Vormidable, Contemporary Flemish Sculpture; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculptures by the Sea) is one of the most interesting museums in The Hague and indeed in the country, for its robust architecture, its position along the coast, its Institute for Sculpture and above all – of course – for its interesting exhibitions of modern, postmodern and contemporary sculpture, objects and installations.

VBaZ 02 Sofie Muller

At present the Museum’s summer exhibition Vormidable with contemporary sculpture from Flanders is still on show, though its satellite exhibitions at Lange Voorhout (for pictures click here) and in A Gallery Named Sue (for pictures click here; for full review in Dutch click here) have finished already some weeks ago.

VBaZ 04 Panamarenko
VBaZ 05 Panamarenko

It is impossible to cover all aspects of this wonderful exhibition, so I just show you a few random pictures, but it would be better to take a look for yourself. Both well known and lesser known artists are democratically brought together in the great room of the museum. In that collection almost legendary Panamarenko is more or less hors concours, even with these modest models on show.

VBaZ 06 Honoré d'O

Honoré d’O’s works (also quite small ones in this show) make a good counterpoint to Panamarenko’s.

VBaZ 07 Renato Nicolodi
VBaZ 08 Renato Nicolodi

There is some imposing architecture reduced to an introvert object by Renato Nicolodi and

VBaZ 09 Johan Tahon

there are some works by Johan Tahon, both raw and angelic,

VBaZ 10 Sofie Muller
VBaZ 11 Sofie Muller

two sensitive sculptural installations by Sofie Muller and

VBaZ 13 Philip Aguirre y Otegui
VBaZ 14 Philip Aguirre y Otegui

there is this water carrier by Philip Aguirre y Otegui. These four artists were presented at the Lange Voorhout as well.

VBaZ 15 Caspar Berger

Do think before you take a seat on a bench by Caspar Berger!

VBaZ 16 Sven 't Jolle

Sven ‘t Jolle presents these figures who are playing Mens erger je niet (Hey, don’t fret). Or are the figures becoming the game?

VBaZ 18 Nadia Naveau
VBaZ 19 Nadia Naveau
VBaZ 20 Nadia Naveau

Nadia Naveau gives some samples of her work in which there is a strong connection with antiquity and post-postmodernity.

VBaZ 21 Nadia Naveau
VBaZ 22 Nadia Naveau
VBaZ 23 Nadia Naveau
VBaZ 24 Nadia Naveau

Her work is one of the great discoveries of the show.

VBaZ 25 Tinka Pittoors
VBaZ 26 Tinka Pittoors

Tinka Pittoors’ installation fits much better into this presentation than her other sculpture did at the Lange Voorhout.

VBaZ 27 Peter Rogiers

On the other hand this sculpture by Peter Rogiers on its own seems to be a bit out of context.

VBaZ 28 Nick Ervinck
VBaZ 29 Nick Ervinck

If you like intricate 3D design and printing with a bit of a spooky outlook the works of Nick Ervinck will surely impress you. It doesn’t really convince me.

VBaZ 30 Eva De Leener
VBaZ 31 Eva De Leener
VBaZ 32 Eva De Leener

Far simpler as a concept but much more significant are Eva De Leener’s sculptures.

VBaZ 33 Patrick Van Caeckenbergh
VBaZ 34 Patrick Van Caeckenbergh

One of my personal favourites is Patrick Van Caeckenbergh and his Cradle hits the mark again in more than one way.

VBaZ 35 Anton Cotteleer
VBaZ 36 Anton Cotteleer
VBaZ 37 Anton Cotteleer

Works by Anton Cotteleer were quite omnipresent in The Hague this summer as, apart from here, they were also on show at A Gallery Named Sue and Nouvelles Images gallery (click here for the pictures).

VBaZ 38 Peter Buggenhout
VBaZ 39 Peter Buggenhout

Peter Buggenhout specializes in sculptures that refuse to take a clear shape. They seem to defy all theories about the regularity of nature.

VBaZ 40 Berlinde De Bruyckere
VBaZ 41 Berlinde De Bruyckere

Of course Berlinde De Bruyckere’s work is also present. It is shown in rhyme with Buggenhout’s sculptures.

VBaZ 42 Wim Delvoye
VBaZ 43 Wim Delvoye

Wim Delvoye’s hilarious Rose des vents is present on one of the terraces of the museum.

VBaZ 44 Jan Fabre

However, the sad low point of the show is the presentation of Jan Fabre, who seems to be talking on and on with his shiny beetles, while he has nothing to say but boring clichés.

