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Born in the Wittenberg district of Lutherstadt in 1925, Erich Reusch is one of that generation of sculptors that was so influential in the sea-change in sculpture in the 1950s and 1960s.

Originally a practising architect, and as such, a formative contributor in planning the satellite town of Meckenheim/Merl, he early on developed a new concept of sculptural action. The principle, albeit not the realisation, had another protagonist in his fellow at the Düsseldorf Academy, Norbert Kricke. For both artists, the interest lay less in the sculptural form than in what it did with a space, the restructuring and redefining of space by sculptural intervention. Space per se, limitless and infinite, is thus to be transformed into a specific and unmistakable ‘location’ – which presumes, of course, that sculpture renounces its claim to absoluteness as an autonomous monument, i.e., that it descends from its pedestal. It is only consistent that, as early as the 1950s, Reusch conceived his first floor sculptures, without a pedestal, years ahead of similar approaches in American artists such as Carl Andre

Even in this early work, the great power of innovation that has made Reusch one of the most interesting and versatile artist personalities among German sculptors is evident. Space is always his central point of reference, but to structure it, he draws continually on new materials and techniques. In the 1950s and 1960s he was already creating kinetic and acoustic sculptures which, in their use of multiple media, were unquestionably pointers to the future and would without doubt have occasioned international response if awareness of them had not been occluded by the response accorded Beuys.


Foreword by Dieter Ronte from the catalogue,

Erich Reusch . Arbeiten 1954 - 1998,

Kunstmuseum Bonn, 1998

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