Katharina Szelinski-Singer

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Katharina Szelinski-Singer in September 2007

Katharina Szelinski-Singer, born as Katharina Singer (24 May 1918 in Neusassen, nearby Heydekrug, Memelland – 20 December 2010 in Berlin) was a German sculptor. She lived in Berlin from 1945 until her death.

Katharina Szelinski-Singer was an accomplished sculptor who studied at the Berlin University of the Arts, where she was a master student of Richard Scheibe. Shortly after finishing her studies in the mid-fifties she was commissioned to do a sculpture for park "Hasenheide" in Berlin. The sculpture was intended to honour the German Trümmerfrauen (German for: rubble women), those women who after the end of the Second World War played a major role in rebuilding the city by clearing up the rubble of the damaged buildings. This limestone-sculpture is until now her most well-known work in a public place. After several similar but smaller commissions she lived from 1956 till 1986 mainly from doing restoring work at the Charlottenburg Palace.

Katharina Szelinski-Singer was considered an outsider in the art scene:[1] Although following up a different career path she continued to sculpture, but till 1987 her work could only rarely be seen in exhibitions. This changed in 1987–88, when the Georg-Kolbe-Museum showed her work in a large exhibition dedicated only to her. All in all 45 of her sculptures have been shown there.[2]

Sculpture „Porphyr“, 1988

Her work consists roughly of one hundred sculptures which are without exemption figurative. She is practically always showing bodies or heads of women; very often they are an image of herself or influenced by elements from her own life. With the sculpture series Köpfe (German for: Heads) she was able to free herself to some extent from the influence of her teacher Richard Scheibe and develop new ways to express herself. This resulted also in a more extensive usage of bronze and gypsum, after a long period of working with natural stone. Art experts judge her work to be in line with the so-called "Berliner Bildhauerschule" (Berlin sculptor school).

She died on 20 December 2010, at age 92, in Berlin and was buried at the Friedhof Heerstraße.


  1. ^ Beschreibung/Darstellung von Helmut Börsch-Supan, in: Berger, Ursel; Börsch-Supan, Helmut: Katharina … , … (Ausstellungskatalog)
  2. ^ Katharina Szelinski-Singer: Bildhauerarbeiten ...

References (exhibition catalogues)[edit]

  • Katharina Szelinski-Singer: Bildhauerarbeiten. Mit Texten von Ursel Berger und Helmut Börsch-Supan. Hrsg.: Georg-Kolbe-Museum (Ausstellungskatalog), Berlin 1987, 48 Seiten, 33 Abb.
  • Katharina Szelinski-Singer: Stein und Bronze. Mit Texten von Wolfgang Schulz. Eine Veröffentlichung der Stiftung Deutschlandhaus, Berlin. 1997, Katalog zur Ausstellung Deutschlandhaus, 19.10. - 14.12. 1997; Meissen, Albrechtsburg 8.2. - 13.4. 1998. 60 S. mit zahlr. Abb., teils farbig.