Norbert Kricke (* 30 November 1922 in Düsseldorf; † 28 June 1984 ibid.) was a German sculptor.
Through his metallic spatial sculptures, he became one of the most important representatives of German post-war modernism.
Norbert Kricke begins his studies in 1946 in Berlin at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste where Richard Scheibe appoints him as his master student. In 1947 Kricke moves back to Düsseldorf and establishes a studio there. During this time, he works as a freelance artist. Two years later, he creates his first "Raumplastiken" (spatial sculptures), which consist of filigree steel lines that stretch dynamically through the room. Working mainly with thin, flexible metal, Norbert Kricke creates sculptures with dynamic movement that allow space and time to melt together.
First exhibition and Norbert Kricke's collaboration with Yves Klein
Major solo exhibitions take place in 1955 at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the Municipal Gallery in Istanbul. In 1957, a solo exhibition follows in Paris at the Galerie Iris Clert. Along with Robert Adams and Yves Klein, Kricke wins the competition for the artistic design of the New City Theatre in Gelsenkirchen. Norbert Kricke then creates a relief for the "Kleines Haus", which emphasizes the "floating lightness of the construction" (Werner Ruhnau, 1992).
Upon the suggestion of Siegfried Giedion and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in Chicago awards him the Art Prize in 1957. In 1959 Kricke takes part in the documenta in Kassel. That same year he works with Walter Gropius on the water design for the new university building in Baghdad which in the end is not realized. On the occasion of the second Federal Garden Show in 1969, Kricke is invited to create a sculptural water basin in Dortmund’s Westfalenpark.
International activities of Norbert Kricke
In 1961 the placement of the sculpture "Große Mannesmann" in Düsseldorf is celebrated. Furthermore, major solo exhibitions are held at the Museum of Modern Art and the Lefrebe Gallery in New York. The following year, Norbert Kricke is the only German sculptor represented at the world exhibition "Art since 1950" in Seattle.
At the Venice Biennale in 1964, the artist is shown in the German pavilion with a solo exhibition. In addition, he participated again in the documenta in Kassel in the same year. He receives a chair of sculpture at the "Staatliche Kunstakademie" in Düsseldorf.
In 1965, during an extended stay in the USA, a large spatial sculpture is installed in front of the County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. Many exhibitions follow, including his second solo exhibition at the Lefrebe Gallery in New York in 1968 and the exhibition "Norbert Kricke and His Students" at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn in 1969.
In 1970 he is awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon. In 1971 he receives the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize of the City of Duisburg and in 1975 the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class.
With his appointment as director of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1972, Kricke establishes the tradition of the tour of the academy, an annual exhibition of students' semester projects held on the premises of the academy.
Norbert Kricke dies in Düsseldorf on June 28, 1984.