“Dego” (Detlef Gotzens)
Born in 1952 in Cologne Germany, Detlef showed from an early age on that he was inclined towards an artistic career in Life.
At the age of fifteen he became an apprentice in the stained glass studio of Jacob Melchior in Cologne where he completed his three year apprenticeship. During that time he was exposed to some of the best known artist in this field which only confirmed his desire to pursue art for the rest of his Life.
After working in the field for five years Detlef continued his education with a master’s degree from the guild of Cologne and at the same time study glass technology and design for two full years at the famous Glass College in Rheinbach close to the former German Capital Bonn. He graduated with a Masters degree in 1977.
During all this time Detlef never stopped to paint and draw besides designing glass, after his graduation he participated in various group exhibitions’ as well as solo shows between Cologne and Duesseldorf. He also spends a lot of time traveling throughout Europe absorbing art and architecture from the various cultures. In 1985 he decided to immigrate to Canada.
He and his wife settled in Montreal and immediately started to work for a local studio, but after just 5 month opened their own atelier. One of his first commissions was to restore a window at the St. Josephs Oratorio that was partially destroyed after a fire. In the following Years Detlef by then started to sign his original art work “Dego” and continuing to work on many high profile restoration projects from Montreal to Ottawa for example Christ Church Cathedral, St. James the Apostle, St. Patrick’s Basilica in Montreal and the Peace tower windows at the Parliament Building in Ottawa, Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Basilica and St. Anthony’s Church, all located in Ottawa. At the same time he worked on numerous private and commercial art glass commissions in many different techniques that contributed to his reputation as a versatile and innovative artist. Many articles in various Papers and other publications have been written over the years and continue to date.
In 2004 he won an art competition to design 5 large windows for the Cultural Center in Huntingdon Quebec and these windows where published in the American Glass Art Magazine in 2007, and one of them with the Title "Imagine" was also exposed on John Lennon's and Yoko Ono' web site "Imagine Peace".
His expertise and technical skill was called upon again in 2007 when he created a glass façade in New York City (Central Park) for one of the best known Architectural firms/designer Ali Tayar that was also published in the New York Times.
Currently Detlef is represented by the Galerie Elena Lee in Montreal. …Read More
October 27th. 2011, Montreal Museum of fine Arts, Contemporary Glass Artist’s and their practice.
May 4/5 2011, National Gallery Ottawa, “Stained Glass through the Ages” lecture.
April 2010, Ottawa School of Art, Down Town Campus
“A stained glass journey” Lecture about the History and style of stained glass during the centuries and it’s current status as a contemporary art form.
October 2005, Huntingdon, Quebec, Cultural Center
“ A stained glass journey” same lecture as above with some aspects of conservation and restoration of Historic stained glass windows.
SOFA Chicago, November 2011 Catalogue
Galerie Elena Lee, 35 Year Anniversary Catalogue
Art Acquisitor, Fall 2011 Issue, New York Publication
November 2010, Exhibition Catalogue SOFA Chicago show.
July/August Issue 2007 Glass Art Magazine USA, five page article about the design and creation of the 5 Huntingdon Cultural center windows.
2007 Article in the New York Times about the POP Burger Building project (Design Ali Tayar, Architect) and glass façade.
Various publications and article in Montreal French and English Press as well as in the Ottawa Design Magazine, Ottawa Citizen and other regional publications.
Making Art or why, is one of the most difficult things to explain or talk about in my opinion because it is certainly for me an impulse or drive that is especially at the beginning not very clear, it is just there!
Since a very early age I was always drawn to Images, pictures, forms, lines and color, and instinctively felt very comfortable looking at art especially paintings with a sense of wonder and curiosity.
I’m constantly in the process to find a visual Language that seem to be always changing from one work to the next and every piece is leading me to another place, where I’m wondering again what is behind the next painting or sculpture I’m making? It feels like a never ending winding track.
The only thing I can say for certain is that I will never stop exploring / climbing this path and hope it keeps going on forever!
There is however a very big difference of the state of mind that I’m working in, between my Glass pieces and painting for example. The emotional condition is not the same because the pieces I make with glass and other materials need to be besides the Initial design concept or idea, very carefully planned and calculated to be accomplished, while during the painting process and it doesn’t matter in what medium, the emotional feedback is immediate or instantly.
I believe in my paintings as well as sculptures there are elements of free expression and then again of controlled form and order, which is certainly a manifestation of my Personality showing thru or reflecting in my work.
1975 -1977, Master degree, Glassmaker Guild of Cologne, Germany
Became a Master of the Cologne Guild in October 1977
1975 - 1977, Glass Technology and design, Glass College Rheinbach Germany,
“Dual” education program in art and glass technology.
1970 - 1975 Five Years’ mandatory practice, after apprenticeship and prior to applying for Master’s Degrees, with the Firm of Paul Bong, Cologne, Germany, founded in 1901.
1967 -1970, 3 Year Apprenticeship at the Jacob Melchior Atelier (The oldest stained glass studio in Cologne founded in 1854) graduated as a Journeyman with certificate.
Special Studies and Techniques
1975 –1977 Under Kurt Bischoff, acid etching, engraving
1975 –1977 Under Helmut Hoffmann, “cold techniques” wheel engraving and carving
1975 –1977 Under Willie Feuser, Director and founder of the Glass Museum Rheinbach, screen printing and various painting techniques on glass