About the Artwork

The colour of the bronze cubes of Axis Mundi is predominantly ultramarine blue, divided into three translucent chromatic shades, which create an ascending, changing rhythm on all sides of the sculpture. The cubes are stacked one on top of the other to produce an open-ended vertical, whereby their mutual similarity emphasises a dynamic, upward thrusting pattern. The term “axis mundi – world axis” refers to a universal symbol, which finds its origin in anthropological and theological interpretations of the vertical bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth – representing a site of spiritual energy.

The abstract minimalism of the sculpture as well as the pictorial quality of the ultramarine colouring emphasise its unique energy in any chosen dialogue with architecture and nature. Art, science and pure sensation unite in the abstraction of a seemingly endless vertical.

Year: 1997/2014

Courtesy Michael Ulmer and White Cube. Photo © Nick Turpin




710 x 65 x 65 cm

Artist Biography

Jürgen Partenheimer

Jürgen Partenheimer (b. 1947, born in Munich Germany), counts among the outstanding artists of his generation. His visual language, a particular form of poetic abstraction, is explored across a broad spectrum of media ranging from painting and sculpture to works on paper and ceramics, books and texts while drawing on theory, poetry and prose as referential grammar of his artistic expression. His numerous prizes include The Audain Dinstinguished Residency Award, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver (2014), Nietzsche Award, Artist in Residence, Sils-Maria (2006), The Federal Cross of Merit of Germany (2004), Honorary Guest, The German Academy, Villa Massimo, Rome (2003), Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Award, Essen (2001), China Grant, Kunststiftung Düsseldorf (2000), The Art Critic´s Prize, Madrid (1995), Arteleku Award, San Sebastian (1993), The National Endowment of the Arts Award, New York (1982), Grand Prize for Visual Art, NRW, Düsseldorf (1982). He participated in the Paris, Venice and Sao Paulo Biennials and had important solo presentations at the China National Gallery of Art, Beijing; the Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; S.M.A.K. Ghent; IVAM, Valencia; CGAC, Santiago de Compostela; Nationalgalerie Berlin; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe; Staedelsches Kunstinstitut Frankfurt; Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo and IKON Gallery, Birmingham. Recent solo exhibitions include The Archive, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Deichtorhallen-Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2014; accompanied by an extensive publication, product of a collaboration of the four participating museums) and Calliope, Musée Ariana, Geneva, (2015/16; accompanied by a book on his porcelain vessels).