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In the Media
OUBEY press clippings, media mentions
Published January 7, 2016
WIFE OF GERMAN ARTIST KEEPS LATE HUSBAND’S LEGACY ALIVE IN UGANDA
By Samuel Lutwama
After his sudden death, his longtime partner decided the best way to honor his artistic legacy was to bring his work into the public eye, but in the way that would reflect the mind of artist Oubey himself.
Ever heard the old saying, “Behind every great ma, there is a great woman?”
Such can be said of German Dagmar Woyde- Koehler, the wife of German artist Oubey who died car accident in 2004. Then at 46, he had been preparing his first exhibition after a 12-year period of seclusion from the public eye. After his sudden death, his longtime partner decided the best way to honor his artistic legacy was to bring his work into the public eye, but in the way that would reflect the mind of artist Oubey himself.
“I decided the best way to honor his awesome artwork was to that that would reflect his intended mission of sharing, exploring and discovering the secrets of painting through personal encounters,” Dagmar said. She founded Oubey Mindkiss Project and began exhibiting a number of his painting globally.
In December, she made a seventh stopover of Global Encounter at the experimental exhibition where she showcased Oubey’s paintings at Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD), Kampala.
The workshop was opened by Dr. Kizito Maria Kasule of NIAAD and was attended by over 60 participants composed of various celebrated artists, among whom were Visual Arts Practitioner, Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi.
The atmosphere at the exhibition was relaxed as intense according to, Annabelle Wanjiku Reeno, a gifted visual artist from Kenya.
See more here.
In conversation with Dagmar Woyde-Koehler
Published June 27, 2014
“Let´s investigate the universe, perhaps the multiplicity of universes.”
13 May 2014, Karlsruhe. In Dagmar Woyde-Koehler we meet a level-headed lady with an engagingly mischievous sense of humor who talks frankly about her life between art, chaos, business, a great love and the many shades of meaning that bind them together. Surrounding by paintings in the studio of her husband OUBEY which has remained practically unchanged since his untimely death ten years ago, the talk turns again and again to the great themes of life – fundamental structures, outer space, the future – high flying themes which she discusses in a manner that is astonishingly direct and down to earth. During our conversation, which lasted for several hours, it was easy to get the impression that you were one of the first to encounter an artist of soon-to-be global importance whose work would have languished in obscurity had it not been for his widow.
Interview: Raphael Rusitzka
Tags: art, society, lifestyle
Frau Woyde-Koehler, what is a “MINDKISS” – the name of the project in which the art of your late husband is to be conserved and presented to the world?
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler: a MINDKISS is possible when energies flow. When streams of energy synchronize between two brains or also between people and the natural world. To give an example, I think that whales and dolphins are perfectly capable of experiencing something like a MINDKISS. When the energy flows and you feel that your thinking and feeling is at one with something or somebody else, that’s when a MINDKISS happens. And all the rest is mystery. Try explaining what love is – up to a certain point you can describe love or give examples of it, but you can never explain it. Never. MINDKISS is also the name of the only exhibition OUBEY ever held during his lifetime. It’s a term he himself coined.
Have you ever experienced a MINDKISS?
Oh yes, many of them.So many in fact that I’ve quite lost count. I think that this was one of the sustaining forces in his life – this sense of spiritual communion which kisses you. The old image was that of the muse; here it’s something completely different. And it’s something that you pass on. I also think that encounters with OUBEYs art can also generate a MINDKISS. That’s what people often tell me.
Really? Just through contact with OUBEYs art?
Nobody’s ever actually used the term ‘MINDKISS’, that would be too farfetched. But after the Encounters (filmed encounters with people who deal with the same kind of issues that were central to OUBEYs creative work, editorial note) we’d often go on talking long after the camera was turned off. None of this was recorded because it was of a very personal nature – but some people would say something similar during the actual Encounter. And I get that feeling that something really crazy is now happening and this universal language really is capable of producing mindkisses.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
(a long silence) The biggest challenge has been not only coming to terms with OUBEYs death as such, and also the way he died, in the sense of acceptance, but also to accept it in the sense of not lamenting, not blaming anybody, so that finally I can be free to continue my life with him. I think this has been the greatest challenge of my life. Even so, it wasn’t like I told myself “This is now the biggest challenge of your life and you really must think about how you’re going to get over it.” Certain things you can only recognize with the benefit of hindsight, and I’d say that’s been the most daunting so far. Perhaps at some point in the future an even bigger challenge will come my way but, personnally speaking, I can hardly imagine that there’s anything more momentous than that.
“I’m constantly amazed at just how much the scientists and researchers have to say about such themes, and at how astonished they are about what he painted when I visit them with paintings by OUBEY.”
Who was OUBEY?
OUBEY is an artist and we lived together and worked together for 21 years.Six months before we met, one day when I was leaving the Bar Kap, I just knew that I was going to meet the man of my life in this same bar, and that’s what happened. Our friends who thought they knew us both didn’t give us much of a chance but they were seriously mistaken. OUBEY was actually studying architecture at the time when he decided to live his life as a free artist. I thought this was the right decision for him to make and I always supported him in it.
In other words, you went out to work and he spent the whole day painting?
More or less – when he could paint, that is. It often came in sudden bursts of creativity when he would paint one picture after another in a single day with practically no brea – followed by periods when he’d regenerate and recharge his batteries. I have enormous respect for people like OUBEY who only have to work or only can or want to work because they’re driven by an inner complusion. Nobody’s there pushing you on, you’re left alone to your own devices.
What was his art about?
It was about the ways structures and chaos and perhaps the very ambient noise of life itself are all interconnected and how this interconnectedness can be revealed and perceived. I’m constantly amazed at just how much the scientists and researchers have to say about such themes, and at how astonished they are about what he painted when I visit them with paintings by OUBEY. I record these meetings – which I call ‘encounters’ – and post them on the internet to make them accessible to other people all around the world.
You were talking about how the two of you “recognized” one another when you first met back then in that bar? What do you mean by this?
That’s something nobody’s ever asked me before. What I basically mean by this is that there was this flash of quasi recognition on a spiritual level. That there was this feeling that we already knew each other. Only this is no kind of intellectual recognition; it’s almost like a sense of complete oneness with the other person – which is something you simply feel. If you don’t resist and let it flow, it’s fantastic – and it doesn’t happen all that often. I’ve had many meetings with people where I could say that something like a sense of recognition occurred. Only not with the intensity and quality of that one, and not with with that total all-embracing feeling. Everything was just perfect, we were one of a kind.
You don’t really believe in coincidence. What do you believe in?
