Two new sculptures erected at the...

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Two new sculptures erected at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research (IOR).

Nearly three years after the move in the new building the reunion of the plastics donated by the “Kerstan-Foundation” took place at two expressive and exposed locations of the IOR.

“The Thinker” by Leonard Baskin (assembled at the present place (E1) at the IOR on July 10th, 2019)

“The Flutist” by Helmut Bourger (assembled at the present place (E2) at the IOR on July 10th, 2019)

The bronze sculpture “The Thinker” by Leonard Baskin, 1972 is situated at the main entrance of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research. The 86,6 cm high plastic is anchored on a local sand stone. Leonard Baskin (August 15, 1922 – June 3, 2000) was an American sculptor, illustrator, wood-engraver, printmaker, graphic artist, writer and teacher. Throughout his career, Baskin maintained a commitment to the superiority of figurative art, and to the theme of human mortality. His works are owned by many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art and the Vatican Museums.

The other bronze sculpture “The Flute Player” from Helmut Bourger (1929-1989) is 118cm high and situated in the courtyard of the Kerstan-Atrium on level 2. Bourger studied with Ludwig Cauer in Bad Kreuznach. He then went on a scholarship to the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, where he graduated with the highest possible rating. The city of Rome also awarded him a diploma for his thesis. After graduating, Bourger, now married and the father of three children, came to the Westerwald and worked mainly for churches in Germany, but also in Rotterdam (Holland), Västerås (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), France, Italy and other countries.

In addition to many public contracts such as churches or cities Bourger also received private orders. Deoclecio Redig de Campos, then director general of the museums of the Vatican, commissioned him to design a life-sized flute player; this one is in Brazil today.

In 1979 he came together with the sculptor Fred Gerz and his "studio Gerz for artworks". Until his death (1989) he designed 50 different motifs for his studio; the refills are still gladly bought today. During these ten years Bourger gave lessons here and also brought Fred Gerz to sculpture. Bourger lived in Höhr-Grenzhausen, where he worked temporarily in the pottery workshop of Wilhelm Werner in Hilgert. Bourger's works are still used today together with the works of the sculptors Fred Gerz and Emil Cauer d. J. exhibited at home and abroad. Nativity figures of him are in the parish church of Bergisch Gladbach-Refrath, St. Johann Baptist.