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Habakuk (Homage to Max Ernist) 2014

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


This stainless steel structure was produced by Everdt Hilgemann in 2014. It stands twenty feet high and 6.5 feet wide on Lake Shore Drive. Prior to being across from the Chicago’s Museum Campus, it had resided in New York City Park Avenue. It is made up of three different sections that have been welded together and shaped by the use of vacuum pumps.

Ewerdt Hilgemann HABAKUK
Ewerdt Hilgemann HABAKUK
Ewerdt Hilgemann HABAKUK


Hilgemann named this piece after one done by Max Ernest, also called Habakuk. He believed the structures points, which appeared beak like, made it similar to Ernest’s. You will also see it called Habakuk, Homage to Max Ernest, in tribute of his work. Much of Ernest’s work centered about bird like figures. He was very captivated by them, which was thought to be due to the fact that he had a pet bird who died while he was young.

Everdt Hilgemann was born in Germany in 1938. He studied art at the University of Saarland in Germany, as well. When he began creating art in 1959, he started with wooden wall pieces, but has since moved from that and has been creating metal structures using natural energy since 1984. Hilgemann’s main creating tool is air.

To create the Habakuk, Hilgemann employed a vacuum pump which pulled the air out of the steel cubes. With each of his structures he uses precise techniques to form the ideas he envisioned. He names this method the “Implosion” process. What Hilgemann enjoyed most about this type of art was that even thought it was thought out, there was always parts that occurred without his control. Because he was using nature, there was always an element of surprise in his work. 

1200 S Lake Shore Driv
Chicago, Illinois
  • Art and Art Museums
This location was created on 2017-05-03 by Michael Smith, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.   It was last updated on 2017-05-03 by Michael Smith, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.

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