The recent works [of Hoflehner] emerge from a different world. They are a continous invocation of the organic powers and their antagonism. Hoflehner concentrates on the mysterious life-center, in other words: upon the off-spring of fertility and creativity.
I am writing these lines as a personal testimony and I do not attempt to offer a widely stratified analysis of Hoflehner's art and its various meanings. But how could I resist to indicate in a few works its basic correspondence with that "nuit des temps" which we are used to call the world of archetypes. Various aspects seem to corroborate this interpretation.
First among them there is the age-old symbol of linguam, which we rediscover in Hoflehner's "stakes". And his most recent creations seem to confirm what all the ancient myths teach us: the inseparable co-existence of the archetypal parents. Instead of paraphrasing the findings of others, I simply quote one out of many significant observations from Heinrich Zimmers "Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization":
"As the symbol of male creative energy, the linguam is frequently combined with the primary symbol of female creative energy, the yoni, the latter forming the base of the image with the former rising from its center."
Further investigation might perhaps prove that the mythical and archetypal patterns are nothing but visual metaphors for the self-interpretation of the artist. Thus he embodies "the pair of opposites", creativity and fertility, he is both the Father and Mother of the World "dans la nuit des temps."
– Werner Hofmann
Director, Museum des 20, Jahrhunderts, Vienna
"L'origine de la sculpture se perd dans la nuit des temps."
The origin of sculpture is lost in the mists of time.
After a three-year period of work 1959-62, I had a travelling exhibition through Europe. Following this I entered a completely new phase of work which began with "Figure in Iron" 1963.
–Rudolf Hoflehner, from a 1965 letter to the Tate Museum, who have one of these figures (74) in their collection.
Hoflehner shocked the art world with his sculptures at the 1960 Venice Biennial. His style evolved as the artist focused on male and female creative energies.