Skulptur Projekte Münster

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Installation of Ilya Kabakov for Skulptur Projekte Münster 1997

Skulptur Projekte Münster (English: Sculpture Projects Münster) is an exhibition of sculptures in public places in the town of Münster (Germany). Held every ten years since 1977, the exhibition shows artworks for free in different places all over the town, thereby confronting art with public places.

The 4th exhibition took place from 16 June 2007 to 30 September 2007.


The story of the Sculpture Projects in Münster goes back to the 1970s when George Rickey placed his kinetic sculpture, ”Drei rotierende Quadrate” in the German city of Münster. At the time there was a significant public outcry against placement of the artwork. To address this dissatisfaction and to attempt to bridge understanding about art in public places, Klaus Bussmann (then director of the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster) undertook a series of lectures and presentations in 1977 at the museum.

  • [1]- Image of George Rickey's "Drei rotierende Quadrate"

It was as an extension of this outreach program that the idea for Sculpture Projects Münster was born with Bussmann and Kasper König (curator at Museum Ludwig) as the project’s founders. Although protests of the project followed in latter years, the citizens of Münster eventually came to embrace the project, and are quite proud of it today, celebrating its presence in the city, as well as understanding the economical benefit it brings to this rather small college town. Some 35 works that premiered at previous Sculpture Projects were subsequently bought by the city.[1] The 100-day event has taken place every 10 years since 1977 and is coordinated to occur concurrent with the Documenta exhibition, which takes place in Kassel, Germany, some 200 km or 125 miles away. The curatorial committee of the Sculpture Projects rotates with each of its manifestations and is meant to highlight the best example of sculptural artworks and installations from a worldwide selection of artists. Each artist then chooses a site in the city, and conceives a work with that site firmly in mind. The most recent manifestation of the Sculpture Projects, in the summer of 2007, was co-curated by Brigitte Franzen, Kasper König, and Carina Plath.

The $650,000 (1987) cost of the show is paid by Münster, the province of Westphalia-Lippe, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and private funds. In 1997 more than 500.000 visitors came to Münster to see the work of artists from 25 countries.


For the prominent Roman Catholic city of Münster, from which busloads of citizens visit Lourdes each year, German artist Katharina Fritsch produced a yellow life-size plaster version of the Lourdes Madonna in 1987. Shortly after the piece was installed on a street near the shopping center, market and cathedral, the praying hands were smashed; shortly after it was taken to the police station, it received gifts of flowers. The work is now being made in stone.[2] Bruce Nauman first proposed his inverted pyramid, sunk into the ground in front of the University of Münster's Department of Nuclear Physics, for the first Münster project, in 1977. Rejected by the State Building Authority, in 2007 Nauman offered his original proposal once more for the original 1977 price.[3]

Participating artists

  • 1977:

Carl Andre, Michael Asher, Joseph Beuys, Donald Judd, Richard Long, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Ulrich Rückriem, and Richard Serra

  • 1987:

Dennis Adams, Carl Andre, Giovanni Anselmo, Siah Armajani, Richard Artschwager, Michael Asher, Stephan Balkenhol, Lothar Baumgarten, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Daniel Buren, Scott Burton, Eduardo Chillida, Thierry de Cordier, Richard Deacon, Luciano Fabro, Robert Filliou, Ian H. Finlay, Peter Fischli / David Weiss, Katharina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Ludger Gerdes, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Hans Haacke, Keith Haring, Ernst Hermanns, Georg Herold, Jenny Holzer, Rebecca Horn, Shirazeh Houshiary, Thomas Huber, Donald Judd, Hubert Kiecol, Per Kirkeby, Harald Klingelhöller, Jeff Koons, Raimund Kummer, Ange Leccia, Sol LeWitt, Mario Merz, Olaf Metzel, François Morellet, Reinhard Mucha, Matt Mullican, Bruce Nauman, Maria Nordman, Claes Oldenburg, Nam June Paik, A. R. Penck, Giuseppe Penone, Hermann Pitz, Fritz Rahmann, Ulrich Rückriem, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Thomas Schütte, Richard Serra, Susana Solano, Ettore Spalletti, Thomas Struth, Richard Tuttle, Franz West, and Rémy Zaugg

  • 1997:

Kim Adams, Carl Andre, Michael Asher, Georg Baselitz, Alighiero e Boetti, Christine Borland, Daniel Buren, Janet Cardiff, Maurizio Cattelan, Eduardo Chillida, Stephen Craig, Richard Deacon, Mark Dion, Stan Douglas, Maria Eichhorn, Ayse Erkmen, Peter Fischli / David Weiss, Isa Genzken, Paul-Armand Gette, Jef Geys, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Hans Haacke, Raymond Hains, Georg Herold, Thomas Hirschhorn, Rebecca Horn, Huang Yong Ping, Bethan Huws, Fabrice Hybert, Ilya Kabakov, Tadashi Kawamata, Martin Kippenberger, Per Kirkeby, Jeff Koons, Svetlana Kopystiansky, Sol LeWitt, Atelier van Lieshout, Olaf Metzel, Reinhard Mucha, Maria Nordmann, Claes Oldenburg / Coosje van Bruggen, Gabriel Orozco, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Jorge Pardo, Hermann Pitz, Marjetica Potrc, Charles Ray, Tobias Rehberger, Ulrich Rückriem, Allen Ruppersberg, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Kurt Ryslavy, Karin Sander, Thomas Schütte, Richard Serra, Roman Signer, Andreas Slominski, Yutaka Sone, Diana Thater, Bert Theis, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Eulàlia Valldosera, Herman de Vries, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Rachel Whiteread, Elin Wikström, Wolfgang Winter / Berthold Hörbelt, Jeffrey Wisniewski, Andrea Zittel, Heimo Zobernig

  • 2007:

Pawel Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Michael Asher, Guy Ben-Ner, Guillaume Bijl, Martin Boyce, Jeremy Deller, Elmgreen and Dragset, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dora García, Isa Genzken, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Tue Greenfort, David Hammons, Valérie Jouve, Mike Kelley, Suchan Kinoshita, Marko Lehanka, Eva Meyer and Eran Schaerf, Deimantas Narkevicius, Bruce Nauman, Maria Pask, Manfred Pernice, Susan Philipsz, Martha Rosler, Thomas Schütte, Andreas Siekmann, Rosemarie Trockel, Silke Wagner, Mark Wallinger, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Annette Wehrmann, and Pae White

  • 2017:

Aram Bartholl

Permanent works

Unlike most art exhibitions Münster Sculpture Projects does not entirely disappear at the closing date. A total of 39 works from previous Sculpture Projects remain in place, creating an argumentative walk-through history of site-specific sculpture, public art and monuments.[4]

  • 1st Sculpture Projects (1977): Untitled by Donald Judd
  • 1st Sculpture Projects (1977): Square Depression by Bruce Nauman, realized in 2007
  • 1st Sculpture Projects (1977): Muenster – The 4th Ball Becomes the 4th and 5th by Claes Oldenburg
  • 2nd Sculpture Projects (1987): Octagon for Münster by Dan Graham
  • 2nd Sculpture Projects (1987): Look up and read the words … by Ilya Kabakov
  • 2nd Sculpture Projects (1987): Bodennrelief für die chemischen Institute by Matt Mullican
  • 2nd Sculpture Projects (1987): Pier by Jorge Pardo
  • 3rd Sculpture Projects (1997): Sanctorium by Herman de Vries
  • 4th Sculpture Projects (2007): We are still and reflective by Martin Boyce
  • 4th Sculpture Projects (2007): Less sauvage than others by Rosemarie Trockel

See also


External links