Sculptures and installations

Victor Vasarely, Interior design for dining room, 1972, Plastic and metal
Victor Vasarely, Interior design for dining room, 1972, Plastic and metal

The Bundesbank’s offices house a large number of sculptures and installations by acclaimed artists such as Tony Cragg, Bogomir Ecker, Alf Lechner and Joseph Kosuth. Most of those works were created or purchased to occupy a particular space in new buildings that were being constructed at that time, as "Kunst am Bau" [public art] projects. The installations respond in totally different ways to their respective settings. In Düsseldorf, Tony Cragg integrates four different sculptures into the building which thematise the geographical and industrial surroundings; in Oldenburg, meanwhile, Bogomir Ecker creates a link between the real urban space and the building’s interior.

Alf Lechner, Circle within a semi-circle, 1991

Alf Lechner, Circle within a semi-circle (Catalogue raisonné 482), 1991, forged and polished steel, 375 x 375 x 750 cm
Alf Lechner, Circle within a semi-circle (Catalogue raisonné 482), 1991, forged and polished steel, 375 x 375 x 750 cm

Alf Lechner’s sculptures are defined by his choice of material – steel. He works virtually exclusively with this material, creating works which often weigh hundreds of kilos. The monumental steel forms are stamped, pressed, broken, cut and rolled into shape during the production process according to his precise specifications. He thereby moulds the steel into basic geometric shapes which he then juxtaposes, multiplies, divides or interlocks.

Lechner’s deceptively simple construction “Kreis im Halbkreis” [Circle within a semi-circle] located outside the Regensburg branch is actually the result of extensive study and a carefully thought-out reductive process. Some parts of the surface have been left in their original rough state while others have been polished. Lechner hereby draws attention to the refinement process and simultaneously demonstrates that the heavy mass of the material and the light springiness of the curves both offer expressive possibilities. The artist’s fascination with steel lies in its combination of extreme toughness and hardness coupled with malleability and versatility.