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"Blickachsen 11" attracts record number of visitors
Wolfgang Becksteiner, The heavy beauty of inner forms, 2015-2017.

BAD HOMBURG.- Once again the "Blickachsen" Sculpture Biennale is attracting a record number of visitors and surprises with its range of forms and materials. And the Friends of Blickachsen is supporting younger participants with its Young Artist award, which will be made on 31 August.

"We are delighted at the overwhelming response to our eleventh 'Blickachsen' – at the enthusiasm of the participating artists as well as the massive interest and hugely positive feedback from the public. It is particularly gratifying, once again, to see record numbers attending in this, our twentieth year of 'Blickachsen'. Many thousands of visitors have already taken part in our public and booked tours, and the works on display in 'Children’s Blickachsen 4' have been extremely popular," says founder and curator of "Blickachsen" Christian K. Scheffel. "Blickachsen" offers spaces for inspiration. "The impact on the public space is the defining feature of the Sculpture Biennale," continues Scheffel. "Anyone walking through the Bad Homburg Kurpark, relaxing there, playing sport or just following the pathways will experience a rich variety of forms and be able to come into close contact with the works on display."

Close up and rewarding: "Blickachsen 11" creates the awareness of space. Indeed, both time and space seem to be turned upside down for those contemplating the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos’ (b. 1971) "Pavillon de Vin", created in 2016. The artist, who lives in Lisbon and represented her country at the 2005 Venice Biennale, has created a fairy-tale filigree construction out of wrought iron. Shaped like a flagon, this five-and-a-half metre high work stands on the edge of the Bad Homburg Kurpark pond and is overgrown with grape vines. Living green has taken over this oasis of ornament. It is formed out of elegant patterns reminiscent of the metal balustrade on a balcony. In this they perform two functions: they support the climbing vine and at the same time provide a sculptural form.

Abraham David Christian’s bronze works, on the other hand, could not be more different in their effect. Born in Düsseldorf in 1952, the artist, who has twice taken part in Documenta and spends part of his time in Japan, imports a far-eastern wisdom to the Bad Homburg Schlosspark. This is where his monumental "Hayama 7 (Towers of Wisdom)" of 2007-9 is on display. Seven irregular geometric forms tower up to 4.25 metres in height. Consisting of repeated formal segments, they are vaguely reminiscent of Constantin Brancusi’s "Endless Column" (1937). But in contrast to this classic of modern sculpture, Abraham David Christian concentrates our attention and thoughts on an invisible infinity. Both its meditative depth and its enormous volume intensify our contemplation of it. Further works by this artist can be seen on the Bad Homburg Ferdinandsplatz and in Kronberg.

Sculpture is in a state of flux, taking on ever surprising forms. Laura Ford (b. 1961) created her three bronzes in the "A & E Monkeys" series, which can be seen in the Niederhöchstadt Sculpture Park in Eschborn, in 2012. These portray three primates, perhaps referring to the Japanese adage of the three monkeys who "see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing". In this depiction by the British artist the human-like figures are portrayed as being injured. A sore head, a leg in plaster, an arm in a sling: these creatures unsettle in the same way as Ford’s three "Dancing Clog Girls" or her "Leaning Behemoth" (all 2015). With them, self-made myths reach into the everyday life of the visitor.

On 31 August at 5.30pm the younger "Blickachsen" artists will be the centre of attention, as the Young Artist award will be handed out in the Bad Homburg Kurpark. A regular feature of the sculpture Biennale since 2003, the award has since 2015 been bestowed by the Friends of Blickachsen. The prize has a value of 5000 Euros. Sir Peter Murray CBE, Director of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, England; Dr. Maria Schneider, co-curator of "Blickachsen 11" on behalf of the Museum Liaunig in Carinthia, this year’s partner museum; and Christian K. Scheffel of the Blickachsen Foundation, Bad Homburg, make up this year’s jury.

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