I believe in the power of energy. That’s a metaphor for me, an image, a way of comparison. Essentially, everything is made of energy. The whole universe, you and me. There are forces of attraction and forces of repulsion, in other words gravitation and its opposite. And I do believe that there’s something like linkage of energies that really can function, even over great distances. Coincidence or chance comes readily to hand when we don’t understand something or can’t explain it. Then we call it coincidence but that’s simply not enough for me. As Albert Einstein said, “God doesn’t play dice.” In some kind of way everything is connected to everything. Just because we don’t recognize the internal cohesion of events doesn’t mean that it’s not there. This is why when we call something a coincidence, it’s more revealing of our lack of knowledge about certain connections and not statement of fact.
You obviously don’t have a humanocentric view of the world.
Certainly not. OUBEY and I had a cosmocentric world view. Our aim should be to investigate the universe, perhaps the multiplicity of universes. At some point in time we’ll be talking not just about international and planetary relations but interplanetary relations – whilst sipping a cup of expresso. For a very long time I had this desire to take a extraterrestrial space flight but that’s faded by now. What is still as strong as ever is my passion for outer space which always gave me a deep affinity with OUBEY.
Physically it’s not possible for two people to merge with one another. How close can two people get then when it’s not possible in physical terms?
They can get very very close indeed. You can never really become one because, take it as you will, it’s simply two people, two stories and ultimately two bodies. But I do believe that it’s possible to become nearly as one, at least for some moments, because I’ve known this myself. Sometimes OUBEY would say to me, “If only you could get inside my head, just once.” I often think about that. That’s exactly what separation means, that this is not really possible. But there’s a deeper reason for him saying this: he knew that what happened inside his head was absolutely determinant for how he lived. He would have loved to have shared it with me but this simply could not be. Which is a pity.
“I believe that the orgins of the evolutionary history of mankind are closely associated with his quest for forms of expression. Art is a way of expressing reflection.“
So what is an artist?
I’m not an artist, so all I can try to do is give an outsider’s view of what an artist is. I think that the main quality that distinguishes an artist is that he draws out what he does from deep inside him. Obviously, this applies to other professions as well but it applies to artists with exceptional force. I think that there are really excellent artists who say to themselves “I want to be an artist.” But actually you can never become an artist, you can only be one. At some point OUBEY also said “I am an artist”. And I immediately knew that this was right – just as he said it. He simply has it in him. He has it – this mastery that lies in works of art. And then it’s a question of what kind of artist you are. Is it in music, in painting, in poetry, in film? There’s a tremendous number of highways and byways. But at the end of the day it’s always the passion that counts, the passion toegther with this incredible mastery. The passion to bring things to fruition through the ways and means of art that other people are incapable of expressing in the same way.
Why do we need artists?
What would life – or the world – be without art? I believe that the orgins of the evolutionary history of mankind are closely associated with his quest for forms of expression. With his attempts to exteriorize what he experienced and raise it to another level. I’m just one of many people who are totally bowled over by the cave paintings of our earliest ancestors. Werner Herzog made this amazing 3D movie about the cave paintings in the south of France that were discovered only relatively recently and which can’t be shown to the public. When I saw the paintings on the walls of this cave – like the painting of the head of a horse – I felt such a sense of deep affinity to our ancestors from the Stone Age, it was as though they could have been standing right next to us, here today. And they are so close to us because they attempted to exteriorize their lives. Which is one of the basic qualities of what it is to be human. As is consciousness and the ability to think and reflect. Art is the expression of a process of reflection. It’s more than reflection but reflection is certainly a part of it.
If it’s more than reflection, where do you draw the boundaries between art and reflection?
Reflection can happen outside of art. I can think, ponder and write but if I want to put this in an art form, then I have to exteriorize it in a way that’s coherent and structured. This is the crucial point – art, you could say, is akin to structured reflection. Art is a way of expressing reflection.
Sometimes you get the feeling that original artists have “tipped” – and that what used to be unique original work has now turned into a pastiche of itself. This is a process that you could call gentrification when applied to cities. How would you describe it?
It’s when suddenly you find you’re at a distance from yourself. Then you’re looking at yourself in the mirror too often. It‘s a copy of yourself – how authentic can that be? How much of your own primal drive is still there? And how much is it just satisfying a public demand for your paintings with which you earn money when you sell them? It’s a completely different level of life and living. It’s a totally different kind of life to the life OUBEY led.
“Just what the spirit is remains a total mystery and puzzle. But when the spirit leaves the body this is something you can see.”
Even though OUBEYs first exhibition was a financial success, none of his works now are for sale. Why is this?
All he ever did basically was to unload what was inside his head. This was the case when he announced after years that he wanted to paint 1,000 stars, and especially in 2004 when he said that he was ready for his next exhibition. But what I noticed was that he had at that point reached a new dimension of self-assurance which I call the point of his inner equilibrium. And that is precisely what he feared to loose when he was successful with what was his first and, sadly, only exhibition after his death in a road accident. At that time he was anxious about loosing the mainspring of his art, about loosing himself, if he sold his art and had to bend to the rules of the art market, at least to a certain extent. And so, exceptionally enough, the whole body of his work stayed toegther over the years – and that’s the way I want to keep it. His art will never go on sale. On the other hand, what I would love to see is an interdisciplinary OUBEY Discovery Center.
What do you mean by that?
It‘s a place where you could experience a mindkiss. A place where spirit, mind and soul could immerse themselves and enjoy what OUBEY called for himself the joy in the realization that everything is connected with everything. For him his art was An Ode to This Joy as he once said. So it would be a place where science, and especially natural science, astrophysics, chaos theory, science fiction, philosophy and art could be experienced in their inner correspondance to one another. A place whose doors would be open to everbody, even to people with little connection to art. A place where whoever’s interested in the nature of this world and its genesis and possible future should be able to say on leaving “I’m glad I’ve been there.” It’s too early to think about this but it’s something I do dream about from time to time.
The project was born on the day after OUBEY died in a road accident. When will it be terminated?
Hopefully never. When I say that I mean it in the sense that I hope I succeed – as long as I have the strength and the health and am physically present in this world – in bringing it to such a point that it can survive without me. That would be fantastic.
So you’d like to reach a point where you yourself were no longer needed?
Yes, absolutely. I’m certainly not in any rush to get there, and in the early days I was very anxious about getting things moving in what I considered to be the right direction so that the project wouldn’t become arbitrary and loose what distinguished it – so that it was simply on the right track. But letting go and giving leeway is also important. This began back in 2009 with the Encounters, and the Global Tour is the next stage in this process of letting go. And I notice that it’s an enormous source of satisfaction for me to see that it’s now starting to develop dynamics all of its own. That the fundament on which it rests is so solid that you can now let go and still be confident that others will do fantastic things with it or come up with new ideas.
