Dutch Sculpture: c. 1950
Here's some selected pieces of the Dutch sculptors
to whom Peter Hoogerwerf just introduced me.
This is the generation born around 1900.
I couldn't find anything else that I liked by the above sculptor,
but isn't that a strong, beautiful bust
.. of a person who seems wide-eyed, curious enough
to explore the world,
and strong enough to handle whatever she finds ?
(and isn't that the role of the Netherlands in modern history,
as explorers of the world,
and innovators in republican government ?)
This is my idea of really heroic statuary,
presenting a citizen
as he faces the firing squad.
Thank goodness I was born in such
an easy place and time.
(or that would likely have been me)
A sensitive, introspective person is being presented,
and it's hard to tell the gender.
At first I thought this was a woman,
but it could also be John, the beloved disciple,
at the foot of the cross.
I don't feel this figure could be anything but Dutch --
well, maybe Scandinavian.
If it were a monument to some great, human quality,
what would that be ?
If it were speaking,
I think he's say:
"Whatever it is, I will take it as it comes"
There's a certain humor,
or affability about the way Dutch sculpture
honors distinguished people.
Charlotte van Pallandt
Wow ... what a powerful head !
Peter tells me that CVP was the grand dame of Dutch sculpture,
and the power/determination/compassion
of this piece tells me why.
(though I can't stand some of her large monuments)
From what I've seen,
this guy specialized in horses.
Most of them are much more anatomically detailed than this one,
but they also are radically distorted.
This simpler, ceramic-like piece
suits me just fine.
I really go for this Egyptian, timelessness quality.
Could it be called the cultivation of slowness ?
There will always be cute children,
there will always be tender mothers,
and I am glad it is so.
Yes, this man is 12 feet high,
and yes, he must be very famous.
But he also feels like
an ordinary man
who's a bit confused,
and not quite sure
why he's been put up on a pedestal.
And that's why I like him.
This is the sculptor,
in whose former studio,
Peter and his colleagues are now working.
(Peter says he had no time for students)
Some foolish, anatomy crazed, neo-academician
"but look, the head and neck are too big"
But Anne Frank is not a girl any more,
she's an immortal angel,
and that's the way she should look.
There would seem to be some tragic, public event
that summoned this statue
Jan Van Luyn
As I recall, Peter said that he studied with this man,
(although his own sculpture is very different)
this looks like a quick sketch,
so it feels fresh and exciting,
but I'm not sure I'd enjoy walking
past it, and around it
Jan Van Luyn
A very ambitious monument,
that reminds me of the things
more often found in the Soviet Union.
It feels like it belongs in a cemetery,
doesn't it ?