Iconic blue rooster installed in Sculpture Garden

Hahn/Cock is lowered onto its platform.
Katharina Fritsch's sculpture "Hahn/Cock" is lowered onto its platform inside the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center on Thursday.
Evan Frost | MPR News

The Walker Art Center installed what promises to be a new iconic piece in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Thursday in the shape of a gigantic blue rooster.

German sculptor Katharina Fristch's piece "Hahn/Cock" stands close to the gardens famed "Spoonbridge with Cherry."

It's one of 16 new works installed as part of the Garden's multi-million dollar renovation and expansion.

Walker Visual Arts Curator Pavel Pys said he expects the Fritsch sculpture will grab visitors' imaginations.

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"People will have this amazing response of 'Wow, I can't believe I am seeing this, what is this?'" he said. "Of course it's a rooster, but you have never seen a rooster like this. It's something you immediately recognize but then it's other worldly, it's completely different."

The rooster stands atop a brushed stainless steel plinth for a total height of almost 25 feet. An earlier edition of the sculpture stood in Trafalgar Square in London for several months. Fritsch is known for presenting everyday objects in a new and provocative light.

In London placing a rooster, which is a symbol of France, painted in a French blue in a square celebrating a major British victory during the Napoleonic wars was seen as at least cheeky if not more. The name of the piece was also a commentary on the distinctly masculine tone of the square.

Pys says the new sculpture and its placement in Minneapolis represent a new era.

"When we decided to invite Katharina, we really wanted to champion a new generation of artists," he said. "So we have the Spoonbridge with Cherry at the Center of the garden by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, and Katharina is an artist of equal importance from the next generation who is raising similar questions about monumental public sculpture."

The rooster sculpture is almost 13 feet tall and stands on top of a 10-foot light gray metal pedestal.