Sculptor Ekkehard Altenburger’s love of architecture is expressed in his mirrored mobile When This Was Tomorrow. Thirteen mirrored cut-outs of iconic London buildings from 1955 to 1970 balance on poised brass rods dropping almost to the floor from the ceiling. Another architectural influence is Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, whom Ekkehard met when the architect was 94. ‘Fundamentally I am a sculptor and one thing much modernists’ architecture has in common is that it is sculptural. Some of Oscar’s work is almost unusable as architecture and as such is a failure: the Museum in Niteroi is useless for showing work – they have to put up partitions to show paintings – but what Niemeyer does exceptionally well is adapt to the environment: in Rio he reacted to the flowing hills, in Brasilia he reacted to the vast skies. As a sculptor who has produced a number of public works, I felt that I had to follow similar rules.’
Although accustomed to working in large-scale, Ekkehard has produced three small editions for ArtKapsule. Tent shows architecture in its simplest form – a drawing in steel, mounted to give a sense of suspension, casting shadows on the wall behind. Spanish Blind uses laser-cut layering to build up a 3D effect; and Show Me A Way to Mortadella, a hand-carved marble piece that Ekkehard calls his ‘kitchen sculpture’, nods to that Niemeyer skill of producing beautiful useless work that looks good in its environment.
Ekkehard Altenburger graduated MA Fine Art from Chelsea College Of Art, London. He is a member of The Royal British Society of Sculptors. He has undertaken numerous public commissions including Museum of Contemporary Art, Guatemala City, Milton Keynes Central Hospital, Archbishops Palace, Kent, Schoepfheim, Switzerland, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, Streatham Memorial Gardens, London, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, Museo Municipal Caldas da Rainha, Portugal and Buddusso Sculpture Park, Sardinia.