Jean Arp: The Poetry of Forms; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Last Sunday i visited the Kröller-Müller Museum to see the Jean (or Hans) Arp (1886 – 1966) exhibition.

The works themselves are of course wonderful, there is an introductory movie with Arp being interviewed in Strasbourg (his city of birth), the explanatory texts on the walls are quite good and there are even poems by Arp (he was a very important and influential European poet as well) on the walls.

Poem by Tristan Tzara, illustration by Hans Arp

However, the way Arp talks about his works are completely contradicted by their presentation in the museum’s galleries.

All works, even the reliefs on the walls, are in glass showcases, which gives you the idea that you are looking at stuffed animals or at fossils, while Arp’s works should have the freedom to have a lot of space around them.

Moreover, each sculpture has its own pedestal.

It is of course understandable that these works have to be protected while the public is allowed to examine them at close distance, but now the show looks a bit, well, unpleasantly  bizarre.

On the other hand it is great to see so many examples of Arp’s works and of his artistic development, and every lover of 20th century art should see this show (the show is in its last week!).

This short blog photo report was made, thanks to the kind and cordial support of Rien Monshouwer and Karin van der Werff.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Museum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo and the owners of the works.


Bertus Pieters