André Volten

Volten (JPG)Untitled, 1985
Four parts, approx. 1 200 x 140 x 2 400 cm
Stainless steel
(c) André Volten; photo: Jörg Koopmann

Despite beginning his career as a painter, André Volten (*1925 Andijk, NL, † 2002 Amsterdam, NL) discovered a fascination for heavy material and its use in art while working as a shipyard welder, prompting him to become a sculptor. His steel sculpture, 12 m tall and 24 m long, is a striking landmark at the visitors' entrance to the EPO's offices in The Hague. Though it looks like an obelisk from a distance, at close range, this monumental work suggests a colossal compass that might be used to measure the world. In combining urbanity with the artistic gesture, space exploration with the practice of land surveying, Volten demonstrates his great interest in the potential of art in public space. The EPO collection includes another slightly earlier piece by André Volten in the form of a large-scale installation on the grounds of the Munich headquarters. Entitled Kugeln und Kugelkalotten [Spheres and Hemispheres], this work was acquired as part of the EPO's first public art competition to represent the Dutch contribution to the founding of the European Patent Office.

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