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Museum Kunstpalast

Today my German host, fellow architect Monika Kramer, took me to Düsseldorf to the eye-catching museum platz next to the Rhine River. We hit the "Museum Kunstpalast" (Palace of the Arts Museum) for the last day of the Wim Wenders photography exhibit. I had seen a couple of his movies and had a general image in my mind of his photography - I pictured desolate southwest American townscapes - but I was amazed at the depth and breadth of his work! Spread among two separate light-washed galleries were some 4 dozen HUGE prints, as large as 10' x 25'! They looked to be printed on plastic, I was told it was done locally in Düsseldorf, in stunning color and clarity. I could go on for hours about what we saw, but for brevity and sanity will stick to my favorites... Most powerful of all were his inages of Ground Zero shortly after 9/11... I won't go into that one now, perhaps I will revisit it on that memorial date... Wenders' photograph of a bamboo forest in Japan, a startling 5' wide x 20' tall, captures a path disappearing into a bamboo grove, the towering stalks soaring skyward to frame a hazy sun. I stared at it for a long time, and later sat down at a coffee shop in the museum to sketch my memory of the image. I did the same with a group of very different yet very similar landscapes - The Sea of Galilee, a road in the Australian outback, and a twisted, rocky path near Jerusalem. The sea was calm, but dark with a sense of untold depths and a dramatic sky. The road led straight away into the distance, pulling me in, yet a single pair of tire tracks left the road in the foreground and begged to be followed to their mysterious end. Finally, the winding path through rocky hills looked daunting and formidable - but the path reappearing on a distant hillside near the center of the image seemed to beckon me on, and the golden-hued sky beyond seemed full of hope and promise. I sketched these three images out in simple line work, with minimal hatching, to try to capture on paper the mysteries promised in each of them.

Being back in Europe has certainly reignited my passion for drawing and architecture which is such a blessing. I cannot wait to see what inspirations tomorrow holds!

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