Station: [25] The artist Benno Werth

Archibald, the Museum Mouse:

Hello, my name is Archibald, and I’m the museum mouse! Usually, I’d be scurrying around the exhibition spaces, upstairs on the first and second floor. But I’m already familiar with every nook and cranny up there: the mammoth tusk, the history of the convent, the railway, the steel works, the kindergarten and all that stuff.

That’s why I’ve decided to hide down here in the function room today. They often have theatre performances, readings, concerts and discussions and stuff in here. So I sometimes hide among the seating and listen. But what I like best is to stroll along the sides and look at the pictures and sculptures. Have you seen the weird towers of cast bronze there by the windows? Great stuff, I tell you! In the evenings, when the museum is shut, I sometimes climb around on them. But – ssshh! – don’t tell the museum director, she’s liable to get shirty.

Anyway: the paintings and the sculptures were all made by the same man. That man was Benno Werth, and he was born in Riesa in 1929. He was a painter, designer and sculptor. He started painting very early on. During the war, he created etchings using old x-ray plates, and printed them up by running them through the mangle at home. Later, he moved away with his parents and lived in the Rhineland, where he became a famous artist. After the Turnaround and German unification, he and Riesa got back in touch! Benno Werth exhibited his works in several shows here at the town museum. Since 1994, there’s even a fountain by him on Mannheimer Platz outside the cinema. And in front of the museum at Poppitzer Platz, there’s a six metre high bronze pillar by Benno Werth on display. Both sculptures were made by the negative mould casting process he invented for metals. When he turned 80, he gave a great many paintings and sculptures to his home town. Riesa and the museum association also acquired some works. There’s have a changing selection of Werth’s art works on permanent display here in the “Benno Werth Hall”.

Take your time to look around and enjoy the wonderful play of colours in the paintings, with that oscillating quality, the forms and impasto dabs of colour, as well as the filigree, skeletal sculptures that appear lightweight and insubstantial, with an almost rhythmic quality…