Peter Lenk

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Lenk's Imperia in Konstanza Harbour

Peter Lenk (born 6 June 1947, in Nuremberg) is a German sculptor based in Bodman-Ludwigshafen on Lake Constance, known for the controversial sexual content of his public art.[1]


Fountain in Überlingen
Detail of the relief Ludwigs Erbe in Bodman-Ludwigshafen. From left to right: Hans Eichel, Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel, Edmund Stoiber uand Guido Westerwelle

Lenk's artworks include:

  • Imperia, a ten-meter-tall rotating statue in the harbor of Konstanz, Germany, depicting a fictional courtesan from a short story by Balzac.[2] Although it was highly controversial when installed in 1993, today it is "the most photographed attraction in the city".[3] A detail from the sculpture, a nude figure of Pope Martin V, was displayed in the Konstanz train station in 2010, but was removed after complaints from the Catholic church and CDU politicians.[3]
  • A relief sculpture in the town square of Bodman-Ludwigshafen that shows various German politicians engaged in sexual play.[4][5]
  • A sculpture on the exterior of the office building in Berlin that houses die Tageszeitung, depicting the editor of a competing newspaper sporting an enormous penis.[6][7]
  • A sculpture of Volker Kauder wearing only a skirt made of bananas, like one worn by Josephine Baker, for a benefit auction.[8]
  • A statue of German writer Martin Walser wearing ice skates while he rides a horse that stands on the tails of two giant reclining mermaids in a fountain, at the boat landing in Überlingen.[9]
  • "Hölderlin im Kreisverkehr", a monument to German poet Friedrich Hölderlin installed in 2003 in a traffic roundabout in Lauffen am Neckar.[10]


Lenk is the author or co-author of:

  • Skulpturen: Bilder, Briefe, Kommentare (Konstanz: Stadler Verlagsges. Mbh, 2005, ISBN 978-3-7977-0516-7).
  • Magische Säule Meersburg: Skulpturen (with Helmut Weidhase, Konstanz: Stadler Verlagsges. Mbh, 2007, ISBN 978-3-7977-0540-2).


  1. ^ "Peter Lenk", Südkurier (in German), November 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Degreif, Uwe (1997), Skulpturen und Skandale: Kunstkonflikte in Baden-Württemberg, Untersuchungen des Ludwig-Uhland-Instituts der Universität Tübingen (in German), 87, Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde, ISBN 978-3-925340-99-4.
  3. ^ a b "Ende einer Satire – Papst-Figur wieder entfernt", Focus (in German), July 14, 2010.
  4. ^ "Comic Relief: Should Group Sex Be Public Art?", Der Spiegel, September 19, 2008.
  5. ^ "Racy Relief Causes Controversy in Germany", ArtInfo, September 22, 2008.
  6. ^ Hüetlin, Thomas (December 3, 2009), "Berlin's History Res-Erected: Giant Penis Sparks Bizarre Media War", Der Spiegel.
  7. ^ Paterson, Tony (December 5, 2009), "Phallic insult sparks German media feud: Mural mocking editor incenses new rival who wants to be taken seriously", The Independent.
  8. ^ "Kauder: "Gut getroffen!"", Neue Rottweiler Zeitung (in German), April 25, 2010.
  9. ^ "Literatur: Überlingen ehrt Martin Walser", Die Zeit (in German), February 13, 2007.
  10. ^ Fritz-Kador, Brigitte (March 20, 2008), "Eine neue Heimstatt für Hölderlin in Lauffen", Stuttgarter Zeitung (in German).

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