Our next Lenten artist is WALTER HABDANK (1930-2001) who was born in Schweinfurt. From 1949 to 1953 he studied artistry and graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He lived and worked as a freelanced artist, first in Munich and after 1979 in Berg at Lake Starnberg.
Walter was the son of a Lutheran deacon born and his wife. After High School at the grammar school Theresa Munich he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich studying painting and graphic arts.
After his studies he was a freelance artist, followed by several years of financial constraints and difficulties. With his meditative woodcuts he become one of the most well-known artists of his type.
His artistic work emerged from and later moved beyond expressionistic roots. He created woodcuts, paintings and watercolors as well as stained glass windows, mosaics, murals and triptychs. He also drafted script and artistic designs for churches and other religious institutions. In the “Habdank-Bible” (Augsburg 1995), the artist illustrated the text of the Bible with 80 interpretive woodcuts.
Many exhibitions and publications made him known within and outside Germany. Through many “picture contemplations” he encouraged his viewers again and again to analyze his work.
Walter was an artist of engaging and representational expression. For him, the human being balanced in the tension between the extremes of joy and pain, comfort and desolation. The artist presented this again and again in his woodcuts, water-colors, and paintings in symbols and parables of mythological or biblical origin the prototypes of human existence.
With his works, he inspires his “picture viewers,” as he often said, to accept the whole of creation, to encounter themselves and their own sensibilities critically and without pretense. This perspective is one of affection and comfort and directs one beyond oneself and one’s own life.