In 2009, on his 80th birthday, Waldemar Otto was honored with a major exhibition at the Gerhard Marcks Haus in Bremen, das Bildhauermuseum im Norden. "Keine Retrospektive!" is the title of the exhibition and the accompanying catalog, which has also become the first step towards Waldemar Otto's "Werkverzeichnis". Keine Retrospektive! implicitly indicates that Waldemar Otto's oeuvre is not yet complete; he still works daily in his masterly studio in Worpswede, Northern Germany.

Waldemar Otto likes to work according to a thematic order, which results in series. He calls them "working groups". In this way Torsi, Mensch und Mass and Gewandfiguren are created. Themes from classical antiquity and mythology recur regularly. Agamemnon und Iphigenie is his most recent "Werkgruppe".

A passionate defender of figurative sculpture, Otto constantly seeks the human measure, both in form and content; his oeuvre has no place for purely narrative sculpture. In the announcement of Otto's last exhibition at Borzo in 2006, I described his imagery, form and technique as: "... nature visible in the abstraction of form".

Arie Hartog, director of the Gerhard Marcks Museum in Bremen, calls Form and Figure “Indivisible core concepts”. In this he calls form as a certain abstraction, as a concept that first gets its content in the hands of the sculptor and then becomes Figure. (Arie Hartog, Keine Retrospektive !, Bremen 2009, p. 65).

In the FORM und FIGUR exhibition, we have made a selection from Waldemar Otto's studio from the past 25 years.

Paul van Rosmalen, November 2011