VBaZ 45 Wim Delvoye
VBaZ 46 Wim Delvoye

A smaller room of the museum shows models of more or less monumental works and projects.

VBaZ 47 Wim Delvoye
VBaZ 48 Wim Delvoye

Amongst others by Wim Delvoye,

VBaZ 49 Patrick Van Caeckenbergh

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh,

VBaZ 50 Renato Nicolodi

Renato Nicolodi and

VBaZ 51 Ruben Bellinkx

Ruben Bellinkx, who also showed an intriguing installation this summer at A Gallery Named Sue.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters


The Ebony Tower at Nouvelles Images Gallery, The Hague


In summer many galleries take a break and are closed, but Nouvelles Images has a summer exhibition, this time curated by Hans van der Ham who chose some artists, not necessarily connected to the gallery. The show is aptly named The Ebony Tower. It is a fine show full of imagination.


One of the artists is Aldwin van de Ven who made this wintery landscape. In the snowy mountains a (young?) couple is walking and


there is also a cross, maybe a grave, but where from are you watching them?


In this painting by British artist Robert Nicol you may wonder what these persons are looking for and in whose honour that funny statue is.

NIs 05 Marie Aly
NIs 06 Marie Aly
NIs 07 Marie Aly

Another painter with a sense of both humour and the surreal is German Marie Aly

NIs 08 Aldwin van de Ven

while Van de Ven portrays himself as a carpenter with the right eye.

NIs 09 Hans van der Ham
NIs 10 Hans van der Ham

Van der Ham shows works of his own as well, amongst which this figure full of wonder.

NIs 11 Robert Nicol

It is not clear which way these figures by Nicol will send you or from what world they themselves are coming.

NIs 12 Robert Nicol

Anyway, following the direction of the pointing finger,

NIs 13 Marie Aly

you may meet Aly’s Hungarian woman,

NIs 14 Marie Aly


NIs 15 Marie Aly
NIs 16 Marie Aly

maybe even too exquisite.

NIs 17 Rens Krikhaar

Rens Krikhaar is also part of the gang, always looking for the sublime and

NIs 18 Rens Krikhaar

the monstrous, the extravagant and death, while

NIs 19 Oskar Nisson

in Swedish painter Oskar Nilsson’s work death is the only end to all humour.

NIs 20 Anton Cotteleer
NIs 21 Anton Cotteleer
NIs 22 Anton Cotteleer

Works by Belgian sculptor Anton Cotteleer are more or less omnipresent in The Hague at the moment,

NIs 23 Anton Cotteleer
NIs 24 Anton Cotteleer
NIs 25 Anton Cotteleer
NIs 26 Anton Cotteleer

as they are also on show in A Gallery Named Sue (see here and here).

NIs 27 Christian Henkel

Something is being kept behind the mountain (hinterm Berg) in

NIs 28 Christian Henkel

this great improvisational sculpture by German artist Christian Henkel,

NIs 29 Christian Henkel

or maybe this is what is behind the mountain, but

NIs 30 Rens Krikhaar

as far as Krikhaar is concerned there is always a lot behind the mountain

NIs 31 Rens Krikhaar

and he is always prepared to show you, even

NIs 32 Rens Krikhaar

if you give up a few things, chasing a dream (it’s Krikhaar at his best again).

NIs 33 Hans van der Ham
NIs 34 Hans van der Ham

There seems to be another way of chasing dreams in this great sculpture by Van der Ham, while

NIs 35 Marie Aly
NIs 36 Marie Aly

another sharp eyed lady by Aly is watching.

NIs 37 Anton Cotteleer

From that point there is also a good view on Cotteleer’s sculpture, showing the improbable, if not the impossible.

NIs 38 Hans van der Ham

Passing along another great sculpture by Van der Ham

NIs 39 Robert Nicol

you may find yourself in a Great Exhibition. Well, weren’t you already?

NIs 40 Henk Visch
NIs 41 Henk Visch

Adding to this Great Exhibition are certainly this trio of guards by Henk Visch.

NIs 42 Henk Visch

It seems to be only a small jump from these one armed bandits to

NIs 43 Hans van der Ham
NIs 44 Hans van der Ham

the more or less surreal works by Van der Ham who also shows pictures.

NIs 45 Rens Krikhaar

Krikhaar offers a moment of contemplation on a poet’s mountain (Goethe or Heine would say it is Mount Brocken in the Harz Mountains)., and

NIs 46 Robert Nicol

if you love Wandern after that, Nicol will show you how to deal with a cucumber on a picknick.

