“Birth of the artwork
The artist’s creative drive is something that has always fascinated me.
What are the prerequisites for a particular person to become an artist?
A genetic predisposition is clearly essential: it may be that the artist`s brain works in a slightly different fashion, allowing for a heightened sense of observation, acute visual perception and an innate ability for draftsmanship.
The artist may also have grown up in a family environment that favours the visual. Encounters with particular people - especially artists - may well have left a profound impression. So, indeed, might the discovery of particular works of art.
The artist will also have to respond to the intellectual and artistic trends of the era in which he lives.
All these factors are important in the development of an artistic sensibility, but there will always remain an unknown element in the question of why some people - artists - have this creative impulse.
The artist is attuned to what needs to be expressed. Images real and imaginary, born out of memories, fantasies and even anxieties are the base elements in his creative process. Like a master alchemist, he transforms these into something `other` and `higher` - a work of art - using his craftsmanship and his sensitivity.
The work of art is born: it remains only for the onlooker to respond in order for the creative process to be completed”.
B. Rodi Extract of Meeting at the transformation point, Editions Galerie Capazza, 2013
Translation Giles Milton
His work has been exhibited in America, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
His paintings have been acquired by the French state, the City of Paris, The Museum of the History and Art of Luxemburg, the State of Baden-Wurttemberg, the Federal Bank of Germany and Daimler-Benz, as well as many private collectors.
Son of the distinguished animal artist, Erwin Aichele, Wolfram’s Third Reich childhood is the subject of a forthcoming book by best-selling author Giles Milton.Wolfram’s work has been the subject of a number of critical studies, notably Franz Elgar’s Wolfram.He is listed in Gérard Xuriguéra’s "Le dessin, le pastel, l’aquarelle dans l’Art Contemporain"Read more
Wolfram’s childhood was spent in the artists’ colony of Eutingen, near Pforzheim in Baden-Wurttemberg. His father, Erwin Aichele, worked from a studio in the grounds of the house.
Wolfram developed an interest in folk art at an early age. He had a particular passion for the medieval Gothic art of southern Germany. Lucas Moser’s altarpiece in Tiefenbron, the sculptures of Tilman Riemenschneider and the fortress architecture of Bad Wimpfen and other Swabian towns and villages all influenced his early artwork.
At the age of 17, Wolfram decided to train as a sculptor and was accepted on a four-year woodcarving course at the Bavarian State Woodcarving School in Oberammergau.
In 1942 Wolfram’s studies were interrupted by the Second World War. He was conscripted into the German army and sent to the Crimea. Severe illness saw him transferred to a sanatorium in Marienbad. Once recuperated, he was sent to Normandy where he served as a communications officer in the German 77th Infantry Division.
He surrendered to American forces at the end of July, 1944 and spent the next two years as a prisoner of war, first in England and then in America.
Wolfram returned to Oberammergau in 1946 and completed his sculpting course with distinction. One of his finest works, a processional church staff, is on display in the church of St Peter and St Paul in Oberammergau. The Bavarian State Woodcarving School was open in spirit: Wolfram discovered modern artists whose work had been banned under the Third Reich, notably Emil Nolde, Paul Klee and other artists of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).
Wolfram continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Stuttgart, where his tutor was the sculptor Otto Baum. He became particularly interested in religious - and especially Byzantine - art.
In 1954, Wolfram embarked on an artistic pilgrimage to Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Mount Athos. He drew particular inspiration from the medieval monasteries of Kosovo, particularly Gracanica Monastery, Studenica Monastery and Sopocani Monastery, as well as the Byzantine treasures of Mount Athos. On returning to Germany, he became increasingly interested in iconography. He painted icons using the traditional technique of egg tempera.
His aim was to return to the pure iconographical style represented by medieval masters such as Andrei Rublev - a style that had been corrupted in the 19th century.
Among his works from this period is the iconostasis of the Russian Orthodox Church of St Mary Pokrov in Düsseldorf.
Wolfram moved to Paris in 1956. He continued to paint icons but was increasingly drawing inspiration from elsewhere - Eastern European folk art, Persian miniatures and such modern artists as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and, above all, Marc Chagall and the masters of Cubism.
Jean-Louis Roque and his work became known to a wider public.
He was no longer painting icons: his preferred medium was now watercolour, through which he created his own highly idiosyncratic style. The influence of folk art and iconographical techniques can be seen in many works from this period. Wolfram also drew inspiration from his visits to the Alps: the forms of these mountain ranges are often visible in his paintings.
In the late 1970s, Wolfram’s work metamorphosed into a unique blend of figurative art and abstract art. The figurate elements provide the key to unlocking the abstract, whereby the tensions in the composition suddenly reveal a landscape with its horizons and points of light.
Alongside his watercolours, Wolfram has also created different types of collage from paper that he has painted and then torn. These collages have a tactile quality that is enhanced by the intensity of the colour.Read more
In recent years, Wolfram’s focus has been working in a smaller format, displaying particular interest in the interaction between figurative and abstract and shape and form, working with multiple horizons and shafts of light. Read more
City of Paris, French state
Musée d'Histoire et de l'Art, Luxembourg,
Land Bade-Wurtemberg, Germany
Federal Bank of Germany, Francfort/Main, Germany
Central Bank of the Land Bade-Wurtemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
Daimler-Benz, Sindelfingen, Germany
and in numerous private collections.