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.

Jesús Rafael Soto, Installation in the Entrance Hall in the Central Office, 1972

Jesús Rafael Soto, Installation in the Entrance Hall of the Bundesbank's Central Office, 1972, metal and wood
Jesús Rafael Soto, Installation in the Entrance Hall of the Bundesbank's Central Office, 1972, metal and wood

‘Mondrian’s later works – The Victory Boogie Woogie – those lights! That is where we see vibration being incorporated into painting for the first time. It seemed to me […] that he was on the verge of bringing a visual motion into the picture’, wrote the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto, who lived and worked in Paris. The avant-garde of the early twentieth century had combined an interest in formalist construction with the ‘moment of motion’. This inspired the Op art movement of the 1960s, which came into being in 1955 with the groundbreaking exhibition "Le Mouvement" in the Parisian Denise René Gallery – the first to bring together the growing number of pieces that explored ways of incorporating movement into artworks. As Pontus Hultén wrote in the accompanying brochure, the aim was to reflect the major discovery of the twentieth century – time, the fourth dimension.

The material of Soto’s three-dimensional artworks often already contains this ‘moment of motion’. The dense meshing in the ‘vibration structures’ appears to evaporate as the viewer walks away from the work, only to re-form in new constellations. In his often expansive installations, such as that in the entrance hall of the Bundesbank’s central office in Frankfurt, viewers can always observe this dual motion simply by looking at the work from a different position or angle. This is art designed as a criticism of perception and awareness.