This dynamic, life-size sculpture doubles as a banister

Photo: Cata65

Public art is a wonderful way to help passers-by engage with their surroundings. It adds an interesting and whimsical touch to busy public spaces and can also be a functional part of people’s daily lives. This is also the case with a work of art by the German sculptor and draftsman Karl-Henning Seemann. The piece, which depicts a group of life-size figures struggling to pull unruly animals up a mountain on ropes, also serves as a handrail for a steep staircase.

Part of the sculpture extends from the base of the stairs to halfway down the stairs. It shows a bronze rope connecting a swaying horse with firmly planted hooves and outstretched tail and the woman at the other end. The second part, reaching the top of the stairs, shows even more drama; Three men are trying to pull a goat up the “mountain”, one of whom has fallen forward and another is trying to catch him.

Seemann is known for his life-size, dynamic sculptures. “I am always concerned with the question of how I can translate movement, the fourth dimension of time,” according to his website, “into gravity-bound sculpture without the sculpture freezing into a pose.”

Installed in 1981, this untitled figurative work is located in the German district of Schwäbisch Hall in front of the city’s district office. The staircase itself is popularly referred to as the Small Staircase and the Great Staircase, these are the stairs in front of the church on the town’s market square. Both staircases are used seasonally as a stage for an open-air theatre, the small staircase for children’s theatre.

That’s fitting, because Seemann’s incredibly animated sculptures feel like a kind of performance themselves. They are as magnetic and captivating as they are solid and immobile. “My work is always about the whole,” he explains, “about the synthesis of opposites: dynamics and statics in volume and space, rhythm of form in the long-distance and close-up effect, freedom of art in the connection to a task – the stronger the one, the greater the other.”

On his website you can explore an extensive gallery of Keemann’s work, ranging from bronze sculptures to pencil portraits.

Depicting life-size figures struggling to drag unruly animals up a mountain, this bronze sculpture also serves deftly as a handrail for a steep staircase.

Handrail sculpture by Karl-Henning Seemann

Photo: Cata65

The sculpture by sculptor Karl-Henning Seemann is located in the German district of Schwäbisch Hall in front of the city’s district office.

Handrail sculpture by Karl-Henning Seemann

Photo: Mendel Hoffman

Check out Google Street View to get an idea of ​​the size of the sculpture.

Karl Henning Seemann: Website
h/d: [Reddit]

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