Otto Herbert Hajek
Otto Herbert Hajek (Kaltenbach [Nové Hutě], CZ 1927–2005 Stuttgart) is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century in Germany. His large outdoor sculptures have also left their mark on Stuttgart’s cityscape. The exhibition features a representative selection of sculptures, paintings, and graphics from the holdings of the O. H. Hajek-Kunststiftung, an art foundation established by the artist himself in 2003, in cooperation with the Otto Herbert Hajek Kunststiftung of the Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg.
Art and public space are intimately linked in Hajek’s work. The “Stadtzeichen Stuttgart” (Stuttgart City Sign, 1969), now located on the Theodor-Heuss-Straße, recalls Hajek’s work on the Kleiner Schlossplatz, a piece that exemplifies the power of art in public space to create a sense of place. Following this notion, the art collective UMSCHICHTEN (which means restructuring or rearranging) will develop a project for the Kleiner Schlossplatz as part of the exhibition.
The project "Square Rehearsal" updates Hajek's vision of a social, democratic and artistic design of the public space, 54 years after the realization of the "Square Mark". Starting from the questions of who owns it and who is allowed to use it and how, the intervention wants to explore the potentials of the Kleiner Schlossplatz and invite to its rediscovery. The concept was developed by the artist collective UMSCHICHTEN.
Hajek and the Kleine Schlossplatz
Otto Herbert Hajek's large outdoor sculptures continue to characterize Stuttgart's cityscape to this day. The design and structuring of public squares through art occupies a large space in his work. In 1969, the artist designed a temporary installation for the Kleiner Schlossplatz in Stuttgart under the title "Square Mark". Hajek had the ground painted extensively with geometric shapes and set up a dozen sculptures that also invited people to sit down.
The project "Square Rehearsal" updates Hajek's vision of a social, democratic and artistic design of public space, 54 years after the realization of the "Square Mark". Starting from the questions of who owns it and who is allowed to use it and how, the intervention wants to explore the potentials of the square and invite to its rediscovery. The concept was developed by the artist collective UMSCHICHTEN. Five sculptural objects are installed on the Kleiner Schlossplatz and encourage their use. The works, unusual in form and materiality, are sustainably produced from construction site material from Stuttgart 21 that has been released for disposal.
Lukasz Lendzinski and Peter Weigand studied architecture at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart after a craft apprenticeship and founded UMSCHICHTEN in 2008. Since 2019, Alper Kazokoglu, who studies scenography at the HFG Karlsruhe and is a long-time companion of UMSCHICHTEN, is a permanent member of the artist collective. Umschichten is a build & design practice that operates situationally, site-specifically, and materially at the intersections of art, architecture, and public space. It investigates framework conditions, processes and states of transition - in the material as well as in the site.
Their construction methods employ principles that reflect the highest respect for the materials they use. Instead of a consumption-oriented or consumption-accepting design, UMSCHICHTEN favors reversible and changeable construction techniques. The "material as forum", both with the associated production, storage and recycling cycles, as well as with its social and political links, is thematized. In the "precycling principle", the building material is lent out and returned to the owners undamaged after deconstruction.
In addition to various projects and interventions in Berlin, Hamburg, Warsaw and Tel Aviv, the group cooperates with theaters, galleries and museums and participates in the urban discourse in the respective cities. Clients include Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Stadtmuseum Stuttgart, Centre for Contemporary Art / Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw), Akademie Schloss Solitude, Schauspielhaus Bochum, HAU - Theater Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Theater der Welt Mannheim 2014, Oper Stuttgart, Kulturregion Stuttgart, Kunsthaus Dresden.
The exhibition is supported by
The project “Square Rehearsal“ is supported by