensionality. And I am rewarded by ever-new discoveries. The sculptures seem to dance, to hover, to develop a buoyancy that one does not typically associate with metal.

My next impulse is to touch the sculptures. It is a sensory experience to follow the gentle curves with one’s hands while feeling the buffed smoothness of the metal. At the same time, I am aware of the precision and skilled craftsmanship with which Christian creates his works. He takes time, a great deal of time, to weld the metal and work its surface.

Craftsmanship and quality are important to him, and he admits to being a perfectionist. Everything must be just right. One can see and feel this. But Christian's works also give me a sense of joy that is difficult to describe in words: joy at how in each of his sculptures he both captures the transitory and sets it in motion; at how his art touches both the earth and the sky; at how serious and playful his sculptures are; and at how alive and full of yearning they seem. I always encounter Christian’s winking and warm smile in his work; wondrous sculptures that make me smile.

Robert Domes