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5Großes Sonnenzeichen I

Rainer Kriester
1995, Bronze

Großes Sonnenzeichen I

The next work of art on the tour stands in front of the conference center of the Max Delbrück Communications Center, a sculpture entitled ”Großes Sonnenzeichen I“ (Large Sun Symbol I). This is a massive bronze piece covered with a lighter patina by the sculptor Rainer Kriester. The surfaces of both sides exhibit notches that form sun symbols.

Rainer Kriester was born in 1935 in Plauen in the Vogtland. He began studying medicine in Leipzig, but then was imprisoned in the GDR for defamation of the state. He fled to West Berlin in 1958, where he continued his studies until 1961, when he shifted to studies of art.He had his first exhibitions in 1970 and began to make sculptures. From 1971-76 he taught art at the Conservatory of Art in Berlin. In the following years he had many exhibits, and his works were acquired for public collections in Germany and abroad. Many of his pieces can be seen in public places. Kriester was a member of the German Academy of Arts. He died in 2002 in his adopted country, Italy.

Großes Sonnenzeichen, Detail

The large sculpture seen here is an abstract, helmet-like ”head sculptures” that are typical of Kriester‘s work. His pieces often deal with the human head; he once said,

I‘m actually a realist at the core, but my work isn‘t realistic. I‘m not an abstract person, but I seek abstraction – all that means is that it is my nature to start with real things and real perceptions. And it also means I have a great curiosity, a great hunger for abstraction1.

This is an example of the way art and science intersect.

The sculpture came first to the campus on loan, and was then acquired with funds from the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin.

1 Rainer Kriester, Köpfe und Stelen, Hirmer Verlag München, 1996