Even though OUBEY has now been dead for over ten years, you still make a very credible impression on me that your relationship with him is still very much alive without that seeming at all funny. Or up on some superior level. I’m very pleased that that’s what you find because this is totally the way I see it. For me there’s nothing mystical about it. There’s nothing romantic about it either, and it’s also not like I couldn’t accept the fact that he’s dead. I visited him four times before I realized that he was dead. Until I knew that, I couldn’t have buried him; it was a gradual taking of leave. He told me this himself once when he said that the spirit remains in the body for 24 to 36 hours after death. And I’d always seen this earlier on with my relatives who’d died – that at first they almost seemed as though they were living or that somehow their spirit was still present. And with OUBEY it was impossible for me to start on the funeral arrangements when I thought that he was still animate or that his spirit or even just some remnant of it was still there in his body.
“Sometimes I feel that what I’m thinking is actually what he’s thinking. Then we really are one, him and me.”
What exactly is the spirit?
Just what the spirit is remains a total mystery and puzzle. But when the spirit leaves the body this is something you can see. If you do what I did. And I simply did it intuitively, as in a trance, I couldn’t do it any other way. I kept wanting to go back to him. And when I returned to him for the fourth time, the spirit was gone. There was nothing there, just the decaying body. Then I stopped missing him because I knew the spirit was somewhere else. Sure, I could sense him, only he was no longer in this body, it was something tangible that I could see. And even today I’ve still got that in my mind’s eye like a film. These four wakes where the first time I went I really thought he was about to open his eyes, sit up and say “Hi, what are we going to do now?” To have lived through all this and to feel it and also to grieve for him – I won’t be talked into it, but I won’t be talked out of it either. It was right for me and it was important.
How you would you describe your relationship to him now?
I have my life and he has his. It’s not as though I think about him all the time. But obviously by doing this project, I’m constantly involved with him. And I don’t just deal with our past relationship but also with the past in the form of his work, what he did when he was physically alive. And at the same time I’m constantly rediscovering him. Other people also rediscover him through the paintings. Sometimes I get this overwhelming sense of spiritual communion with him when certain thoughts flash through my mind. Then I feel now he’s here – in some kind of form I feel his presence. Sometimes I feel that what I’m thinking is actually what he’s thinking. Then we really are one, him and me. That’s the way it is.
Which new developments in enterprise and technology grab your interest?
All those that are ready for a strongly networked future. Also, what is for me a new type of entrepreneur. Someone who’s founded a company, made it big and successful and is still involved in it, yet is now beginning to do things which apparently he couldn’t have done in that way in a large corporation but still finds important. Hasso Plattner of SAP is one of this new breed. Or take Elon Musk in California, a tremendously inventive and enterprising CEO with a great deal of money which he’s investing in ways that were previously unknown. Broadly speaking, the direction is being set by digitization, artificial intelligence and gamification.
I know two or three companies which work on developing games, companies which started out small and have stuck to their original idea through thick and thin. It was OUBEY who first introduced me to computer games. He was a passionate gamer and would play for hours on end. He even managed to persuade me to join in. I was always Luigi and he was Mario in Super Mario – Super Mario till we were ready to drop. I think it’s simply great when highly intelligent, young and mature developers bring all their know-how and creative drive to bear on developing things where learning, communication, problem solving and sheer gaming fun are all in perfect harmony. And this is a field that’s totally underexposed in schools and universities. The quality of the game might be out of this world but even today it’s likely to be undervalued or just not taken seriously.
“The most extraordinary thing I’ve seen were disaster response exercises or globally networked management meetings in which people took part by acting in a scenario. They took on the alter ego of an avatar, acting as this and their own self at one and the same time.”
And how is its impact being felt?
The most extraordinary thing I’ve seen were disaster response exercises or globally networked management meetings in which people took part by acting in a scenario. They took on the alter ego of an avatar, acting as this and their own self at one and the same time. It was a 3D simulation of a disaster situation with all the challenges that brings, incredibly realistic and creating a steep learning curve – but all without the slightest real damage.
Because people were depersonalized?
Yes and no. You are still the person you are. Everyone knows that, it’s just that you don’t look like how you do in real life. You take on an avatar which you can select and you go into the disaster or the meeting as that avatar. Only then it’s like “Our colleague from Chicago has prepared some stuff and she’s going to show it to us” but you don’t just see the charts – like you would in a video conference – because you’re in the room with the others and then the woman stands up and you have the feeling that she’s in the room too. Of course, you can always ask what’s the point of it all, things would work just as well without it. Sure, you could always do it with a telephone conference. But you asked me about developments which I find really exciting. There’s dynamics here, there’s energy and the type of communication that takes place in this setting is different from that which takes place in a video conference.
Can you become an entrepreneur or do you have to be born as one?
I think you can also become one but it’s much easier when you have it wired in your genes, when you already have a certain amount of courage and a willingness to take risks, when you’re passionate about business success. When you have conviction about what you’re doing and are bursting with ideas. All these qualities you have to bring with you, but even then there’s still a pretty steep learning curve to climb.
How come that you became self-employed so late in life?
It was an idea I’d always toyed with. But I finally took the plunge after I’d been through some pretty hair-rasing situations with a very prestigious firm of management consultants. It was one of those restructuring processes where only the short-term benefits matter, where heads are counted but not a thought is given to the long-term effects in terms of what it means for the company and company performance. The EnBW-Akademie, a 100% subsidiary of EnBW of which I was then managing director was particularly hard hit by the wave of redundancies. With staff numbers slashed by half, the business model which I’d helped develop – and which I still believe was highly effective and efficient – was no longer tenable. But since I still wanted to work in management, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge and set up my own company, which I did with new&able. Particularly from today’s perspective, this was a good step and a right step for me to take. And as far as EnBW is concerned, I think that their decision was wrong, and that in the mid-term it’s going to cost them a lot more than any short-term savings they might have made.
Cooly getting rid of so much tacit knowledge that’s taken years to build in a central division – human resources development – even though we were actually making a profit – just because we didn’t fit into the blueprints and standardized schema of this consulting agency is a move that I still find incomprehensible.
Sometimes you get the impression that many companies are eager to farm out responsibility to consulting firms.
