Andreas Helmling Bildhaueratelier: literally art

My Steel

My Steel

My steel is not lifeless, but full of life.

It speaks and corresponds to me, it reacts to me and its surroundings.

With all force it opposes me, stays tough and recalcitrant. It absorbs the force that I have to have to expend to form it nevertheless.  

It squeaks like a child and is noisy like a human crowd, it drones and thunders like Wotan, like Zeus.

The variety of its sounds is greater than the compass of any other singer.

It circulates (flows) through my body as an essential substance: iron.

My sweat makes it rust.

Every surface layer, every weathering tells one of its stories – stories of the weather it has faced, of the bashes, kicks and lesions from which it has suffered.

Many a sheet plate bears witness to its journey through time, narrates from being painted and retouched, from the different purposes it may have been used for – from all the things it may have seen and undergone.

Steel lives, grows older, may come undone one day, when it has lived up to its life. Like us. Like me.

It is resilient and tenacious, refractory sometimes, springy or hard – just as the men are to each other.

During summer, it is hotter than wood, in winter colder than ice.

It stretches and extends itself like the sun worshiper in the heat and contracts itself in the cold – like a cat.

It keeps together almost every kind of edifice, it spans valleys and seas, it serves as a variable tool and as a useful extension of the human hand for working, healing, eating and looking after each other.  Er hält nahezu alle Bauten zusammen, überspannt Täler und Meere, hilft als vielgesichtiges Werkzeug und Handerweiterung zu arbeiten, zu heilen, zu essen, zu pflegen.

Taking the form of various vehicles, it carries me through the world – from the deepest seas to the infinity of space.

Not only keeps it our planet together from its core, it ensures the balance of all the planetary system.

                                                     Andreas Helmling 10/24/2005

My Art

My Art

My art is playful and tender 

Sometimes rude and straightforward,

fine, too,


versatile and diffuse,

analytically reflected,

concentrated and purposive,

fragmentary and aspiring completion,

complex and simple,

deep and high,

my ALL



                                                                   Andreas Helmling 04/19/2005





In the summer of 1983, I developed a new form concept for a great number of figural themes. The basis of this new concept is the tetrahedron which creates spatial figures when disarranged, elongated or shortened. Arranged in sequences or intersections, it apportions space, which is actually the artistic material for a sculptor to work with.

To check my imagination, I observe nature, as I have very often made the experience that the perception of proportions and beauty has its origins in the natural norms. To me, nature is a rating scale for esthetics.

The themes are mostly flying forms – like the Egyptian Horus Hawk, the eagle, flying dinosaurs and raven – figures that move and are moved freely in space. Their dynamic and the high grade of stability of their very light construction are aspects that make them interesting for the work with steel.

I first analyzed vigorous, dynamic animals and began to give them concrete forms in steel. My first work was a bull, later I designed all zodiac signs and reduced human figures or groups of figures as well as symbol-like idols. Many of them were also built as reliefs, whereas others were installed as big sculptures in public spaces – at last the collage-like Angels in 2006.

Andreas Helmling, 2011

Conception of space

Conception of Space

My way of seeing, thinking and working on and in space – a general perception:

1 Point in space – 1 point

2 Points in space – 1 line

3 Points in space – 1 plane

4 Points in space – 1 corpus (if the points are not in one plane)

I try to create most complex, expressive structures with the least definition (= variables= points in space) possible. Consequently, the modification of the sculpture´s expression and its character through the modification of one of its variables is exactly traceable.   

Therefore I think in terms of planes, whose lines and points of intersection and the spatial relation amongst them. I vary their proportions and think in webs of spatial lines. Then I draw those ideas of different forms as “spatial drawings” with iron poles. Coloured paperboard models allow me a good orientation when working on new sculptures.

I use laminar steel plates, which I cut and weld to create hollow sculptures who appear massive.  

Andreas Helmling, 2011

Ask Not

Ask Not


Ask not

What art can do

For you!



What you can do

For art!


John F. Kennedy's “Ask Not” inaugural address

(text slightly modified by the artist ;) )