A Munich landmark on the move
In the mid-1980s, the Munich artist and architect Rupprecht Geiger was commissioned to design a sculpture for the Gasteig, which was still under construction at the time. In 1987, two years after the arts centre in Haidhausen opened its doors to the public, the “Gerundetes Blau” – a huge, pill-shaped blue oval – was revealed. Located adjacent to Rosenheimer Straße, the work of art has been a prominent landmark for the Gasteig’s audiences, art lovers and passers-by ever since.
It took two mobile cranes to lift the sheet steel object, which is about 6.5 metres wide and weighs 12 tonnes, onto a flat-bed lorry. Being an extra-wide load, its transport from Haidhausen to Sendling had to be closely coordinated with the city’s roads authority and the police. Since early November, the landmark, freshly cleaned, is now gracing the Am Kulturkraftwerk plaza in front of the Gasteig HP8.
“Rupprecht Geiger created a lot of art in public spaces in Munich over the decades,” says the artist’s granddaughter Julia Geiger, who now runs the Geiger Archive in Solln. “But he regarded the Gerundetes Blau at the Gasteig as particularly important.”
In designing the monumental work, Geiger deliberately focussed on form and colour: the slightly oval “dented circle”, which is affectionately known by people in Munich as the “tin of Nivea”, is coated in ultramarine blue acrylic to form a stark contrast with the rather angular, austere architecture of the red brick Gasteig building. Can this landmark, created specially for the Haidhausen Gasteig, also unfold its effect in the Gasteig HP8? Julia Geiger is delighted to have the opportunity of seeing the sculpture in a different location, a completely new context.
Pay the Gasteig HP8 a visit or drive along Brudermühlstraße and you’ll already see the blue oval from afar. When the Gasteig returns to Haidhausen after the building’s refurbishment, Geiger’s work will return to its original home, says Gasteig Managing Director Stephanie Jenke: “The Gasteig will shine in new splendour. And that, of course, must include the Gerundetes Blau as our unique landmark.”
Text: Melanie Brandl & Maria Zimmerer