Yes, that’s right, and they haven’t the slightest scruple about doing so. This is something that Benedikt Herles really gets to grips with in his wonderful no-holes-barred account Die kaputte Elite – Ein Schadensbericht aus unseren Chefetagen [The Broken Elite – A Damage Report from Our Top Management]. He has an insider’s view of the world of consulting – after all, he himself was up night after night churning out power points and excels until he couldn’t stand it no more. He’s seen exactly the kind of stuff dished up to management and just what requirements are needed to keep this system, such as it is, up and running. And one of them is this shifting of managerial responsibility to the outside, over to the external consultant. Those who do this wash their hands of personal responsibility and say things like “We brought in McKinsey or Roland Berger or Boston Consulting so it’s all legitimate and above board”. It’s totally crazy. I’ve often thought it’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Until someone comes along and says “Hey, the guy‘s completely naked” only nobody dares to say that kind of thing any longer. Fortunately, there’s no lack of positive examples from the other side. There are many truly excellent managers and consulting firms that do really good work and deliver positive results. But this other phenomenon is one I constantly come across.
About Dagmar Woyde-Koehler:
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler lives in Karlsruhe, Germany. She is founder and managing director of the new&able consulting firm and head of the OUBEY MINDKISS Project with which she brings the work of her late husband OUBEY to the attention of the world. As co-founder and former managing director of the EnBW-Akademie and recipient of the Chief Learning Officer Award, her life has been rich and varied. OUBEYs art and Dagmar Woyde-Koehler‘s project captured the imagination of New Yorker Stefan Sagmeister, cover designer for the Rolling Stones, who agreed to design the first book about OUBEY and his art. This immediately garnered a host of prestigious design awards, including the coverted red dot award for design. Famous professors from a very broad spectrum of disciplines including neurophysiologists, astrophysisists, complexity theorists, researchers into extraterrestrial intelligence, quantum physisists, biologists and many others have all been visited by Dagmar Woyde-Koehler with paintings by her late husband and record the thoughts and associations these pictures evoke on film.
hese videos and much more information on OUBEY and the MINDKISS Project can be found on the internet at: www.oubey.com.
Issue 01/Januay 2014, Pages 100-106
04 January 2014
“We Were Two of a Kind”
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler tends the legacy and spirit of her late husband and keeps it alive: more than one thousand paintings, drawings and notes. And to do so she’ll travel, if necessary, to the ends of the earth.
A Love Story
Text: Erwin Koch
Photo: Harmut Nägele
She’s a teacher, he’s a student. With a girl friend of hers she comes into the “Kap” bar at Kapellenstrasse 68 and sits down at his table. It´s a hot sticky day in August 1983 in Karlsruhe.The woman’s called Dagmar, he’s Oubey, that’s what they all call him, Oubey. His real name was Rudi Wendelin Koehler, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, ten years a widow.
She’s a teacher at the Albertus-Magnus Gymnasium, German and history.
Do you like it? The man asks.
Dagmar winces. What about you?
Do you like it?
They talk and drink. He can’t go home because a friend of his is out with the key to his, Oubeys, apartment. Dagmar grins. Six months before during Mardi Gras she’d been in this very same bar with some friends and when they left she suddenly exclaimed: Before this year’s out, I’m going to meet the man of my life in this place!
At some point Dagmar says there are three beds going in the commune where she was living. They walk through the night and talk. He’s 25, she’s 30. She tells him about her time in Speyer, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, he tells her about his studies, about a professor, a visionary who conjures up things that lie far in the future, huge cities where modern technology makes for high density housing, surrounded by virgin forests. Integral urbanism or even colonies in outer space built to resettle mankind.
They fall asleep in the early morning and don’t get up till the afternoon when they walk in the castle gardens, go shopping, cook and talk and talk and talk.
That’s what it was like for three days after which we were inseparable and still are today, says the 60 year old and runs her hand through her short dark hair.
Was there anything about him that you didn’t like?
She takes a sip of tea and places the cup on the glass table in Oubeys studio.
I liked him just as he was. Exactly like he was! We met, we were two of a kind and we stayed together.
I paint, says Oubey.
Dagmar visits him in his small apartment. He tells her the names of the paintings, “The Monade’s Journey”, “Green Painting”, “Morphogenesis”. She says, Oubey you’re a marvelous painter, I really love what you do.
He moves in with her at Jollystrasse 45, hunkers down with Dagmar in her room and paints, mixed pigments on laminated hardboard. She sits on the bed and reads while he stirs new colors in a composition he keeps a close secret. They drink sparkling wine and play board games, talk, laugh and go out every evening. Oubey knows the names of all the stars, he talks about galaxies and parallel universes. Every week since the age of 12, he’s collected the latest issue of “Perry Rhodan, Heir of the Universe” from the newsstand.
Those months in my room, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, were our own universe where we blossomed as a pair.
Actually, I’m an artist, he says.
Then be one, she says, be just that – an artist.
Oubey now stops going to lectures. He paints and reads. He devors the books and magazines piled in Dagmar’s room. And at night he sits at her table and draws with black and red pens: 2-12-83, 4-37, musical-topographical experiment (Being + Thing), organized consciousness, Structure – Order! How does sound emerge?
Often he sits down at the piano and plays Bach or improvises.
Dagmar collects what Oubey makes. He left behind over one thousandworks of outstanding quality, she says in autumn 2013.
What if you hadn’t liked Oubeys pictures?
She bursts out laughing.
I would always have loved him.
In April 1984 she presents Oubey to her mother. Who whispers in her ear: Dagmar, that’s your man, see to it that you never lose him!
She takes a part-time job. And spends the afternoons and evenings with Oubey; he likes painting at night.
Dagmar, can you imagine living together with me?
They find an apartment in the Roonstrasse and move in. The second floor of a period building. It’s summer 1984. Sometimes he can’t paint, he just reads, thinks, watches TV or listens to music. Then in a sudden burst of activity he’ll paint 20 pictures, practically one a day, experiments with various materials, mixed techniques on parchment, cut them out and hang them in the apartment. Anythinks, strange colored shapes with prongs and serrated edges. Sometimes he explains Einstein’s theory of relativity to her, Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation or Leibniz’s Monadology, talks about chaos and order, entropy and complexity, Asimov and Clarke, Kubrick, Lucas and Fassbinder. He’s engrossed for hours on end in Perry Rhodan or the Spiegel weekly. And at night, before he slips into bed beside her, he leaves a note for her on the kitchen table: Dagmar, you’re my anchor.
Happy in Paradise (with a koi carp pond)
Oubey paints “Yesterday Under Water”, “Einstein’s Tears”, “Zero Field”. Sometimes she has the feeling he’s been born several centuries ahead of his time.
Where there never any moments when you couldn’t follow his train of thought?
Oh yes, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, indeed they were. It was then that I realized how lonely he ultimately was.
Actually, we could get married, he once said.
On 30 December 1986 Dagmar Woyde and Rudi Wendelin Koehler, whom everyone calls Oubey, stand in the registry office and ask two strangers to act as their witnesses. They haven’t told their families and they haven’t told their friends.
