Kunstsammlung NRW
Blick auf das Dach des Ludwig Forums mit der Arbeit von Hans-Peter Feldmann, Foto: Kunstsammlung

Feldmann’s Art: Dogs on the Roof of an Aachen Museum

When two dogs sniff one another at the rear, it's not really that different from a friendly handshake between humans: “Hello, nice to meet you!" Hans-Peter Feldmann, a world champion of understated irony on the international art scene, has created an installation consisting of two oversized, sniffing dogs for the roof of the Ludwig Forum in Aachen. 

Feldmann’s sculpture, set high above the street of the old imperial city, is the recipient of this year’s Sparda Art Prize for North Rhine-Westphalia, awarded by the Stiftung Kunst, Kultur und Soziales (Foundation for the Arts, Culture, and Social Matters) of the Sparda-Bank West, and this year’s gift to the city of Aachen. On May 10, 2014, Two Dogs (2014) will be handed over to the citizenry at a celebration for people and animals alike. For #32, Gerd Korinthenberg mingled there with art lovers and four-legged friends alike.

artist Hans-Peter Feldmann, photo: Kunstsammlung

Silhouettes in Painted Aluminum

Needless to say, the spicy aroma that wafts upward from the sausage grill at the entrance to the art museum leaves the pair of midsized dogs – who are visible from below standing on the roof ridge of the Aachen’s Ludwig Forum – utterly indifferent: fashioned from black, painted aluminum, they seem sufficiently preoccupied with their own canine odors. For the creator of the sculpture, however, what appears initially as an enormous, amusing cutout against the rainy skies of Aachen contains a very special allusion to the art and museum world. Many people who dread entering museums and trying to come to terms with art, says Feldmann, should begin by getting a good “sniff” of the whole business. “You should just rely on your natural curiosity and emotional openness in a way that's not too different from what dogs do,” suggests this expert on museum disparagers.

From Museum Dogs to Mongrel Strays

With his pair of “mongrels” (Feldmann), the artist –  a Düsseldorf native who was born in 1941 – reveals himself once again as a keen observer of the world whose affectionate gaze transforms the banality of everyday life into art, humorously “trivializing” the monumental or ironically exaggerating the trivial: a plastic replica of Michelangelo’s epochal nude David, now colorfully painted, stands at an intersection in downtown Duisburg, and the intimate contents of various lady’s handbags are spread out in a display case of the K21 Ständehaus before the astonished eyes of visitors to the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Visitors and dogs at the Ludwig Forum in Aachen, photo: Kunstsammlung

Since 2005, the Stiftung Kunst, Kultur und Soziales (Foundation for the Arts, Culture, and Social Matters) of the Sparda-Bank West – a sponsor of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen – has awarded an annual prize of 100,000 euros for art in a public space to a city in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the winning project is then realized as a gift.

Ludwig Forum Aachen



Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Soziales der Sparda-Bank West