Kleine Kugelkaryatide V



This model is the first version of Fritz Koenig's (1924-2017) design for the movable fountain sculpture on the former plaza of the World Trade Center in New York. There is a welded turning device under the plinth. The formal form of the work derives, on the one hand, from the stringent further development of the series of caryatid figures that Koenig had increasingly employed since the mid-1960s. On the other hand, it also contains form elements and structures that Koenig borrowed from the votive group of works, and here especially from the eye votive. The content and form of the parallels are also too motivic for the works revolving around the caryatid figure by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) , whose line of tradition Koenig felt obliged to follow. In 1967, Fritz Koenig was commissioned by his New York gallery owner George Staempfli to design a fountain system for the plaza of the World Trade Center. Koenig tackled what he himself called the "David/Goliath situation" by creating a formal counterweight to the towers by the architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986): an almost 8-metre-high fountain sculpture on whose extremely compressed, twisted caryatid figure a huge ball rests. It was produced in a specially erected workshop on the grounds of the artists' estate in Ganslberg near Landshut. After its completion, the monumental sculpture was shipped to New York. The Sphere was erected there in 1972. It survived the inferno of the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001 with severe damage and became a symbol of mourning for the bereaved.


Stephanie Gilles M.A.

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