Monday, 25 October 2010

Small country, Great art

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein

God works in mysterious ways, they say. Must be true, because I am still wondering what I am doing in Vaduz every Saturday evening lately... “What is Vaduz?”, might come a legitimate question from some of you. A tiny capital of a tiny principality squeezed between Austria and Switzerland.  Liechtenstein is known to many as the tax oasis, the financial paradise, or the country with the highest gross domestic product per person in the world according to the CIA World Factbook (you might want to double check that :-).

Anyways, I am here not to hide my fortunes (it would be lovely, mind you!). I am here to marvel at modern art. The concentration of art pieces per square meter is staggering. It is literally an open air museum. The contrast between smooth lines of contemporary art and ragged background of million-year-old mountains  is magic. Let's have a walk down the main street...
Tre Cavalli by Nag Arnoldi
Tre Cavalli by Nag Arnoldi
2002, Bronze

"Hochsitz" by Robert Indermaur
2000, Iron/Bronze 2/2, 365 x 60 x 60 cm

Phoenix by Doris Bühler
Phoenix by Doris Bühler
2003, Bronze

File:Vaduz Botero-165.jpg
Reclining Woman by Fernando Botero
1993, Bronze, Ex. 1/3, 134.6 x 349.3 x 167.6 cm (incl. plinth)
Botero, when asked about the elaborate forms of his figures, said: "Art ist always an exaggeration of reality, ist color, ist form, its spiritual significanca".

La Puerta de la Liberdad by Eduardo Chillida
1983, Corten steel, 247 x 242 x 125 x 16 cm

African King by Gunther Stilling
2002, Bronze, Ex 1/6

Figure in a Shelter by Henry Moore
1983, Bronze, 183 x 213.5 x 244 cm

And that is just a fraction of sculptures in Vaduz; those that touched me most. An old Russian actor said once: "Art is given to people so they do not die of reality". There is no danger of dying in Liechtenstein in that case. Refreshing thought, I am looking forward to next Saturday. 
Where do you go to escape reality?..

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