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.

Albrecht Schäfer, Chandelier, 2009

Albrecht Schäfer, Chandelier, 2009, crystal chandelier, stainless-steel cable, 447 x 705 x 290 cm
Albrecht Schäfer, Chandelier, 2009, crystal chandelier, stainless-steel cable, 447 x 705 x 290 cm

A key aspect of Albrecht Schäfer’s work is his exploration and use of space. His installations are not just stand-alone artworks; they also draw in and on the surrounding area. His “Kronleuchter” [Chandelier], on display in the foyer of the Bundesbank’s branch in Berlin, stretches the length and breadth of two floors. Seen from below, a cloud of multiform glass crystals hovers overhead. During the daytime they refract the sun’s rays in a thousand hues, while after dark the crystals twinkle in the glow of the light bulbs and lamps. In the middle we see the metal frame of a chandelier. Yet this familiar object appears strange and bare, as if its glass ornaments have flown into orbit around it. This fragmentation gives rise to an entirely new situation. The traditional image of the chandelier as a rich, old-fashioned decorative element disappears. Instead, we focus on its individual components, their particular physical properties and the alternating mood as day slowly changes into night. Albrecht Schäfer’s carefully deconstructed chandelier challenges the onlooker to revisit the familiar and everyday from different aspects and angles.