Schaukel. 1961. Bronze, polished. Clarenbach 260. With the number on the base. From an edition of 3 copies. Ca. 64.5 x 60 x 12 cm (25.3 x 23.6 x 4.7 in).
• Rare early work. • First copy from the edition of 3 offered on the international auction market. • Acquired from the New York Staempfli Gallery, which showed the artist's first American solo show in 1961. • Around 1970 Koenig received the spectacular commission for "The Sphere", a monumental globe-shaped bronze erected between the two towers of the New York World Trade Center, today it is a world-famous memorial for the 9/11 attacks. • Works by the artist are in many renowned collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.
We are grateful to Dr. Dietrich Clarenbach, Gauting, for his kind expert advice.
PROVENANCE: Staempfli Gallery, New York (directly from the artist). Corporate collection Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (acquired from aforementioned in 1976).
"In the sculptures the artist concretizes experiences of both inner and outer sensations, imagination and the own physical and mental state in combination with aesthetic values." Dietrich Clarenbach, Fritz Koenig Skulpturen 1966-79, Regensburg 1979, no p.
The grand Koenig retrospective organized by the Uffizi in summer 2018 was spectacular in the truest sense of the word: In two locations, one at at the Galleria degli Uffizi and one at the neighboring Boboli Garden, visitors encountered the unmistakable creations of the world-famous German sculptor. It was a "Presentation of Superlatives" (Tagesspiegel, August 30, 2018), which was dedicated to the exceptional German sculptor not only in eleven halls of the Uffizi, but also with 25 large sculptures presented in the impressive Renaissance backdrop of the Boboli Garden. The Würzburg-born sculptor Fritz Koenig quickly became internationally known through his early collaboration with the Staempfli Gallery in New York. After Koenig's first solo exhibition in the USA, which the gallery of the Swiss George William Staempfli showed in 1961. Due to Koenig's great success the New York gallery regularly organized solo exhibitions until 1973. From 1956 on Koenig became intensively occupied with motifs of motion, which he began to artistically examine in groups of people and animals. Several versions of the works "Menge" (Quatity, 1956) and "Camargue" (1956–1960) were created, in which a herd of parallel cattle bodies and driving riders merge into an impressive formal unit. "Camargue X" (1958) is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Following the Venice Biennial in which Koenig participated in 1958, Peggy Guggenheim acquired a copy of the bronze "Biga" (1957), which shows two abstract horses in front of a chariot, for her sculpture garden in Venice. Movement-focused rider and quadriga motifs followed around 1960 and in our large bronze "Schaukel" (Swing, 1961) Koenig has developed the forward-oriented motion motif to one that swings to the sides. This way Koenig has succeeded in creating an airy, gently swinging form. With an appearance oscillating between abstract elements and figurative associations, "Schaukel" is unique in his sculptural work. [JS]