HOUSTON, TX (Aug. 20, 2010) – Four leading Houston-area art experts will discuss violence in culture and its impact on artists during a free panel discussion at Holocaust Museum Houston this September centering around the Museum’s new exhibit “Never Let It Rest!”
Courtesy, Hans Molzberger
The Museum presents the panel “Conscience in Content” as part of First Thursdays on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Museum’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District.
Panelists will discuss how violence in culture affects artists and their artwork and will include Michael Collins, Houston Baptist University’s director of the School of Art and artist in residence-painting; Gus Kopriva, a member of the Museum’s Changing Exhibits Committee and owner of Redbud Gallery; and Hans Molzberger, artist affiliate in sculpture at Houston Baptist University and the artist featured in “Never Let it Rest!” The panel will be moderated by Jim Edwards, Houston Baptist University’s University Academic Center Gallery director/curator and associate professor of art.
The free program is part of “Legacies and Lessons,” quarterly educational sessions about the Holocaust, genocide and Museum events. The Museum will be open late from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 6 p.m.
Seating is limited, and advance registration for the panel is required. Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online. For more information, call 713-942-8000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molzbeger, an internationally renown German artist, remembers growing up as small boy in the south of Germany after World War II. He also recalls that, when he asked about what occurred during the Holocaust, he was told to forget that history.
But, Molzberger could not accept that, and now, more than 40 years later, his unique mixed-media art project “Never Let It Rest!” documents the lives and histories of the Jewish citizens of Salzwedel, Germany who died at the hands of the Nazis and of the concentration camp the Germans built there.
The exhibit remains on view through Oct. 3, 2010. Admission is free.
Molzberger, a self-taught artist, was born in 1953 in Höhr-Grenzhausen in Germany’s Rhineland region, where his family has lived for many generations working in industrial ceramic factories.
Although not Jewish, Molzberger’s father’s family had played a part in the resistance movement, and his uncle had been imprisoned in a concentration camp in 1934. His mother’s family was not involved directly with the Nazis but did not actively oppose the Germans either, he says.
After the war, “there was always no talking about it, there was a darkness about the history,” he said. “I had questions that never got answered.”
In 1982, as a result of mounting personal crises and a fervent need to reassess his life, Molzberger started a studio in Wendland, Germany and by 1991 mounted his first museum exhibition.
He later moved to a small town near Salzwedel and began examining documentation from the region – letters, diaries and photos – and viewing interviews that students in Salzwedel had done with the detainees, and opened his first art exhibit based on that work at the Jenny Marx Museum in Salzwedel in 1998.
His current exhibition is an extension of that work and reflects his new interpretations since visiting Auschwitz and Israel.
“This was unique in history. We will always remember what happened. They told me ‘let it rest,’ but we can never let it rest, we can never let it happen again,” he said.
Working mainly with assemblages and Raku ceramic objects, the artist recently turned to printmaking. He now creates woodcuts and large-scale silkscreens that contain political subject matter. Molzberger has worked in Israel, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia and lectured at several major universities. He currently divides his time between Germany and Houston where he is an Artist Affiliate at Houston Baptist University. He is also director of an artist residency program in Hilmsen, Germany, that began in 1996.
Today, Molzberger maintains a home near Salzwedel and continues to be fascinated with its history.
The exhibit is generously underwritten by the Bank of Texas; Benny and Donna Rains/AllTrans Port Services; Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany; Grocers Supply Company, Inc.; Hapag-Lloyd; Fangmann Industrie GmbH & Co.; Linbeck; M.G. Maher & Company, Inc.; Moez Mangalji; Rickmers-Linie (America) Inc.; Ryva and Burt Reckles; and Elizabeth and Alan Stein; with thanks to Continental Airlines, official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston and Ulrich Kalmbach, director of Johann-Friedrich-Danneil-Museum, Salzwedel, Germany.
Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.
Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.