Hans Arp, The Final Work; Kunstmuseum, The Hague & Bezuidenhoutseweg, The Hague

The things / we call lifeless / are not lifeless at all. / They often rub / their hands with glee / and laugh up / their sleeves / for joy at / not being human

Well, there you are: more than twenty pictures about an exhibition at Kunstmuseum The Hague, with only eight objects.

And three of them are even omitted in this report! But what an exhibition it is! It is all about the last stone sculpture made by Hans /Jean (depending whether you are more German or French inclined) Arp (1886-1966), and today still on public show along Bezuidenhoutseweg.

Arp was asked in 1964 to make a sculpture for the then new and modern neighbourhood.

It became Scrutant l’horizon (Looking out over the Horizon), which was placed in 1966.

The whole story of how the work was commissioned and made can now be seen and read in the Kunstmuseum.

The museum obtained Arp’s plaster model for the work in 1964.

After Arp’s death some bronze casts were made of this plaster model, two of which are now on show, together with the plaster model.

That in itself already makes it a great but intimate show.

At least, it caused a kind of photographic frenzy in me, as you can see here.

The sheer repetition of the sculpture and the difference in patina of the two bronzes are a feast for the eyes.

As such this small presentation is both art historically and aesthetically a gem.

Apart from the three Scrutant l’horizons there are five more works by Arp on show, a sculpture and two reliefs amongst others.

Arp was also a prolific poet in both German and French and two examples, in both languages, are present in the show, breaking the barriers between seeing and reading.

in infinite space / he stood / on his left arm / holding up the earth / with his right arm / when the bursts of fire / from fallen angels hit him // an incandescent fruit / a terrifying fruit / beat in his breast

The German poem is more deliberate in its content, while the French poem grows in the mind like his sculptures.

If there would be a shortcoming in the exhibition, it should be the fact that there is no recent picture of the present state of the public work on show.

So, the next day i rushed to Bezuidenhoutseweg to make a few pictures of Scrutant l’horizon there, which are included here as well.

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of Hans Arp and to Kunstmuseum, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Boris Lurie & Wolf Vostell, Art After Auschwitz; Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Boris Lurie

I went to the exhibition Art after Auschwitz with works by Boris Lurie (1924-2008) and Wolf Vostell (1932-1998) at Kunstmuseum The Hague, to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the article in VLR (in Dutch).

Boris Lurie

As i’ve written quite extensively about the exhibition i leave you here with some impressions, and the strong recommendation to experience it all yourself.

Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Boris Lurie
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell
Wolf Vostell

Click here to read the article in VLR (in Dutch).

Wolf Vostell

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works, the estates of both artists and Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Theo Jansen, Strandbeests, The New Generation; Kunstmuseum, The Hague

To quote myself from some lines i wrote about a Theo Jansen (1948) exhibition at Heden in The Hague in 2016 : “Why should culturally interested tourists in The Hague flock to M.C. Escher while there is a Strandbeest by Theo Jansen currently on show at Heden gallery?”

The same could be said – and with even more conviction – about the present Theo Jansen show at the Kunstmuseum, The Hague.

A short history of Jansen’s Strandbeest phenomenon is given inside the museum.

Visitors are even invited to pull and push the creatures a bit. In videos projected on the walls you can see how they were developed by Jansen into monsters who only need flat space and wind to move by themselves.

They are made mainly of pvc tubes and they need neither food and drink nor psychological encouragement to move.

Jansen is certainly one of the most remarkable artists in The Hague and one of the most non-provincial ones (The Hague seems to be a good breeding ground for non-provincial artists anyway).

His so-called Strandbeests (“Beach Beasts”) have walked the sands of quite a few places in the world already.

And now they are on show in the Kunstmuseum at last.

One beast is more or less permanently on show in the museum’s courtyard, four are on show in the museum’s project room, one is hanging in the entrance hall and ten are on display outside along the museum’s pond for all passers-by to be admired.

Jansen’s works may at first seem to be the follies of a dazed and drunk technician, but they also contain the idea of the sublime, to make something awe-inspiring and never seen before, of second rate materials, something that generates sympathy, respect as well as joy in the viewer, and the feeling of being part of this great imagination.

As such Jansen’s Strandbeests are even more basic than religion.

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well (re)subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Theo Jansen and Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!