We thought in this way, by marrying in secret, that even though our love was sanctioned by the state it would be free of all those expectations about married couples that we didn’t want to fulfill.
In 1987 Oubey found his first studio outside the apartment at Sofienstrasse 37.
That same year he bought himself an Amiga 500. Now with his hand on the mouse, he painted on the computer. Oubey calls what he does Photon Painting. He paints Marilyn 1, Marilyn 2, Queen of Hearts, One-Two-Three-Four, Love, Falling Angel.
And the feeling that your husband could bring home some money just like you?
Never, she says, not for a single second.
She says she saw it as part of her job to give him a free space where he could make visible what was happening in his mind, where he could materialize and share what up to then had been just immaterial thoughts.
If he was happy, I was too. So I took care to make sure he was happy.
And was he happy when you were?
Good Lord, yes! And her peal of laughter echoes.
Oubey paints and reads. Sometimes he writes a poem or jots down his thoughts: I consciously accept an irreversible structure for open processes. / The points of contact between the Great and Small might be minimal but they’re sharp as razors. / Each imprecision can now be a precisely planned imprecision.
Dagmar inherits her mother’s house in Speyer and Oubey asks his parents to give him his inheritance now so they can pay off the mortgage. He lays out a new garden which he fills with flowers and digs a pond for kois, colorful Japanese carps which he feeds and tickles. They follow him when he walks around the pond.
Paradise on Saturdays and Sundays.
He buys a 24 pin color printer and can now print his computer paintings at home. He has them enlarged, 100 x 100 cm, and in April 1992 puts them on shown at the Public Administration Gallery of the State of Baden-Wüttemberg in an exhibition Dagmar has arranged. There’s a catalogue: Wendelin Koehler, MINDKISS – The Photon Painting, For Dagmar.
Oubey sells two thirds of the works, some of them for DM 8000.
One week later, we were sitting at the kitchen table, it’s all very clear in my mind, he said to me, what I’ve done has been great, it’s marvelous that I’ve been so successful and I’d really love to go on that way – only I can’t.
You don´t need to exhibit and sell just because of me, Oubey.
If I continue this way, I’ll lose the source of my art. I want to stay free and uninfluenced by what people say about my pictures.
Go on painting, she says, just go on quietly painting and take your time until you feel you’re ready.
So that was his only exhibition, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler nine years after his death.
Years go by.
On balmy summer evenings Oubey sits on the balcony reading and leaps up to welcome her when she comes home. Dagmar is now working for the energy utility EnBW ten or twelve hours a day. She’s head of the human resources department, then head of procurement and logistics, she’s also co-founder and managing director of the EnBW Akademie GmbH, an institute for further training and consultancy. Oubey waves from the balcony when he sees her coming, and opens the door, then they go into the kitchen to cook, eat and talk.
As different as we were, as independent and free, my life was his life and his life was also mine.
Could you ever think of a new man?
I can hardly expect to meet someone like him ever again.
Lethal Stop: A Hard Shoulder on the B9
One evening she came home almost in tears. He asked what the matter was. Someone had been trying to intimidate her, she said, she’d never had anything like it. She wasn’t going to stand for that! Oubey hugged her and said, don’t worry. No matter what happens and even if they sack you, I will never ever leave you.
His spaghetti is the very best.
The lease on Oubey’s studio terminates and Dagmar hunts for a new one and finds it, bright and high ceilinged, in the south west of the city. It’s summer 2001. Bit by bit he furnishes it. He’s now painting “Genesis” and “Star Pixels”, oil on square 40 x 40 cm hardboard. Each star has eight points, each one is different and carries his name, OUBEY, chiseled in the fresh paint. He wants to paint a thousand stars.
He was doing fine, and one day, I remember it well, he said to me, Dagmar, I think I’m about ready now. I knew instantly what he was thinking. I knew what that meant to him. He had come to terms with the idea of exhibiting his work, with presenting his art to the world. Oubey had, it seemed to me, reached the point of his inner balance.
Would he have gone to seed without you?
Gone to seed?
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler shakes her head.
I don’t know what might have happened. I only know what did happen. I think Oubey would have made his own way even without me.
In late June 2004 they drive to their house on the outskirts of Speyer as they do nearly every weekend. They talk, cook, go for walks. Oubey takes pleasure in the carps in their pond. He says he’s got a head full of pictures. They decide to return to Karlsruhe first on Monday morning; she’ll leave early in the morning in her car and he’ll follow a few hours later in his smart car. Dagmar goes to bed and as she’s dozing, he curls up beside her and whispers, I’m so fond of you. Then he says no, that’s not right, I love you, there’s a big difference.
His last words.
She gets up early and drives to Karlsruhe where she works. At some point, he gets his things together, fills the cool box with what’s left in the fridge, waters the flowers in the garden, locks the house up and takes the B9 main road. A few kilometers out of Speyer Oubey pulls over to the hard shoulder and stops with the warning lights blinking.
I don’t know why he did this, I’ve never found out why and it’s not a question that bothers me. I only know that Oubey had a reason, some kind of reason. He was sitting in the smart car with the roof open when a forty ton truck caught him on the side and knocked the car down the embankment. Oubey was killed on the spot. 2 August 2004, a Monday. I looked at the photos later on, looked at them just once. I know how he was lying. He died in a moment when he was doing nothing, was just there, sitting in the car, completely innocent and unsuspecting, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Autumn 2013. Dagmar Woyde-Koehler turns her face to the high windows of his studio and runs her hand through her short dark hair.
Do I believe in coincidence? Not really, she says.
When she comes home that evening, his car isn’t there. She’s a bit surprised but thinks that he’s probably gone swimming in the quarry lake as he often used to do that summer. She punches the number of his cell phone. Where are you, I’m getting hungry, something I had never done before. Then she breaks off and says, I hope you’re OK.
Then the doorbell rings; two policemen and a woman are standing there. They say they’ve been trying to get hold of her for hours. And did she own a smart car? And who drives it apart from yourself Frau Woyde-Koehler? Your husband has had an accident. We’re sorry to tell you he hasn’t survived.
It seemed like a million flashes of lightening were striking into my brain. It was a searing light and I thought well, now it’s my turn to die.
Where is he? I’ must go to him
You can’t do that at the moment.
I don’t care, he needs me now and I need him, I’ve got to go to him.
Hours later she is standing next to Oubey. He lies covered with a blue cloth, two candles are burning.
Late Thoughts on a Gift of Heaven
He looked so astonishingly beautiful, peaceful, almost happy, as though he were sleeping. As though he were just about to open his eyes and say Hi Daggi – no one else can call me that. I knelt down beside him, talked to him, comforted him. I can’t remember what I said. I spoke to him for one and a half hours, talked and talked like we always used to do, and then left him alone in his cold room.
