TU Dresden RWTH Leibniz Institut

Hans-Volker Mixsa

A memory of the Dresden blacksmith and poet

Volker Mixsa (1944-2016) was a German sculptor. That's the short introductory sentence in Wikipedia. He was born in Meiningen in southern Thuringia in 1944 and had lived in Dresden since 1962, where he completed his training as a toolmaker and worked for the blacksmith Karl Bergmann. Mixsa perfected his training in an evening course at the Academy of Fine Arts under Professor Walder Arnold and completed his studies with the master craftsman's examination.
Art and concrete - that is by no means a contradiction. After Einhart Grotegut, whose "concrete leaves" were used to create a calendar in 2008, Volker Mixsa, another artist recognised beyond the bounds of Dresden, has taken on this material. Volker Mixsa has made a name for himself with his stainless steel sculptures. They are located in public spaces - in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Bonn, among other places - and attract attention due to their lightness and variety of shapes: his wind chimes are playful eye-catchers.
In the previous Collaborative Research Centre 528, he worked with the new material carbon concrete and created sculptures that carry his unmistakable signature. He utilised the advantages of the material: the works he created are slender and elegant, airy and light - yet durable. The easy mouldability gave the artist complete freedom in finding forms. Mixsa used stainless steel for his moulds: they give the concrete a surface that is almost reminiscent of steel itself: smooth to look at and also a tactile experience!
The textile and carbon concrete art was created as part of the public relations work of the Collaborative Research Centre 528, whose funding by the German Research Foundation came to an end in June 2011 after twelve years of intensive and successful research work. A catalogue with numerous impressions was produced for the art project with Mixsa, which is available open access here.

One of his last significant projects was the redesign of the choir room of Dresden's "Weißer Hirsch" church, which he carried out together with the painter Gerda Lepke.

In 2016, Gürtler, the former Greifswald cathedral pastor, invited the blacksmith to the Decade of Peace. He originally planned to light a large forge fire on the cathedral meadow and demonstrate how ploughshares can be forged from long swords - something Mixsa had already done before during set-up times on the topic of peace. Sadly, this event could not take place as Mixsa was already ill at the time and died shortly afterwards.



The memorial ceremony that Matthias Gürtler had now organised for him aimed to illuminate various facets of the man and artist. Many people may not be informed that Hans-Volker Mixsa also wrote texts. He dreamed of becoming a writer, but he was aware that the censorship in the GDR would leave him little room for manoeuvre. He therefore looked for alternative possibilities and turned his ideas into iron. On this evening, his texts were read out in public for the first time - texts by a "thoughtful contemporary" who refused to be restricted.



"Perhaps there is always a voice in the wind": Remembering Hans-Volker Mixsa. An evening in the Peace Decade 2023 on 14 November at 7 pm in the Dresden church "Weißer Hirsch" with Pastor Gabriel Beyer from the Evangelical Church Weißer Hirsch in Dresden and retired Pastor Matthias Gürtler, who was cathedral pastor in St. Nikolai Greifswald from 1996 to 2018. The painter Gerda Lepke remembered her joint work with Mixsa. Some of his artworks were displayed in the church. Anna Maria Tietze (vocals), Rainer Promnitz (cello) and Professor Ekkehard Klemm provided the musical accompaniment for the evening.


As part of the SFB/TRR 280's public relations work, a video recording was made of the memorial ceremony on 14 November 2023. With the finished version of the video, it is now possible to relive the successful event.

Vielleicht ist immer eine Stimme im Wind - Erinnerung an den Schmied und Dichter Hans-Volker Mixsa, SFB TRR280
Vielleicht ist immer eine Stimme im Wind - Erinnerung an den Schmied und Dichter Hans-Volker Mixsa