NIs 47 Marie Aly

Aly brings an ode to the recently discovered Lesula monkey and

NIs 48 Marie Aly
NIs 49 Marie Aly

to Freddy probably Mercury.

NIs 50 Henk Visch

Visch shows some drawings.

NIs 51 Oskar Nisson
NIs 52 Oskar Nisson
NIs 53 Oskar Nisson

Again, in Nilsson’s paintings humour ends in raucous laughter,

NIs 54 Hans van der Ham

opposed by Van der Ham’s silent dog and man. Will they ever get closer to each other?

NIs 55 Anton Cotteleer

In the corridor some small sculptures are shown by Cotteleer

NIs 56 Hans van der Ham
NIs 57 Hans van der Ham

and Van der Ham, while

NIs 58 Robert Nicol

in the front gallery Nicol summarizes it all in a Duchampian painting and

NIs 59 Anton Cotteleer

Cotteleer brings a sacrifice. Van der Ham has made an exciting exhibition full of wonder, humour and a good dose of surrealism. There is a lot more on show, so hurry to see i!. Next Saturday is the last day of the exhibition.

NIs 60 Hans van der Ham
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

Stille, stomme getuigen… (Silent, dumb witnesses..,), A Gallery Named Sue, The Hague


I was greeted by this lion carrying a sansevieria, made by Ignace Cami, when I visited the exhibition Stille, stomme getuigen… (Silent, Dumb Witnesses…) at A Gallery Named Sue, to write a review for the Villa La Repubblica blog. The exhibition is part of the show Vormidable, also on show at Lange Voorhout (see pictures here) and Museum Beelden aan Zee, with works by Flemish sculptors.


The works are all very much suited to be shown in the intimate setting of the gallery apartment, like this film installation by Ruben Bellinkx about four turtles who are each tied to a leg of the same table and make the table move, in that way showing a moving sculpture and a special experience of it.


Jonas Vansteenkiste shows the dangers of the security of dream houses and


a heap of houses also seem to be fit to light the fire in the hearth.


Anton Cotteleer (who also showed work in The Hague last year, as you can see here) is well represented in this exhibition, amongst others by this


goose keeper, or rather goose holder which

SSG 10

seems to be falling on a table, dashing all hopes for an agreeable decoration.


An earlier work by Cotteleer is about the dubious kitsch that


embellishes Flemish lives, which he presents in almost postmodern museum-like way.


The intimacy of the gallery strongly adds to the appearance of the works and


even the Karel Appel (a kind of surprise combination the gallery is very good at) on the wall might make you feel at home in an art loving place. But


next to that colourful painting is a building by Vansteenkiste which seems to be multiplying like a diatom and


there are two heads on a table by Cotteleer, decorative and colourful like the painting, or


are they?


Cami uses two sansevieria leaves for a kind of fossilised crusaders’ sword, mixing typically west-European (or Flemish) heraldry with more petty-bourgeois Flemish symbolism.


Passing the jackdaw by Dutch artist Noortje Zijlstra (one of the gallery’s artists) i was leaving this very well arranged and somewhat absurdist exhibition


greeted again by Cami’s failed-heroic Flemish lion and Flemish sansevieria (very Flemish but both deriving from Africa).

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

See more pictures and the full review (in Dutch) here.

Bertus Pieters

Brique; at Quartair gallery, The Hague

Brique 01

The new cultural season for the visual arts in The Hague was opened last Friday with the exhibition Brique in Quartair.

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I went there the next day to write an article for Villa la Repubblica as it is a very fine exhibition.

Brique 03

The artists are all from Belgium.

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The works are very diverse, with prints, drawings, installations and sculptures. Untill here you’ve seen works by Hedwig Brouckaert (drawings on print), Hans Demeulenaere (installation Spheres) and Stéphanie Leblon (painting).

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View of the gallery.

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Detail of a sculpture by Anton Cotteleer who invented an alternative way to keep a squirrel.

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Details of a gigantic woodcut by Caroline Coolen, who also made

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these ceramic dogs, cooperating with

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Demeulenaere who arranged the bricks.

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Cotteleer’s three graces clearly lost their heads in the process, while

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Stefan Serneels’ ink drawings, of which you see details here, add to the dreamlike ideas in this exhibition.

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Brique 18

Demeulenaere shows some installations, but is

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also responsible to more or less unifying the exhibition with brick structures. They

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bind together the different works of the other artists. Demeulenaere calls it

Brique 24
Brique 25

Preparation for a Winter Garden. A good preparation for the coming season and its introvert nature.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

See the main article and additional pictures here.

Bertus Pieters