Ein leichtes Spiel / An Easy Game

It’s unlikely that the title An Easy Game would be in reference to the four massive forged steel elements found here. Instead, it must have to do with the fragile balance that unites the sculptures, as well as the easy and almost random seeming overall spatial design. Surrounded by multi-story buildings, the artist installed a slightly elevated square paved area in the middle of the public space. This paved area is bordered and subdivided into nine smaller inner squares with steel strips. On top of the square, a circle made of steel plates is divided into two halves. The axis formed between the halves is slightly out of line with the square grid of the ground beneath it.
The artist placed a forged sphere on the other end of the square, which could also be seen as a polyhedron. Such spheres are characteristic of Nierhoff’s work and are made with a specially developed process that entails hammering a cube countless times until it creates a sphere out of numerous small flat surfaces.
Evidence of a similar process is visible along the tall stele that is situated outside of the square, which is also the fourth element of the sculpture group. The basic geometric shapes – rectangle, square, and circle – are represented in different dimensions in the space as a surface, a line, and a mass. The viewer can create complex connections between these elements, which nonetheless always feature perfect balance and equilibrium.

Ansgar Nierhoff

geboren in Meschede; gestorben 2010 in Köln.
Gesellenbrief als Maurer.
Allgemeine Hochschulreife an der Frankenberger Edertalschule.
Kunststudium an der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Meisterschüler von Norbert Kricke. Zu seinen weiteren Lehrern gehörten Joseph Fassbender und der Kunsthistoriker Eduard Trier.
Umzug nach Köln.
Teilnahme an der documenta 6 in Kassel.
Zeitweise Arbeit als Assistent von George Rickey in dessen New Yorker Atelier.
Gastprofessor an der Gesamthochschule Kassel.
Professor an der Akademie für Bildende Künste der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in Mainz.
August Macke Preis.
Ansgar Nierhoff gilt in der Kunstgeschichte als Pionier der Edelstahlplastik.

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Essen, Salzmarkt
Ansgar Nierhoff
Sphere: ø 134 cm; stele: ø 44,5 cm, height 820 cm; circular plate: ø 798 cm, height 6 cm; ground surface: 12 x 12 m
Object type
Spatial design
Kunst im öffentlichen Raum NRW