Friedrich Gräsel: Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate, 1978/1981

englisch, english, permanent-en, Uncategorized

Stainless steel, annealed; 260 (h) x 340 x 260 cm

The Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate was the first sculpture to be placed onto the Moltkeplatz in 1982. Friedrich Gräsel has been a morst ardent supporter ‒ in numerous ways ‒ of the association Kunst am Moltkeplatz KaM e.V. and our aims and intentions from its founding in 2006.

„If a painter draws a line, Friedrich Gräsel (1927–2013) uses a tube instead. The Bochum sculptor picked up the formal language of the industrialized Ruhr District with his powerful massive tubular structures. He freed the tubular element from its original purpose-driven use, and emphasized its specific aesthetic character.

The Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate on Moltkeplatz combines classical sculptural principles and modern manufacturing methods and reference points, too. The shape of the sculpture and the bronze-coloured tone of the steel tubes exude a protective aura. When you pass through and walk around it you gradually experience its manifold spatial relationships which extend beyond the work into its surroundings. First, there are only glimpses, and then you discover the whole park. Thus, being the first sculpture set up at the Moltkeplatz, the Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate is also the starting point for the discovery of the whole ensemble there – and possibly of the industrial culture of the region“.
(Tankred Stachelhaus)

The surface of the sculpture shows signs of its production process: basic grinding, finishing grinding, and the full scale of annealing colours as a result of annealing with open flame. The combination of these traces form the ’skin‘ of the sculpture and is an intended part of it.
(Friedrich Gräsel)

The warm-looking hue of the actually cold stainless steel was created by heating in an industrial annealing furnace. Friedrich Gräsel describes the stains of the workers´ gloves when handling the structure as the signatures of the workers involved.

„My gates are waymarks. Sometimes they mark imaginary paths that lead up to them or away from them. One can walk through and around the Hannover Tot / Hanover Gate. – One thus gradually experiences the inner and the outer sides of the space marked by the gate.

The interaction between walking and watching turns the viewer into a viewer-actor and gradually opens up to him the interplay of forms and the meaning of the whole. The pathway space of the gate is thus transformed into a space of lingering and a place for communication.

F.G. 2008

Visits to Friedrich Gräsel´s Studio

On 22 November 2008 and 25 April 2009 Friedrich Gräsel opened his studio for two groups of members of the association Kunst am Moltkeplatz KaM, who were delighted to be shown and introduced to his works; see here.

After the death of their father in July 2013, Friedrich Gräsel’s three sons opened the studio to KaM members and supporters on 13 December 2014, displaying and commenting on the works from their father’s entire œuvre and answering questions. Also, a model of the Hannover Tor / Hanover Tor was on display. More about the visits here.

Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate to permanently stay at the Moltkeplatz

Since December 2011, the Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate has been owned by the Skulpturenverein Moltkeviertel SiM e.V.. As with all other sculptures at the Moltkeplatz, the sponsorship for the work lies with KaM. The legal arrangement ensures that the Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate will permanently stay at the Moltkeplatz; more here.


About an exhibition of Friedrich Gräsel´s estate at Van Ham in Cologne in April 2018 see here.

For visits to Friedrich Gräsel´s studio see here.

The Hannover Tor / Hanover Gate is mentioned in the compilation „Public Art Ruhr“ of the RuhrKunstMuseen. It is also mentioned in the listing Kunst im öffentlichen Raum / Art in Public Spaces in Nordrhein-Westfalen; see the entry on Friedrich Gräsel here.

More about Friedrich Gräsel and other of his works in public spaces in Essen here.