In this period he still lived in his old house in the countryside. Sometimes when I went to see him in the summertime, I could hear the sound of his piano through the open window.He always played the same old melodies, and it was a bit pathetic to hear him walking through the old midnight special one more time. He also listened very much to Leonard Cohen, especially the old numbers like Susanne. I suspected, the text made him remember the woman from the 80ies, we never talked about.
There was more development in his paintings. In the first part of the new century he was very interested in describing the former century, and often told me, - all those horrors can be seen as a mirror of human possiblities, it is a burden we have to carry. The first picture below is one of his considerations. He told me, what scares me most, is the facade bourgeoise that conseals the monstrosities of the killers in high places in the 20th century.
Later on he worked with the sphere as graphical expression of harmony and unity. He was admitted to his first juried exhibition and this event can be seen here
The paintings below were all created in the autumn of 2006. Ernst Altien was working with the sphere as a graphic symbol of modern life. At that time he talked a lot about the Greec philosopher Euclides.