The next morning, Tuesday, she drives to where the accident took place. She collects what she finds there, splinters, bread, cheese. She brings the bags back to their house in Speyer and never opens them again. She goes to the garage where his smart car has been taken, goes to the police, picks up his clothes, his wallet, the cell phone, the backpack with two Perry Rhodan booklets inside. She goes to the Kaiserdom cathedral and lights candles.
And finally in the afternoon I was sitting in the garden in Speyer. The fish were there and the flowers and the sun. I sat and thought, it’s all over now, it’s all done, I’ve lived my life, now I want to go. I want to be where you are. I’m coming to be with you, take me.
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, at the age of 60, in the tenth year of her widowhood, folds one hand over the other.
Then I really did hear him speaking – inside of me. I also felt that I was seeing him. Oubey said no, you can’t come yet, I still need you, I still love you. And at that point it became clear to me that I would stay, that I still have things to do here. It simply can’t be that at the very point when he was ready to bring his art into the light of day that everything’s over and nothing remains.
It was a mission?
It was the moment the project was born.
I know that nobody’s irreplaceable, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, I know it only too well. But what I’m now doing which is bringing Oubeys art out into the world is something that only I can do. If I don’t do it, nobody will.
She writes an obituary notice and chooses lines from Rilke from one of Oubeys favorite poems: Time and again from the mirror’s hue / You pluck another facet of yourself / Arrange within you as in a vase / Your tableaux, and call it you. In deep gratitude for your love and the many happy years spent by your side, I take leave of you, my dearest Oubey. The traces you have laid with your creative work will outlast you and bear witness to the profound depths of your stupendous imagination. In undying love, Your Dagmar.
She returns to the mortuary, visits him, comforts him. At night she sits at the table holding the pen he gave her for her last birthday and writes down what she thinks:
Late thoughts on Oubey. You loved the sun, you loved water, you loved the night. You often found it difficult to deal with things that were ordinary for other people. When you died you were stronger, better and more confident of the future than you’d ever been before in your life. You were just reaching that level of maturity an artist needs to make his breakthrough. It was such bliss to discover you anew in the rush of your soaring flight.
She buys the loveliest coffin, piano lacquer black.
Warm light floods the chapel. 11 August 2004, the farewell gathering.
In front of the altar stands a photo of Oubey in a field of rapeseed, his face turned to the sky, a Star Pixel in a baroque frame, and a vase with 21 long-stemmed roses, one for each of the years we spent together. Since then three times a year I put long red roses on Oubey’s grave, each year one more, now there are 30. On his birthday, on the day of his death, on the day of our marriage.
Do you talk to him? Does he talk to you?
Dagmar Woyde-Koehle laughs.
Always when I need to, she says, I ask for his advice. Sometimes I have the feeling that my thoughts are actually his own. Sometimes I go to bed mulling over a question and in the morning I have the answer.
When have you asked him for advice?
She snorts with laughter.
In 2012 when I was wondering whether to set up my own company.
What did he say?
Sure, Daggi, just go ahead, you can do it.
She puts up a cross on the B9. On Oubeys grave where also her parents and her two brothers lie, there´s a monument of stone in which she already has her own name engraved: Dagmar Woyde-Koehler.
It reminds me that I’m not immortal even though even at the age of 60 there’s still a temptation to think that life will go on forever.
She collects Oubeys works in his studio, has each of them photographed. She orders them stores them, catalogues them on the computer and continues to pay the rent. She never touches the splash of red and white wax left sticking to the floor. At some point she invites in people whose understanding of the visual arts has made their reputation and shows them Oubeys paintings. One of them says they’re like archeological excavations of the future.
She decides to open a website. Someone tells her to ask the famous designer Stefan Sagmeister. She goes to New York to meet him. But Sagmeister says he doesn’t design websites, just books.
I also want a book, she says. He smiles.
But before he said yes he wanted to see some of Oubeys paintings because he only takes on projects he feels comfortable about.
In June 2006 she returns to New York with photos of Oubeys work in her suitcase. Sagmeister looks at them. What do you think, he says, about a book in five volumes in a beautiful slipcase? The Mindkiss Project.
I don’t want to sell Oubeys pictures, I want to bring them to public attention. To do this I need allies, people who understand Oubey, his world and his spirit. And I’m not looking for any learned scholarly opinions on Oubeys place in the canon of art, nothing of that kind.
Don’t you owe this to him?
Dagmar Woyde-Koehle sits silent. Whatever I do, she finally says, I do with him. I haven’t lost Oubey. They are his paintings and to some extent they are also my own.
She has a huge yellow aluminum case made to measure, big enough for three or four paintings and travels with it across the world – Berlin, Munich, Geneva, San Francisco, New Zealand, Hawaii. She shows the paintings to selected individuals, videos what they say about them and posts the films on the net at oubey.com/journey: an experimental physicist, a quantum optician, a paleoanthropologist, an astronomer, a biologist, a Maori, a wave rider, a whale filmmaker, a mezzo soprano, children.
These are the kind of people who are fascinated by the same kind of things that fascinated him. Terrestrial trailblazers, boundary breakers driven by curiosity and passion. I still haven’t found an astronaut.
The 2 August 2013, as on every anniversary of the death of her husband, Dagmar Woyde-Koehler sends her friends a remembrance, this year it was a strip of paper folded like a concertina. On the top fold is a small bright red heart, on the bottom the same heart is enfolded in a larger blue heart and on the other side of the paper is written:
One morning before leaving the apartment, I left a note for Oubey on the kitchen table. It was a little red heart on a small sheet of blue paper. When I came home that evening I found my good morning greeting transformed by the addition of a second blue luminous heart framing my little red heart. This exchange of hearts between Oubey and me from so far in the past is now offered as my gift of remembrance of 2 August 2004, because it was in August exactly 30 years ago that our two paths crossed over night so wonderfully. For the gift of that night all the good spirits of heaven have earned my eternal gratitude.
Did the thought never cross your mind that Oubeys death could be in the order of things?
She has a deep intake of breath.
Who could ever answer such a question? I’m not bitter that he died so young. I’m not bitter with anyone, neither with God nor the driver of the truck. I know we’re inseparable, that we belong together.
Week after week Dagmar Woyde-Koehler gets the latest issue of Perry Rhodan and puts it out for Oubey on top of the pile. And she still pays for his cell phone.
