On display in the Sculpture Garden
This sundial formed as a pair of lovers is an excellent example of the influence of cubism on Ossip Zadkine’s (1890-1967) art. The subject of a man and a woman in an intimate embrace is a particularly suitable vehicle for showing various viewpoints simultaneously following the cubist approach. The sculptor has more or less deconstructed his figures into separate elements and reassembled these in a new composition. The result is an artwork with a powerful internal dynamism which invites the viewer to keep moving around the sculpture.
Charlotte van Pallandt
Charlotte van Pallandt (1898-1997) was one of the Netherlands' most significant portrait sculptors of the 20th century. This sculpture of Queen Wilhelmina is a bronze version from 1987 of the hard stone original she made in 1968 for a public space in Rotterdam. Although it is difficult to pin down recognisable elements directly, the sculptor however has managed to articulate a striking image of Wilhelmina’s personality. The expression of the image, mostly captured in the sheer mass of her thick winter coat, portrays exactly her indomitable character.
Cleaning the rooms of the past
- Steel and wood
It looks as if a major spring clean out is going on at the castle with the furniture temporarily stacked on the grass. The frivolous stacking and the unusual orange paint job give the whole ensemble a jolly festive feel, as if the pieces of furniture have finally broken free from the dank and fusty containment of four solid walls. This airiness is expanded in Frode Bolhuis’s (1979) sculpture’s functional purpose. For besides being good to look at, children are invited to use it as a climbing frame.
Joost van der Toorn
Pet of the year
Joost van den Toorn’s (1954) bronze dog looks ever so slightly stiff and downhearted. The title of the sculpture informs us the dog has just been named ‘Pet of the year’. Great for its owner, but what does the dog care? Humour is the binding thread in Van den Toorn's work, although often with a dark undertone. This cartoonish sculpture points to people's often half baked behaviour, whilst simultaneously setting in motion a serious discussion on art.
Heringa / Van Kalsbeek
- steel, resin and textile
By far the largest sculpture in Museum de Fundatie's sculpture garden is ‘Prolong’ by artist duo Heringa / Van Kalsbeek (1962/1966). Their work is often described as three dimensional painting. The moving shapes and multi coloured palette express a collision between baroque art and abstract expressionism. The only figurative elements in this sculpture are the pink flamingos at the bottom, but don’t suppress your imagination and you might also see the complete work as one giant exotic bird.
At first glance, these vase-like terracotta shapes, grouped around a terracotta dish, seem to be totally in the right place in the castle's garden. Only after looking a little longer do you realise these are entirely useless objects. With their unstable positions they also express helplessness. The sculpture emphasises art’s often uselessness and vulnerability. Working from the same notion sheet, Pjotr Müller (1947) has also created a number of temples, which work on a similar level as 19th century garden follies; their only function is to amaze.
- bronze and wood
The art of Elisabet Stienstra (1967) lets the mind meander, without intruding with any definite meaning. This table is a good example: the top consists of a bizarre Hieronymus Bosch-like landscape with equally bizarre figures. There are echoes of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, but also of Dante's depiction of hell. Below, children leaning on their heads form the table's legs. Does the top have any relationship with the bottom? Is the landscape the (literal) opposite of the children? Or are these two sides of the same coin?
Dr Quincke's House
- mesh and stone
Dr Heinrich Quincke was a German dermatologist who worked at the end of the 19th century. His work was associated with an ailment which causes swelling in parts of the body. Pjotr Müller (1947) has made a sort of monument to people who suffer from this condition. Rather than being an imposing memorial to an untouchable hero, like a traditional monument, the sculpture 'Dr Quincke's House' makes us realise that man is anything but untouchable. Enter the house and all you see is faces malformed by the illness.
- ca. 1750
Alphons Freijmuth (1940) became known in the seventies for his painting. He started making sculptures at a later stage. His work is marshalled under the New Figurative flag; a movement he helped set up in reaction to the mainly conceptual and abstract art of the nineteen sixties. His work clearly tracks expressionism from the beginning of the 20th century and of Cobra, the avant-garde movement. Freijmuth infuses these elements with geometric and constructivist notions. This ‘Totem’ is above all a comment on the often much too serious way art is approached.
Gust Kulche (1894-1988) spent most of his life focusing on painting and poetry and only started sculpting at a much later stage when he was around 65. Nature was his most important source of inspiration. At first glance, this stone sculpture is completely abstract. However, it does have figurative reference points. The piece’s soft rounded forms and reclining position immediately conjures up one of art history’s most familiar motifs: the reclining female nude.
‘Las Meninas’ is Spanish for 'The ladies in waiting'. As well as the title of this ceramic piece of furniture by Dora Dolz (1941-2008) this is also the title of the famous 1656 work by Diego Velazquez. Dolz chose the title given the similarities between her creation and the bulging hooped skirts in the old master’s painting. Being Spanish, Dolz would have been truly familiar with the painting. Ever since arriving in the Netherlands in 1965, she created many bright and cheerful objects for our country with her colourful ceramic sculptures.
As a professor at the Amsterdam art academy, Jan Bronner (1881-1972) taught dozens of Dutch sculptors. Bronner was fond of saying: “Sculpture is architecture, architecture is sculpture.” According to him, both disciplines follow the same order and patterns. The stone figures of the Hildebrand monument, depicting the writer Hildebrand and the eight main characters from his book ‘Camera Obscura’, have almost literally become buildings. Throw a little imagination into the mix and these can be seen as expressionist high rise blocks.
Ronald A. Westerhuis
- stainless steel
In art, a sphere is often used as a metaphor for the world. In this instance the sphere also literally reflects the world. Ronald Westerhuis (1971) made this globe of reflective stainless steel in which the viewer can watch himself and his environment depicted in the artwork. The image is diminished in the smaller bulges on the surface, whilst in the hollow parts the image is also reduced and at the same time reversed. The basic principle of unity has thereby also become a symbol of multiplicity.
Although Karel Appel (1921-2006) was recognised as a painter, he was also active as a sculptor. Made in 1947, this 'Bird Woman' is one of the artist’s first sculptures. There are echoes of an African idol here. At the beginning of the 20th century, the art of so called ‘primitive people’ was a great source of inspiration for western artists. Two years after this sculpture was made, Appel and some of his friends launched the international Cobra art movement. They drew their inspiration from drawings made by children and people with a mental disability.
Large female head
Due to its extreme hardness, granite is a material not suited to fine detailing. Therefore Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) has only minimally traced the features of the woman’s face. The rectangular shape of the block of granite can still be seen in the end result. The material lends strength to the sculpture's powerful presence, comparable to the archaic art of classical Greece. Zadkine was one of the 20th century’s most significant sculptors and is primarily known in the Netherlands for his sculpture in Rotterdam: 'The destroyed city'.
Dietrich Klinge (1954) sculpts first in wood, which he then casts in bronze to increase durability. Seated figures with stepped bodies are a recurring element in his work. The title of this sculpture points to a religious function. The figure’s face appears inspired by African masks. His or her position is full frontal, which increases the godlike impression. Are the steps perhaps an invitation to reach a higher level of consciousness?
A musician is often a cheerful character; but not this sousaphone player. The instrument strangles him like a boa constrictor with his skinny silhouette and bald pate failing to alleviate the gloom. Nothing here indicates joyful, beautiful music, but rather enforced playing, undermined by ill-fated compulsion. Trak Wendisch (1958) depicts his depressing experiences as a citizen of the GDR. This originally wooden sculpture forms part of the group ‘Konzert der verlorenen Söhne’.