Lothar Nickel was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1957 and was introduced to stone carving during a trip to the west coast of Scotland. He received his Diploma in Sculpture & Fine Arts from the Alanus College of Art in Bonn, Germany.
His sculptures come to life as a synthesis of his sensitive yet confident mastery of materials and his delight in playfully contrasting different sculptural elements. His creations touch the viewer by virtue of their subtle vitality and the inner life with which the artist imbues the inanimate substance.
The figurative element, when it appears, is not a starting point but the result of a process in which the artist seeks to devise sculptural movements and spatial gestures which echo the inner experience of his keen interest in life and his empathy for all creatures, be it animal or man. Lothar Nickel invents sculptural characters which develop a life of their own. In the sculpture “Himalama” for instance, he embodies a kind of fabulous animal which calls upon the viewer to contemplate the artist’s work by inventing the creature’s own life story.
“I generally use electrical and pneumatic tools to speed up the working process, and this only after many years of having used hand tools to develop a respectful feeling for the material. No matter, the last finish is always done by hand. I regard mastering the technical aspect of sculpting as important, but at the same time not to be ruled by it. I like to take risks during the work process and I like to invite the unforeseeable. This is my technique for avoiding routine and discovering the spirit of a particular piece.”