23 March 2013
Global Contacts: the painter OUBEY at the Direktorenhaus
Dark chasms of unfathomable black on black, clouded with floating ethereal veils and illuminated by a myriad of minute dots: this is what the universe must look like, eternity, infinity. Einstein’s Tears is a strangely moving painting, like all the other works of the German artist OUBEY (1958–2004). In his paintings he sought answers to the age-old questions that have always haunted humanity. And now Dagmar Woyde-Koehler’s MINDKISS project seeks to pay posthumous tribute to his art. OUBEYS paintings can be seen on the Global Encounters Tour together with film sequences which show people from scientists to musicians in direct confrontation with the paintings (Direktorenhaus, once more on 23 March, 11:30–20:30 hrs, Treptow, Am Krögel 2).
Science and art are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In pulsating earth tones, he captures seven million years of evolutionary history. The archaic brush strokes range over the color surface like some prehistoric cave painting. Look more closely and you see they turn into letters. OUBEY grants us glimpses into the mind of a man who travels between two worlds. The encounters show that you don’t have to be an art expert to fall under the spell of OUBEYs paintings. There’s a timeless quality about them that we all find moving. Annika Brockschmidt
From Karlsruhe to San Francisco: Art by OUBEY
Barbara Munker and Christian Fahrenbach, FOCUS Online / dpa
An artist holds his first exhibition in 1992, and sells works to the tune of several thousand DMs. Twelve years later the man dies in a car accident. His wife carries his vision into the world. She now presents OUBEY the artist in San Francisco. With no intention of selling.
San Francisco/Karlsruhe (dpa) – Considering that she hardly wants anything to do with the art world and its business, she’s come a long way with OUBEY, the German artist who died in 2004. In San Francisco – and worldwide on the internet via livestream (starting at 19.30 CET) – Dagmar Woyde-Koehler from Karlsruhe is presenting works by her husband on Saturday (20 October). It’s not your usual type of exhibition because OUBEY’s art is not the type that can be neatly pigeonholed. In association with the Goethe Institute Dagmar Woyde-Koehler invites us to a symposium entitled Through Art to Science.
She’s brought eight works of art with her from Germany including three Star Pixels, fiber board paintings of stars from OUBEY’s last creative period. “He wanted to paint thousands, but then came the accident, leaving 85 of them completed”, says his wife, talking about the artist whose work was influenced by the physics of Einstein, ancient Greek philosophy, science fiction, astronomy and oceanography.
In what she terms “Encounters” Dagmar Woyde-Koehler videos the reactions of researchers, thinkers and creative minds from disciplines that at first sight seem pretty remote from the art of painting. In these Encounters a psychologist, an opera singer, a brain researcher and a science fiction writer all discuss the associations and responses triggered in them by looking at a particular painting by OUBEY and explain what connections they see between it and their own field of work. The reactions are part of the OUBEY Encounter Project; further encounters will also be filmed in San Francisco.
The astronomer Seth Shostak from the SETI Institute will be there along with experts in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. And other “inspirational minds” from Silicon Valley close by San Francisco says, Sabine Erlenwein, director of the Goethe Institute, talking about the way OUBEYs art links up with this ideas incubator.
For over some two decades OUBEY was a genuine pioneer. In the 1980s he drew digital pictures with his Amiga 500 computer. Then in 1992 he staged an exhibition of these “Photon Paintings” showing a dozen works. It was a very successful exhibition, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler. He sold about two thirds of the works on display for up to DM 8,000 a piece, his wife comments today.
Yet success brought self doubt and misgivings with it and made the artist ruminate on the nefarious influence the art world can have on an artist. OUBEY withdrew from this garish business and all the expectations of collectors. It was only twelve years later that he wanted to venture out again into the public gaze with new works. But then the unthinkable happened: in the middle of preparations for his new exhibition OUBEY was killed in a car crash.
After the initial phase of mourning and grief, his wife decided to continue her husband’s work in the MINDKISS project. “Even so, this was something that never should be labeled as the widow’s project, she says. Because what she wanted to do with it was to bring OUBEYs art to public attention. From Karlsruhe she wrote and directed letters to the whole world and developed the Encounters. And it really worked. A great many people wanted to meet her and look at the paintings. “They see things in them that I never would have seen. I’ve learnt an incredible amount from them.”
The acclaimed graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister who’d achieved iconic status with his ad videos, posters and CD covers for the Rolling Stones and David Byrne designed a five volume art book with OUBEYs works With the OUBEY MINDKISS he gained America’s three most prestigious awards for design.
It’s not a question of money, says Dagmar Woyde-Koehler who works as the managing director of an institute of further education for an energy utility. “I don’t need the money – and that’s why I always ask myself what is really and truly meaningful. As she explains, this is also the reason why she won’t sell the works of her husband she has inherited. “I want to see whether it’s possible to gain attention when you’re completely divorced from business considerations.”
Dagmar Woyde-Koehler could mount any number of exhibitions with her husband’s works as he left her about 1,400 works of art, she says. She adds that she’s not at all worried that people will lose interest in his art at some point. It’s all about structures, processes, abstract things, chaos and order, she explains. And the times are conducive to such matters. Who, after all, she asks, isn’t talking about complexity today?
– [Focus Online] (http://www.focus.de)
– [Live-Stream in San Francisco](http://livestream.oubey.com)
– [Goethe Institut](http://dpaq.de/3cxNS)
– [Goethe Institut](530 Bush Street, San Francisco, USA)
(dpa-Interview – Three questions, three answers)
The artist’s widow travels the world with OUBEYs art
Barbara Munker, dpa
The widow of the German artist OUBEY wants to make his works world famous. A symposium in San Francisco’s Goethe Institute is one of the means to this end.
San Francisco (dpa) – In voluntary exile from the public arena, before his untimely death in a car crash in 2004 the painter OUBEY created a rich and diverse body of work that is now receiving increasing attention and acclaim through the internet and art auctions. As his widow Dagmar Woyde-Koehler told the dpa press agency in the run-up to the Saturday presentation in San Francisco, she wants to leave the rarefied air of exclusivity and open up to a broad audience.
OUBEYs works don’t lend themselves to the usual type of exhibition. Is this why you focus more on working on a worldwide presentation over the internet?
Woyde-Koehler: I can get in touch with anybody anywhere in the world and I can find people for my “Encounters” anywhere. The number of page hits on my blog has increased dramatically. OUBEY always thought that his paintings had a universal character that didn’t need a particular language or explanation. He once said that what he wanted was for his pictures to be of equal fascination to an Eskimo and an Australian aborigine. This is one of the reasons why I’m travelling around the world with his pictures – to see whether his wish that all kinds of people can find meaning in his paintings can be realized.
After the death of your husband, how did you start out on your project to keep his work alive and present?
