Gunter Ferdinand Ris (1928-2005) Mid-Century Modern Abstract Bronze #2/3
Our client's wonderful abstract bronze by Gunter Ferdinand Ris (1928-2005) dating from 1965 is number two from a limited edition of three and is entitled, Fortificazione II. It measures 54 x 82 x 96 cm (approximately 21 1/4 x 32 1/4 x 37 3/4 inches) and turns on a round pedestal. Signed with the artist's monogram, "GFR" and "2/3".
This work is featured in plate 48 on page 57 of G.F. Ris Das Plastiche Werk 1958-2001, published in 2002 by Wiendand, Cologne, Germany. A copy of this book is included in this sale.
Ris studied at the academies in Karlsruhe, Dusselforf, Freiburg and Breisgau from 1947 to 1951. In the 1950s he worked as a portraitist and typographer before turning his attention to sculpture. He became particularly interested in linking painting and architecture in sculpture, and worked in a variety of mediums, including bronze, concrete, plastic and porcelain.
In 1959 he exhibited at the Paris Biennale at the Musee d'Art Moderne. In 1964 he exhibited at the Documenta III in Kassel, Germany. In 1961 he won the Bottcherstrasse Art Price in Bremen. And in 1963 he won the Villa Romana Prize in Florence. In 1966 his work was exhibited at the Germany pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and in 1970 he exhibited at the German pavilion of Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. Later in his career, in 1984 won the August Macke Prize, Meschede and Bonn, Germany.
He achieved a number of private and public commissions from the 1960s through the 1980s. In 1963, Saulenkopf (Pillar Head), a large abstract bronze on concrete pillar, was installed on the grounds of the corporate headquarters of Heinrich Hertz Europa Kolleg in Bonn.
In 1970, his Edelstahl-Wandrelief (Stainless Steel Relief) was installed on the outside wall of the Moislinger Mitte in Lubeck-Moisling. In 1972, his Bonner Wand (Bonn Wall), a large stainless steel sculpture, was installed on the wall at Franziskanerstrasse 3 in Bonn. His Groser Lichtpfeiler (Large Light Pillar) was installed at the DAAD building in Bonn in 1973. Wasserlichtfeldspiegel (Water Light Field and Mirror), was installed at the Stadhaus in Bonn in 1977.
The artist is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Herbert Selldorf for their design of the Sunball chair, the space-age inspired upholstered fiberglass chair in the shape of an astronaut helmet, produced in limited quantity by Rosenthal in 1969.
His 1968 exhibition at the Wilhelm-Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg was documented in a catalogue, G.F. Ris Skulpturn Zeichnungen, published by the museum and with a forward by Siegfried Salzmann. The book on his sculpture, Das Plastiche Werk: 1958-2001, was published in 2002 by Koln Wienand.
His artworks can be found in a number of corporate collections and public museums, including Berliner Nationalgalerie (the Berlin National Gallery), the Rheinischen Landesmuseum and Stadtischen Kunstmuseum (Municipal Art Museum) in Bonn, the Museum Morschoich in Leverkusen and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein.
Since his passing in 2005, the artist's works have been featured in a number of exhibitions. A partial list includes:
* Arena der Abstraktion (Arena of Abstraction), Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany, 2006;
* Arts Porcellana - Eine Reliefserie von Rosenthal (Series of Reliefs by Rosenthal); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung, Worlen, Germany, 2009;
* Ideen Sitzen, 50 jahre stuhldesign (Sitting Ideas: 50 Years of Chair Design), Museum fur Kunst und Gwerbe, Hamburg, Germany, 2010;
* Nur Skulptur! (Sculpture Only), Kunsthalle Mannheim, Manheim, Germany, 2013;
* Wie Leben? Zukenftsbilder von Malewitsch bis Fujimoto (How to Live: Images of the Future from Malavich to Fujimoto), Wilhelm Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany, 2015;
* 68th Pop und Protest (68th Pop and Protest); Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, 2018.