Raumplastik. 1960. Soldered stainless steel rods, loosely mounted on basalt base. Unique object. Ca. 58.5 x 47 x 46 cm (23 x 18.5 x 18.1 in). Base: 8 x 10 x 9 cm (3,1 x 3,9 x 3,5 in).
• Shown at Kricke's first U.S. solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1961. • From the collection of the art historian and MoMA curator Peter Howard Selz. • Kricke's "Raumplastiken" resemble weightlessly hovering, bundles of filigree rays and mark the peak of his quest for a "unity of space and time".
We are grateful to Sabine Kricke-Güse, Berlin, for her kind expert advice.
PROVENANCE: probably: Lefebre Gallery, New York (1961). Peter Howard Selz, New York (since 1961). The Jewish Museum, New York (until 2009). Galerie Hans Strelow, Düsseldorf (acquired from aforementioned in 200, until 2010). Private collection Rhineland (acquired from aforementioned in 2010, ever since family-owned).
EXHIBITION: Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 2 - April 2, 1961, Galerie John Levebre, New York, April 11 - May 6, 1961, Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris, November 15.11 - December 9, 1961, presumably cat. no. 9 (no illu.).
LITERATURE: Ketterer Kunst, auction 361, Post War / Contemporary Art, Munich December 12, 2009, lot 318 (with illu.). "Neither mass nor figure are my issues, but space and motion - space and time. [..] I strive to bring form to the unity of space and time." Norbert Kricke, 1954, quote from: Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, Munich 1988, p. 2.
Peter Selz, curator at the Museum of Modern Art and former owner of this "Raumplastik", begans his text for the catalog of Kricke's first solo exhibition in the USA in 1961 with the following words: "The Museum of Modern Art is happy to present a selection of sculpture and drawings by Norbert Kricke [.]. Kricke is already well established in Europe but has thus far not received the recognition he deserves in New York." Selz had already recognized that Kricke played a prominent role in post-war sculpting at that time due to his intensive three-dimensional exploration of space and time. Inspired by the constructivist sculpting around Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner, Kricke developed a signature style that has remained unmistakable up until today. In the 1950s Kricke began to explore the dynamics of the line based on the course of a single bent wire. The title "Raumplastik"was already used for these early, mostly colored works, which, owing to their long lines, seemed to anticipate the later work of the American Fred Sandback. From the mid-1950s on Kricke began to work with bundles of lines, which he developed by the end of the decade - as it is the case with our wonderful "Raumplastik" - to multi-part filigree line constructions characterized by unique polyphonic aesthetics. Bundles of soldered metal rods, tapering to the finest branches, extending into all directions. Kricke's shiny creations appear filigree and weightless, filling the room like rays of light and thus making an extremely progressive contribution to post-war modernism. In this sense a quote from the American artist Fred Sandback could hardly be more suitable to describe Kricke's much earlier sculptural work: "Still a sculpture, albeit less dense, with an ambivalence between exterior and interior space . A drawing you can live in. ”(Fred Sandback, Here and Now, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz 2005). [JS]