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.

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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
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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?

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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

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goose keeper, or rather goose holder which

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

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An earlier work by Cotteleer is about the dubious kitsch that

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

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

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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

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

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

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are they?

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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.

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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

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

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

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

Bertus Pieters