Woyde-Koehler: At the beginning when I told people what I intended to do, they were dismissive and said just forget it – an artist that nobody knows, who’s no longer alive and can’t talk about what he’s doing. And to crown it all you don’t even want to sell his paintings – how on earth can such a project work? But work it did because it was based on a completely different approach. It wasn’t a question of showcasing OUBEY in the art world as “the greatest artist of all time”. I’m in the fortunate position of being able to finance the whole of the undertaking by myself. Other people might build themselves houses or invest in stocks and shares while I – so to speak – invest in OUBEY. One of my dreams is to find the sponsor for a museum, to create a place where the pictures can be seen in the context in which they grew. Where philosophy and natural sciences, the experimental and the playful can be directly felt and experienced.
Generally for your Encounters you seek out viewers in their own private surroundings. But in San Francisco for the first time you’ll be filming public encounters. How does this work?
Woyde-Koehler: A covered painting stands on an artist’s easel in a room in which one or more people can have an “encounter”. The cover is removed, they see the painting and react to it. Their reactions are filmed and edited, and if they agree with the results, the video is published on the internet. What I would like to see is that people pluck up the courage to give a spontaneous response. All too often in the art world experts have a sense of awe before art works that is counterproductive. This sense of awe is what I’d like to see viewers lose in a positive sense.
– [Live-Stream in San Francisco](http://livestream.oubey.com)
– [Goethe Institut](http://dpaq.de/3cxNS)
– [Goethe Institut](530 Bush Street, San Francisco, USA)
October 14th 2011
Stefan Sagmeister is regarded as an “enfant terrible” of the design world. He has achieved international cult status with his CD covers for Lou Reed, advertisements, installations and books. In Paris he is currently shifting the spotlight to the work of the German artist OUBEY as well.
Paris/New York (dpa) – Two pictures on the exhibition wall. The top one shows a sofa with a man in his underwear sitting on it. The lower one shows t! he same man two weeks later, but a little more corpulent, surrounded by Cola cans, yoghurt and cookies, food that he has consumed. The man on the poster is Stefan Sagmeister himself. He designed it for an exhibition in Osaka and Tokyo.
Sagmeister is not only a gifted graphics designer, but also a brilliant salesman. At the same time, the New York based Austrian is not at all hesitant about selling himself. Under the title “Sagmeister: Another exhibit about promotion and sales material”, the Paris Museum for Decorative Arts shows the first major solo exhibition in France of the celebrated graphics artist, who owes his fame to record and CD covers for Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, David Byrne and Pat Metheny.
Sagmeister’s commissioned works from the past seven years are shown on the walls and in the vitrines of the Paris museum, which is located directly next to the Louvre: posters, installations, works for social projects and design books. Whereas at the beginning of his career Sagmeister marketed primarily commercial work, he now turns increasingly to more unconventional areas, seeking to bridge the gap between art and commerce.
“MINDKISS” is one of his design books that can been seen in the exhibition until 19 February. A five-volume art book of works by the artist OUBEY from Karlsruhe, Germany, who was fatally injured in a car accident in 2004 at the age of 46. Roughly eighty of the more than one thousand pictures that OUBEY left are brought together in the multi-volume art book. The slip-case resembles a sculpture and evokes a sea of meteorite slivers.
Sagmeister was no longer able to meet OUBEY in person, but he is captivated by the diversity and themes of his work. “The theme of the artist, who was practically unknown until his death, was a connection of art and science, a combination that intrigues me too. What also fascinates me is the fact that OUBEYs widow has practically devoted her entire life to popularizing his art,” said the designer to the news agency dpa.
OUBEYs painting is fascinating because of its force of expression and irritating because of its eclecticism. In his works, the artist explored the physics of Einstein and Heisenberg, the metaphysics of Leibniz, the philosophy of! the Greeks, the poetry of Celan and Rilke. There is no pigeonhole for OUBEYs art. In this way, he also resembles Sagmeister. “He was a lone wolf, who partly tended to Abstract Expressionism, but also approached Pop Art;” said Sagmeister in New York.
Sagmeister has received three major design prizes in the USA for the art volumes “OUBEY MINDKISS”. Before Paris, the books were shown in Lausanne (Switzerland). Sagmeister also presents them in his many lectures in Europe, Asia and North America, he says.
OUBEYs widow, Dagmar Woyde-Koehler, has meanwhile attracted considerable attention for her partner’s work through a web site and a film. Once a year she visits scientists from various disciplines and asks them to comment o! n a picture. These “Encounters” are also published online as videos. Oubey’s art is to be shown in 2012 in a multimedia show in San Francisco and prospectively in New York as well.
October 10th 2011
Stefan Sagmeister, the internationally sought after designer, originally from Austria but working in New York, is currently hosting an exhibition on arts and commerce in Paris. Amongst his exhibits are the prizewinning books on art of the German OUBEY.
Paris/New York (dpa) – The Austrian-born Sagmeister is currently presenting his work in Paris with an exhibition on graphic design in arts and marketing. Sagmeister, a New York resident of two decades, established his reputation by designing record and CD covers for Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny. He won three international prizes, amongst these, the Design Award of the American Institute of Graphical Arts, for a series of books on the art of OUBEY, who passed away early in life.
Sagmeister works in his New York studio for the Guggenheim Museum, Time Warner, and HBO, amongst others. BMW is also a client of his. He declined an order of the White House, claiming that he needed some time off work. After Berlin, Zurich, Wien, Prag, Osaka and Seoul, Paris is the latest city to host a solo-exhibition on his works.
The two-time Grammy-winner stated in an interview with the dpa that he finds great honor in having his works presented at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, for the first time. Furthermore he “finds it amusing, that drafts of CD-Covers he made are currently on display under the same roof as Da Vincis Mona Lisa and Van Eycks Madonna”. The exhibition, titled “Sagmeister: Another Show about Promotion and Advertising Material“, will be open until February 19th of 2012.
The art books “OUBEY MINDKISS” with works of the Karlsruher OUBEY had been presented by Sagmeister in Lausanne, Switzerland. “Of course I show them regularly at presentations; last week in Barcelona and Kopenhagen.” At 46 years of age, OUBEY died in a car accident. He left behind hundreds of Paintings, which have since gained considerable popularity, especially in the US. A multi-media show is planned for 2012.
Sagmeister never knew OUBEY in person, yet he is amazed by the depth of his work. Sagmeister stated to the dpa that “The theme of the artist, who was basically unknown until his death, was the combination of arts and science, a combination which happens to intrigue me too. Besides that, I find it fascinating that OUBEYs widowed wife practically dedicates her Life to popularizing his arts”.
Click image to enlarge.
Grammy-Gewinner Stefan Sagmeister designed Kunstbuch
Bild am Sonntag