The sculptor Fritz Koenig, an emeritus professor of sculptural design at the Technical University of Munich, died on February 22 at his home in Ganslberg, near Landshut, Germany, at the age of 92. Koenig was regarded as one of the most important sculptors of the post-war era.
Fritz Koenig was born in Würzburg, Germany, in 1924 and spent most of his childhood in the Bavarian town of Landshut. From 1946 until 1952, he studied under Anton Hiller at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. At the age of 40, he was appointed to a professorship at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where he headed the Chair for Sculptural Design until his retirement in 1992.
Koenig became world famous in the early 1970s through his sculpture "The Sphere," which was placed outside the World Trade Center in New York. The work withstood the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and can be seen today at Battery Park.
Other works by Koenig include the memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany at the former Mauthausen concentration camp, and a granite beam commemorating the victims of the attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972. The steel sculpture "Grosse Blattfigur" ("large leaf figure," 1996), which is located in the inner courtyard of TUM's main building at the downtown campus, impressively bears witness to the power of Fritz Koenig's artistic expression.
Koenig was a member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. He was awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and the Arts and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Wolfgang A. Herrmann, TUM's president, praised Koenig's life work: "Koenig's legacy to posterity lies in the life-long exploration, in his drawings and sculptures, of every aspect of creative existence: between birth and death, form and geometry, the figurative and the abstract. His inspiration for young artists and the Fritz and Maria Koenig Foundation is among the most precious gifts he has left to his home and our country. We are proud of him."