Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Atelier Manenburg

In one of those happy moments of cyberspace life last week,
I got an email from one Peter Hoogerwerf
asking me why I didn't have any Dutch sculptors on my website.

Could that be true ?
I've got hundreds of German and Belgian.

But alas,
the Dutch had completely slipped my notice,
probably because they're completely absent from
the Ryerson Library
where I've spent the last five years digging up dead sculptors.

(and I probably wouldn't have any Belgian either
except for the magnificent 3 volume set called
"Beeldhouwkunst in Belgiƫ : vanaf 1830"
- but don't worry about the Germans-
thanks to the Neo-Nazis on the internet
and the German art historians in the libraries,
there is plenty of great German work to be found)

So now I've been inundated by pictures of Dutch sculpture,
beginning with the dozens sent by Mr. Hoogerwerf,
and augmented by all the others I've been finding on the web.

The Netherlands
has really been a center for the kind of work I like -
languid, heavy, quiet
and always moving
-not like a jerky hip-hop dancer -
but like a deep, slow river,
swollen with fresh rain.

And Mr. Hoogerwerf exemplifies it best himself !
as in the two pieces shown above

but he's not alone!

He shares the former studio of Pieter D'Hont
(Atalier Manenburg)
with several other figure sculptors,
including Amiran Djanashvili (shown above)

and Dick Aerts (shown here)

Quite a group, wouldn't you say ?
As they go off and model their forms,
they're certainly quite different from each other,

but they all come back to the strong silhouette,
they're making something stately
rather than cutesy or anatomically accurate.

They're in the great European tradition
(and the American tradition from St. Gaudens to Manship)

What a delight to find them !

And over the next few weeks,
I'll be wandering through
some more web galleries
of recent Dutch figure sculpture.


Blogger Robert said...

I will concede again Chris, though I will not admit to liking them.I do not wish to be reprimanded again!

I am fascinated but the subject of horse and rider and have many plans for it, but the bull and rider has I think, political overtones as well as historical and mythical ones. I am not sure I would get away with it in today's EU. The Dutch may not be so sensitive!

August 04, 2007  

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