Artwork of the month May

Claus Bury, Stufenschichtung, 1996

Claus Bury

* 1946 in Meerholz/Gelnhausen (DE), lives in Frankfurt (DE)


Stufenschichtung, 1996


Andeer granite

300 x 310 x 50 cm

Purchased with funds of the Lampadia Foundation, Vaduz

Claus Bury designed the Stufenschichtung sculpture, which is based on a principle of steps, in reference to the landscape garden of the Stein Egerta adult education centre in Schaan. The piece consists of shimmering green Andeer granite, a rock quarried and hewn on the outskirts of the Andeer commune in the Grisons canton. The artist chose to install the sculpture on the slope opposite the large flight of steps in the park of the adult education centre, thus confronting this architectural posit with a sculptural one. Unlike the architectural form, however, which – commensurate with the purpose of this form – connects areas situated at different levels, the course of the Stufenschichtung sculpture is detached from any purpose, dead-ending in the sky and thus representing a shift in how we get our bearings in everyday life. On closer inspection, one also discerns the work's concept, which is based on a structural system. Layer by layer, the sculpture's granite incisions become larger, thus causing its mass to decrease as it increases in height. Step by step, equally, the horizontal layering of rock is extended in equal measure.

Claus Bury's architectural sculptures are usually designed in accordance with the laws of minimalist sequence or, fundamentally, as a structural system. In so doing, the artist often makes reference to historical rules of harmony, for instance those of Leonardo Fibonacci or the architect Le Corbusier. The latter developed a universal system of measurement, the Modular, between 1942 and 1955, a system which – based on the Golden Section and proportions of the human body – was intended to serve architects as a human scale. In this manner, the Stufenschichtung sculpture is manifested as being proportional to human scale. This can be perceived as an underlying principle in the preliminary drawings for the work as built1 and experienced as a sensory interaction of space and body when beholding the artwork.

Denise Rigaud

<b>Claus Bury, Stufenschichtung, 1996</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.