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Alumna returns after 14 years to native Germany for art show
6/20/11

Monika Kaden, who earned her M.F.A. in 1993 from the School of Art & Design at Alfred University, returns to her native Germany after a 14-year absence to exhibit her work in Munich.

“Monika Kaden: Ways and Stations interpreted in Bronze” opens with a reception at 7 p.m. June 30 at the Gallery ArtFoundation in Munich. The show will run through July 25; hours are 9 am to 6 pm daily.
Kaden will be exhibiting bronze sculptures created during the last year at the Shidoni Foundry in Tesuque, NM, and in Munich during the past six months.

A graduate of the Burg Giebichstein college of Art and Design in Halle, Kaden left the former East Germany in 1988, one year before the Berlin Wall came down. She came to Alfred for her master’s degree, then taught and created art in the United States.

The “other” cultures influenced her work drastically, she said. Over the past 10 years, she has been designing bronze sculptures for public spaces, as well as pieces for private collections, working at Shidoni Foundry in New Mexico.

She was among those who created the “Dancing Saint Francis on Water” in front of the Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis in Santa Fe, NM. Modern bronze dance figures followed, as did a project for the Vatican in a Catholic church in Albuquerque, NM

Out of that work came an invitation in 2007 to create a seven-foot tall sculpture of Pope John XXIII, smiling, with colored patina, gold and platinum leaf. A documentary film showing Kaden creating the papal sculpture was shown at the Artfilm Festival in Toronto in 2009.

A commission for a German manager led Kaden to reconnect with her native country. She created “Walking Man” at the New Mexico foundry and transported it to Munich. While waiting for her new visa to re-enter the United States, Kaden created nine new bronzes and several drawings at a foundry in Munich, a place she had been unable to visit while living under East German rule. The visit marked the first time she had been able to visit an area that had once been part of West Germany.