19.03.2009 to 26.04.2009
In 1998 Ulrich Rückriem, German sculptor and winner of the coveted 'Piepenbrock-Preis für Skulptur' donated one his main works to the National Gallery: the work entitled '40 Floor Reliefs'. The installation, which can be viewed as a homage to Mies van der Rohe, comprises forty square granite plates. Each of the plates is set in place and together spread over the entire surface of the upper hall of the New National Gallery, in a manner akin to a chessboard. The dimensions of the sculptures bear an exact relation to the dimensions of the building's ground plates.
In their austerity and the way they reduce everything to the bare minimum, the '40 Floor Reliefs' amount to a convincing answer to the minimalism of Mies van der Rohe. Alongside the 3rd version of the work, the 2009 exhibition also shows earlier versions from 1998 and 2004.
On the lower floor of the New National Gallery, Rückriem's graphic 'Figurations' will be on display for the first time, works which have occupied the sculptor for several years. Following on from the chessboard principle of the stone sculptures above, Rückriem has developed geometric elements, which are derived completely from mathematical principles and in which space is strictly translated into a radical interplay of 'point, lines and colours'.