Fritz Koenig (1924-2017)

The collection of sculpture and graphic art shown here is largely part of Landshut's KOENIGmuseum, formerly the Skulpturenmuseum im Hofberg. As an example of the work by sculptor Fritz Koenig, 14 selected sculptures are presented as 3D objects. In addition, bavarikon will also be showing almost 60 other sculptures, paper cuts and drawings by the artist, who a major exhibition was dedicated to at the Uffizi Gallery and Boboli Gardens in Florence in 2018.

In 1993, the Koenig couple transferred all their property to the Fritz-und-Maria-Koenig Foundation, which they had set up in the same year. This mainly related to the sculptor's complete artistic oeuvre as well as the internationally renowned collection of African art. Added to this, there are collections of paintings and sculptures from antiquity to the 20th century, as well as Koenig's estate in Ganslberg near Landshut with its studios, workshop, showrooms and stables. In order to adequately present Koenig's work and collections and to preserve them for posterity, the city of Landshut declared its willingness to build and maintain the KOENIGmuseum.

Fritz Koenig

The sculptor Fritz Koenig (1924-2017) is one of the most important representatives of art in Germany after the Second World War. Born in Würzburg, he came to Landshut at the age of five. In 1942, at the age of 18, he went to war. His experiences of suffering and death during service led to a lifelong artistic preoccupation with the themes of death and transience, which are reflected in intimate drawings and sculptures as well as in numerous memorials and signs of remembrance. One publicly accessible example is the memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany (1982/83) in the former Mauthausen concentration camp or the Klagebalken (1994/95), a monument to the victims of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Koenig studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1946 to 1952 and was a master student of Anton Hiller. In 1957 the young sculptor received a scholarship to work at Villa Massimo in Rome. National and international successes, such as participation in the 29th Venice Biennale in 1958 or documenta II in 1959 in Kassel, followed. Koenig rejected a call to the Düsseldorf Academy to succeed Ewald Mataré. He accepted an appointment at the Technical University of Munich in 1964 and held the chair of Sculptural Design at the Faculty of Architecture until his retirement in 1992.

Koenig's Bavarian homeland was an important source of inspiration and a place where he deliberately chose to live and work. In 1960 the artist acquired an agricultural property in Ganslberg near Landshut. In 1961 he built a house, studio and stables based on his ideas and vision. Rural life made it possible for the passionate rider and horse lover to build up his own Arabian breeding programme, which became famous worldwide and was also of great importance thematically for his artistic work.

Koenig created numerous sculptures in public spaces, in Bavaria as well as in Germany and beyond. His internationally best known work is the Spherical Caryatid N.Y. (1968/72) fountain sculpture for the World Trade Center in New York, which was severely damaged in 2001.

>> This collection is part of the holdings of the KOENIGmuseum.