After my visit first visit to the Storm King sculpturepark near New York, and later the amazing Pedvale open-air sculpture park in Latvia, I became hooked. In these parks art works are placed in such a way that their meaning or beauty can really be experienced. In a city, a sculpture is often lost amidst buildings, traffic and people. In Rotterdam, my hometown, sculptures are often replaced, going from one location to another. Most of these sculptures in cities have lost their connection with their surroundings.
In sculpture parks that is not the case. Often sculptures are created specifically for a site in the park, giving the artist a chance to integrate her art piece in the environment, or to make it stand out. There is a connection between the two.
The open-air Skupturenpark of Köln (Cologne in English) is such a park. Some artworks are clearly created for the park, others are placed with attention to the place they are at. All sculptures are contemporary pieces, by the way.
Located on the riverbanks of the Rhine, north of the city center and the Hohenzollern Bridge, you will find this green 35.000m2 park surrounded by busy roads. All that is forgotten though once you enter and walk from one sculpture to another. At the entrance you can pick up a brochure with a map that mentions all the artworks.
The park was founded by the private initiative of Mr and Mrs Stoffel in 1997. They both passed away, and the sculpture park is now managed by a foundation that receives money from the rental of their former house, the charitable foundation of the family Stoffel and the municipality of Cologne. The sculpture park changes its collection every two years. And every two years the foundation appoints a new independent curator to set up the next exhibition.
The contemporary artworks can be visited 365 days per year from 10.30 – 17.00. From April till September the park is open till 19.00. The entrance is free, so no reason not to visit this beautiful park when you are in Cologne or Köln as that is how Germans call this city.
More information about the park, you can find on their website: Skulpturenpark Köln. The current sculpture exhibition, that I visited, is on show till untill June 2019.