Kinder (Kids) by Judith Wagner

(Last Updated On October 12, 2023)

Judith Wagner was born in Vienna, Austria in 1973. She studied sculpture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and earned her diploma in 1998. She is currently producing both sculpture and drawings. Subjects of her art include people, horses, and centaurs among other things. Most of her work has an abstract, even grotesque quality that can make me feel uneasy, but nevertheless I cannot deny its power. It is apparently the artist’s intention to challenge the viewer, to force him to see things in a new way. Wagner wrote, “The beautiful and the ugly, the abysmal and the sublime, heaven and hell, that is what people carry within them, layered on top of each other. Just as a plastic is created in layers, sometimes the lower layer can be felt through, sometimes the upper layer hides the lower one. That makes it exciting, that makes me pause and look in amazement. To represent that, to comprehend it in form, to make it visible and understandable is my concern.”

Judith Wagner – Kids (2015) (1)

Judith Wagner – Kids (2015) (2)

Kids, also titled in German Kinder, is the topic of this article. It differs from Wagner’s typical work in two ways. First, the subjects are children. Second, they are portrayed with a realism that is lacking in many of Wagner’s other sculptures and drawings. The stern expressions and the staring deep eyes are the most noticeable features of Kids that are common to Wagner’s art.

You can view more of Wagner’s art on her website.  When I enter the name Judith Wagner into a search engine, the first artist by that name that is found is another Judith Wagner that, coincidentally, also uses horses as a subject for her art.  They are not the same person, so don’t confuse the two.

Judith Wagner – Pink Kid (2015)

Judith Wagner – Blue Kid (2015)

Judith Wagner – Red Kid (2015)

Judith Wagner – Green Kid (2015)

The figures are life size; ranging in height from 4 feet 3 inches to 5 feet. Although the title is gender neutral, all four figures are girls. The original Kids of 2015 are painted resin. A second edition of Kids was made of white concrete in 2018.

Judith Wagner – Second Edition Kids (2018)

The model for the blue Kid is shown with Wagner’s abstract drawings of horses in the background.

Judith Wagner – Blue Kid and Model (2015)

4 thoughts on “Kinder (Kids) by Judith Wagner

  1. Here is the gallery’s website:

    I wondered what is the point of them being colored pink, blue, red and green? Here is the apparent explanation:
    The strong coloring also breaks with the impression of the naturalistic model and places the silent gesture of the figures in an area of tension between calm and expression.

    I’m getting the impression that these are meant to be human trafficking victims. The eyes look dead to me, and this quote here:
    Judith Wagner’s new work is daring
    just approach the simple body.

    They will be perfect
    artistic possibilities
    the posture, expression and movement are withdrawn.

    A taking back that us
    reaches the characters

    us directly
    this silence
    can be confronted

    without in between.

    Another quote the children completely expose themselves to the viewer with their vulnerable nudity, but on the other hand, their incorruptible expression makes them appear strong and defensive.
    Appear strong and defensive?

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