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.

Victor Vasarely and Yvaral, Interior design for dining room, 1972

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

‘I dream of a social art’, wrote Victor Vasarely as early as 1953 in his “Notes Brutes” [Rough notes]. ‘The crowds, the masses, a multitude of beings, this is the new dimension. See the unlimited space, the truth of structures. Art is the plastic aspect of the community.’

Vasarely was a star of the Op art movement, a thinker, an engineer and an eloquent driving force of the movement. His studio was a laboratory; its linchpins were computers, cybernetics, research and prototypes. His all-embracing goal was to seek and find new horizons. The Op artists were searching for an inclusive contemporary art which would embrace society. Its key aims were to infuse everyday life with art and integrate artistic design into architecture.

In 1972 at the Bundesbank’s Central Office in Frankfurt am Main, Vasarely, together with his son Yvaral, designed a dining room which stood out starkly in a long row of conference rooms. They created a typically Vasarelyan ensemble of yellow, gold, grey and silver, enveloping the entire room. The walls of this dining room are decorated with coloured round plastic and aluminium discs arranged in symmetrical rows. The colours of the ceiling, floor and doors harmonise with those of the walls. Vasarely’s artwork, which encompasses the whole room and all the available space, interacts with the differing structures and materials deployed to expose the viewer to many different perspectives.