2FREE SPACE: Dirk Bell Wins the Competition
“MAKE ART! Your Sculpture for Berlin”

A “political sculpture that speaks of freedom in public space” is how Dirk Bell describes 2FREE SPACE, the design that won the competition “Macht Kunst! Ihre Skulptur für Berlin“ (Make Art! Your Sculpture for Berlin). Bell’s square metal sculpture was selected from more than 400 submissions. The work will be realized in the next few months and, starting in the fall of 2016, 2FREE SPACE will be on view in front of the new Deutsche Bank building on Otto-Suhr-Allee in Berlin. The winner was selected by an expert jury made up of the artist Katharina Grosse, the curator Christoph Tannert, a representative of Deutsche Bank, and a representative of Art-Invest Real Estate. “After receiving a tremendous number of great contributions, we are delighted to realize Dirk Bell’s sculpture. The work, which will stand on the square adjacent to the new Deutsche Bank Campus, sensibly brings together recent Berlin history and current social issues in Germany and the world,” says Friedhelm Hütte, Deutsche Bank’s Global Head of Art and a jury member.

Dirk Bell’s design is impressive due to the coupling of an idea with a compelling geometric shape. For the 4 x 4 x 4 meter steel construction, the artist doubled the word FREE and then joined the letters of the two words into a sculpture. The signal-red-painted square stands on a base made of blue plastic like that used as a surface for sports fields and playgrounds. In addition, Bell’s minimalist sculpture is inspired by the history of Berlin – the longing for freedom, the fall of the Wall, and reunification. “Creating freedoms is the task of a democracy,” says the artist. In the wake of the privatization of public space, this challenge is transferred to the new private owners. 2FREE SPACE is a sculpture for Berlin. A freedom in ‘public private space” whose theme is Berlin’s past and possible future.”

In his sculptures, installations, paintings, and drawings, Dirk Bell does not commit to one particular style. He makes use of Symbolism and Art Nouveau, as well as Minimal Art and pop culture. In his works, in which certain signs, shapes, and buzzwords such as “love” and “free” recur, he creates complex systems of meaning that address social, philosophical, and spiritual issues. The artist, who was born in Munich in 1969 and lives in Berlin, has had solo exhibitions at important institutions, including the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the  Modern Institute in Glasgow, and Schinkel Pavillion in Berlin.

“Macht Kunst! Ihre Skulptur für Berlin” is a joint initiative of Deutsche Bank and Art-Invest Real Estate. On September 25, 2015, they invited art enthusiasts to submit a design for a large sculpture to be installed in front of the new Deutsche Bank building. All of the designs were presented in a 24-hour exhibition in the atrium of Deutsche Bank’s Berlin headquarters from November 7 to 8. Some 1,500 visitors came to see the works. With this competition, the bank continues its art activities in the German capital, which include exhibitions at its own KunstHalle on Unter den Linden and the sculpture Berlin by the artist couple Matschinsky-Denninghoff, which, on loan from the Deutsche Bank Collection, stands on Tauentzien.