Heerich, Erwin Ohne Titel, 1964
Karton ca. 36,5 x 36 x 36 cm © VG Bild-Kunst, 2021 Photo: Foto Archiv Sammlung Viehof

About the work

"The "plastic thinking" of which Erwin Heerich spoke is not to be limited to sculpture in the narrow sense. It is a principle that can permeate everything from decorative objects to built architecture. From the small to the large, from the visual to the experienced space, "plastic thinking" can reach. [...]
His discovery of the banal material "cardboard", which normally ends up in the waste after its use, as a genium modern material of the sculptor was an act. Time and again, modern sculpture had conquered new terrain by replacing the traditional materials of stone, bronze and wood. With cardboard, Heerich not only chose an overlooked material, but also lent sculpture a previously unknown lightness. But Heerich's work was not content with exploring new material possibilities; he applied his rational yet also playful understanding of sculpture to new areas, eventually producing monumental works for outdoor use."

Siefried Gohr: in: Erwin Heerich. Catalogue for the exhibition "Erwin Heerich. Skulpturen, Zeichnungen, Entwürfe, Modelle; in der Akademie-Galerie Düsseldorf, 2007, ed. by Akademie-Galerie - Die Neue Sammlung, 2007, P. 7

About the artist

born 1922 in Kassel
died 2004 in Meerbusch-Osterath

After Erwin Heerich, who had trained in a pottery in Münden, was discharged from military service in 1941 after being wounded several times, he decided to resume his art studies. Before his war service he had already attended the Kunstgewerbeschule Kassel as a guest student. From 1945 to 1950 he studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under the sculptor Ewald Mataré, who also taught Joseph Boys and who shared the master class studio with Heerich.
After leaving the art academy, he worked as a freelance artist and teacher and was concerned with geometric forms and isometric regularities. His works are not characterised by improvisation or spontaneity; everything is measurable, measured and planned. In 1959 he created his first caton sculptures, with which he was represented at the Dokumenta 4 in Kassel in 1968. From 1969 to 1988 Erwin Heerich taught at the Kunstakdemie Düsseldorf.
On the island of Hombroich, Heerich translated his strictly geometric works into architecture and designed and realised ten unique buildings from 1980 onwards for whose outer walls he chose Dutch quarry rock.