Gallery Artists > Werner Plangg Biography :

Werner Plangg (1933 - 1994)  Artworks >>

Werner R. Plangg was born in Zurich, Switzerland in November 1933. At an early age, he began to show his love for nature in pencil sketches, rough clay sculptures and paintings. At the age of five he and his family moved to the countryside of Lake Zurich and this prompted Werner's precocious interest in animals and nature. In 1966, he started painting full time and by that time he had accumulated a lot of his own art in different media and subjects from animals to surrealism. Through his quiet but intense studies of animals and through the vast number of drawings, he at least felt he could contribute to giving these great wild animals the appreciation they deserve. Werner was not only a painter and sculptor but also a courageous mountaineer and avid hiker, tracking wild animals beyond the timberline. He was a unique person with a healthy dose of humor. He would say: " When I get to a spot where my wallet is hanging over the edge of a cliff, I figure that is far enough-and he smiled. He studied big animals so extensively, he knew what they are likely to do under any circumstances. He loved climbing, respecting the animals in their natural habitat. In his paintings, Werner's aim was to achieve a unified picture in which all elements are important, the landscape and the animals. He strongly believed in drawings from life, either in the wilderness of the mountains or at the Calgary Zoo. It was not surprising to find nature in his studio in the form of parts of trees, stones, tree stumps, clumps of grass and various animal bones. He strongly believed in drawing from life because, no matter how skillful an artist is with oil paint, he will not achieve the best result unless he can draw well. He was also open to criticism and felt there is much more than he could accomplish, always aiming at a higher level of artistic expression. The Art Department of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, houses one oil painting, titled Canada North, Two Muskox On The Ledge. There are also two etchings titled Caribou Head and Trees With A Brook. One dry point drawing from 1973 titled Dear Mom. One bronze of Swan Hill Grizzly Bear was donated to the Museum by studio West Ltd., Foundry and Art Gallery in Cochrance, Alberta. The above collection leads to the conclusion that Werner was not only an animal painter. He excelled in painting wild animals in the high country but also drew fine pictures telling a story. His drawing skills related to the period of commercial art and medical illustration. He perfected his skills in accurate renditions of detail of animal and human physique. His sense of humor combined with a vivid imagination produced unusual drawings, which are complex and carry a flavor of satirical criticism. One such drawings depicts a busy street in Europe with old houses, a horse with carriage and people of various shapes and expressions, busy in daily activities. Another is of a shoemaker, showing a man sitting at the table full of implements and gadgets. A third called Dear Mom is more symbolic and highly complex, telling the story of settlers with wagon, invading the West, bringing in junk and leaving behind garbage. In these drawings, the skilled illustrator tells stories with a critical eye and sense of humor, as the subjective artistic interpretation. Source

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