The subject of the horse is omnipresent in Fritz Koenig's art (1924-2017) throughout all his creative periods. He doesn't just deal with this topic as a sculptor and graphic artist but as a breeder and passionate rider too. In the "Small Equestrian Statue" sculpture from 1979, we find both thematic and formal references to antiquity and the lines of tradition that go back to it, as they often appear in Koenig's works. Other exemplary subjects here are the two and/or four-horse carriages, i.e. representations of the biga and quadriga or the centaur too. While many of Koenig's horses and equestrian representations focus on the sensual physicality of the creature or the fusion of man and animal, honouring remembrance becomes the leitmotif here. The art historian Peter Anselm Riedl writes: "The resolute condensation of the "equestrian monument" idea into a linguistically powerful composite of prism pedestal, the horses' neck and head and the stretched human torso is intentional and accomplished in the Small Equestrian Statue from 1979" (Peter Anselm Riedl, Introduction, in: Dietrich Clarenbach, Fritz Koenig. Skulpturen. Werkverzeichnis, with an introduction by Peter Anselm Riedl, Munich 2003, p.20). The anonymisation achieved through the process of abstraction leads here to the visualisation of the essential meanings of an equestrian statue such as rigour, honour and dignity.
Stephanie Gilles M.A.
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