The Renate Herold Czaschka International Foundation was established in 2016 at the behest of the Viennese engraver, Jürgen Czaschka. Dedicated to Renate Herold, who died in 2009, a life companion with whom the artist shared a path of love and passion for art, it represents a dynamic space for printmaking and artist’s books.
The Foundation operates internationally mainly focusing on printmaking /publishing with special focus on “artists’ books”.
One of its main objectives is to create products able to re-imagine the shape of the book, enabling artistic research and a high level of craftsmanship to co-exist in a single product, thanks to close relations with the Opificio Della Rosa (www.opificiodellarosa.org) of Montefiore Conca, where, for some time now, interesting collaboration has been under way between artists and professional persons, including the art bookbinding firm, Anonima Amanvensis of Luigi Castiglioni. (www.luigicastiglioni.it).
One of the aims of the Foundation is to promote the “book form” beyond traditional boundaries and encourage innovation as regards the design of shapes, sizes and materials, as well as the use, currently being implemented, of those technical and craft skills which are an integral part of our cultural heritage. Support will therefore be provided to products keyed to concrete experimentation.
There are three main areas of activity: support to young artists, collaboration with international artists and the organization of exhibitions and public events.
More specifically, support will be given to young artists through collaboration with Foundation university partners, initiating study projects with groups of pupils and students, to explore the potential of “book form”, the different aspects “making it up” and, during the executive stage, the coordinates will be given for a technical specialist path.
International artists will then be invited to create art books, designed and implemented thanks to the involvement of professional craftsmen working at the Opificio Della Rosa and collaborating firms.
Finally, the Foundation will periodically organize public events – exhibitions, conferences and workshops – which will actively place it within a broader context of artists’ books and art publishing.
Biography of Renate Herold Czaschka
A person of great cultural depth and insatiable curiosity for artistic events, Renate Herold was born in Bergen – on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea – in 1939.
She was raised in a culturally and politically active family.
Her mother’s brothers, Arthur and Werner Rother, were both musicians: Arthur, a music conductor in Berlin and Werner a composer for the German theatre and of Hollywood soundtracks.
Her sister Barbara is a mathematician.
In 1957, her parents – both teachers – had to leave the GDR because her father was against the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Renate had just graduated.
Renate obtained a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Münster in 1966 and worked in the field of pharmaceutical research: first for Schering AG in Berlin, then for Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel.
She married the film director and actor Dieter Reckers and, while they separated a few years later, they continued to remain good friends and in fact Renate regularly visited him. During one of these visits, at the Paderborn theatre, she met Jürgen Czaschka, Dieter’s production designer.
Jürgen and Renate fell in love and, in 1977, they began living together in Berlin, where they married in 1982.
Jürgen, who had been studying hand engraving while at the same time working as a production designer, was prompted by Renate to dedicate himself completely to the former activity for three years, the time necessary to prepare the ground for a number of exhibitions in Germany. Renate financially supported the project. With this type of contract, Jürgen managed to create those works which were to make him famous.
Jürgen recounts that, although his works sold well in the eighties, engraving research and work required so much time that in the end he “was unable to earn a living”, in the sense that expenditure always cancelled out revenue.
Renate urged him to continue working without compromise and supported him in every way possible.
In 1999, Renate retired and the couple moved into a small house in a chestnut forest near Fanano (MO), their summer residence since the eighties.
Renate died in August 2009.
Jürgen Czaschka, from Vienna, is unanimously recognized as one of the greatest masters of the art of burin on copper. His artistic training was done in Berlin in the late seventies. He has created works of absolute technical expertise and overwhelming power of expression which make him an undisputed master of this art.
After dedicating himself to humanistic studies – a degree in history and philosophy – he has always investigated contemporary society with a secular and cynical approach in a continuous iconographic and semantic dialogue with classicism. A person of deep intellectual curiosity, Jürgen shared with his wife Renate a love for all forms of artistic and cultural events.
Maria Pina Bentivenga
Born in Stigliano (Matera), she moved to Rome to attend the Academy of Fine Arts. Her love for printmaking takes shape in pure drawing and etching. Her prints and artists’ books are on show in Italy and abroad and are part of collections such as the Albertina in Vienna and the National Institute for Graphics in Rome. She is a founding member of the Insignia in Rome, engaged in promoting and producing artists’ books and prints, and is a member of the board of directors of the Associazione Incisori Contemporanei. She lives and works in Rome where she teaches Printmaking at the RUFA, Rome University of Fine Arts and at the Ornamental Arts’ School of the Municipality of Roma San Giacomo.
He is the curator of contemporary art exhibitions and artistic events between Japan and Europe. He is historically and artistically specialized in classical Japanese woodcut techniques. He has been project manager of the experimental centre on Japanese engraving techniques MI-LAB (an artist-in-residence programme) and coordinator of the International Mokuhanga Conference in Tokyo in 2014.
He is Associate Lecturer of the Geidai, Tokyo University of the Arts and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Besides his job as curator, he follows a personal research path – as a writer and director of documentaries on Japanese art crafts.
After studying graphics, he graduated from the DAMS in Bologna and began dedicating his time to graphic art. He is a founding member of the art group, VACA. Since 2009, he has directed the Opificio Della Rosa low-environmental impact printmaking centre. He is in particular attracted to woodcut, in relation to which he has developed personal carving and printing techniques. His prints and artists’ books can be found in international collections. His personal, study and research work is supplemented by teaching. He is currently Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and Visiting Professor at the RUFA, Rome University of Fine Arts. As a graphics historian, he has been called upon to organize various exhibitions and has planned a series of books dedicated to engraving and illustration.
He is a photographer and filmmaker with a humanistic education and a background of critical studies He has also studied classical music. He lives and works in London. After studying photography at the Royal College of Art, Tim received the prestigious Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award. In 2009, the Centre Pompidou commissioned him to make a film installation for the Lucian Freud exhibition: The Atelier from where he created the work, Small Gestures in Bare Rooms. His work has been exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial, Tate Modern, the Venice Biennial, New Contemporaries, New Wright Biennial in LA and most recently in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart and MOMU in Antwerp. He is Senior Lecturer in Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London..
Trained as an illustrator and book designer, he has developed his own personal path which combines classic etching techniques with illustration; through these experiments, he has illustrated over a hundred books. For more twenty years he has worked in the publishing field and has been responsible for both book series and individual projects, professionally coming in contact with the international environment of the private press and especially with the publishing world parallel to large-scale distribution. His interest in music and poetry has led him to complete engraving and artists’ books projects, and to collaborate with music, poetry and performing arts festivals..
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