The Ruhr region is a gigantic conurbation which grew up round the coal and steel industry in Germany. When the heavy industry declined, it left behind vast areas of wasteland,
and the region went through a structural transformation. An investment group planned one of Europe's biggest regeneration projects here, on the grounds of a former steel mill. The idea was to provide
a new focus for the city of Oberhausen, with shopping malls, promenade, stadium, tennis courts and parks, rail station and music arena. The architects, RKW Düsseldorf, asked Horst Gläsker
to design solutions for the atriums, which are the architectural nodal points in the shopping mall.
"As I've already said: the effort that goes into the execution of a work is enormous, whatever form it may take. In order to apply a stucco painting to 12 metre high pillars or a 27 metre wide wall
necessitates complex logistics when converting the tiny model into the actual work measuring many times its size. I remember how Horst Gläsker, amid the deafening noise of the building work in Oberhausen's
CentrO shopping mall, stood on a high ladder with a megaphone and shouted colour mixing instructions to his helpers working on the pillars section by section. He alone had the overview and was thus able to
judge the correct distances, proportions and placings. The helpers doing the actual painting were much too close the pillars and had no overview whatsoever. They had only the artist/author/stage-director on
his ladder, while they themselves had nothing but a blurred mass of colour in front of their noses. So what was needed was indeed a coordinated operation of military precision."
Quoted, in translation, from: Manfred Schneckenburger, extract from a speech delivered at the opening of the exhibition: Horst Gläsker, Kunst Raum Dialog at the NRW Chamber of Architects on 1.2.2007