Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PRIEST-ARTIST


Transfiguration

Father Koder
FATHER SIEGER KODER was born  in 1925 in Wasseralfingen, Germany, where he completed his studies. During the Second World War he was sent to France as a front line soldier where he was made a prisoner of war. Once back from captivity, Sieger  attended the Academy School of Art in Stuttgart until 1951. He studied English philology at the University of  Tubigen as part of his qualifications as a teacher.

After 12 years of teaching art and working as an artist, Sieger undertook theological studies for the priesthood and in 1971 he was ordained a Catholic priest.  From 1975 to 1995, Fr. Köder exercised his ministry as a parish priest in Hohenberg and Rosenberg. In 2003 the Abbey of Benediktbeuren gave him an honorary doctorate in theology. Today he lives in retirement in Ellwangen, not far from Stuttgart. He still continues his art.


Mary Magdalene
Jesus Washing Feet of Peter

The years of his ministry as a priest are among the most prolific with inspiring works of art. There is complete synergy between Father Köder being a priest and an artist. He uses his paintings as Jesus used his parables. He reveals the depth of the Christian metaphors, shedding light and colour on life and human history.


Father Köder's art is heavily charged with his personal experience of war during the Nazi period and the time of the Holocaust as seen in some of  his paintings, especially the one of Venerable Father Franz Stock, as he gives Communion to a fellow prisoner. In the lion, the lamb and the Child, one sees the prophet of old crying out, surrounded by what looks like barbed wire, hence the imprisonment which the Child has come to free us from..

Father Franz Stock
The Lion, the Lamb & Child

His folk paintings have Old and New Testament themes.  One of the features of his work is the child-like simplicity of the characters and the way in which Jesus is often depicted by reflection rather than and actual full presence.  This technique has both a hint of resurrection and a respect for the Old Testament notion of not being able to name or see the Lord.

He works are inspired by the artist Chagall which one can see by his use of bright colors and his style and themes.


Art can help us to meditate on the deep mysteries of our faith, and seeing his themes of the closeness and love of God,  Father Köder's art helps us to do that.

Christmas

 

Crucifixion


2 comments:

  1. Dear Mother Hildegard,
    Would you know who holds the rights to the beautiful CRUCIFIXION image with Christ reaching out to the people ... just above? We are trying to get in touch with whoever owns the rights to ask permission to use the image for a publication. Thank you so much! Sr MaryLou Winters

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Mother Hildegard,
    Would you know who holds the rights to the beautiful CRUCIFIXION image with Christ reaching out to the people ... just above? We are trying to get in touch with whoever owns the rights to ask permission to use the image for a publication. Thank you so much! Sr MaryLou Winters

    ReplyDelete