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Chapters by Jan Fabre

In 2011 the museum held a retrospective of the work of Jan Fabre. The decision had already been taken previously to include a representation of his work in the collection (see the annual report for 2010). In Fabre’s work, an important position is reserved for the way in which energy is depleted and recharged. Physical energy plays the leading role in his intrinsically positive approach to life and in his own artistic work. The emotions, thinking, sexual activity, the motor functions, all the material aspects of the body, such as organs, the skeleton, fluids, and everything that can be done with them, are both his subjects and his materials. For Fabre, the body is the centre of his universe. The brain is just as important for creativity as the sexual organs: they might well be interchangeable for Fabre. He explores his brain literally and figuratively and aims to grasp it by reporting on his quest in sculptures and drawings. His brain is his own treasure trove, which opens up before him like a personal cosmos and out of which he extracts his works. Poetry and beauty predominate in his work. Humans and animals appear in all sorts of guises and the cycle of life and death is a constant theme. In consultation with the artist, a group of recent works (sculptures, drawings and a film) was selected, whereby it was possible to give a series of eight Chapters a place in the sculpture garden, thanks to a very generous gesture from the artist. Furthermore, a number of important works from his ‘blue’ period – the seventies and eighties, when he worked mainly with Bic ballpoint ink – were acquired from the artist’s collection and at auction.

Photo: Walter Herfst
Chapters by Jan Fabre

The Hub by Rob Sweere

In 2008, the Kröller-Müller Museum commissioned Sweere (1963) to create this sculpture, which was specially designed for the sculpture garden. Measuring 320 x 170 x 220 cm, the artwork is made of aluminium and polyurethane, finished with polished and waxed DD varnish. A technical tree expert hung the work from six trees using steel cables.

The Hub’s conspicuous colour alone is enough to attract the visitor’s attention. Moreover, if you decide to enter the work and lie down on the grid you will find it offers a calming, meditation-inducing experience. While gently swaying to and fro, you can look at the sky that is framed by the treetops from which The Hub is suspended. At this moment inside The Hub you are at the centre of a temporary universe and with some degree of imagination you can fancy yourself drifting in the air or upon the ocean. Rob Sweere: “A ‘hub’ is the centre, the middle point of all sorts of movement. But the ‘hub’ itself does not in fact move, it is a place for silence and that which enters may be transformed and leave as another movement”.

The Hub fits within the museum’s policy to have nature, which is so abundantly and extravagantly present around the museum and a source of inspiration for the collection, penetrate into the perception of visitors from ever-changing angles. You may take in The Hub in many different ways, ranging from a purely aesthetic to a therapeutic experience.

Rob Sweere creates works and performances centred round the physical experience of the infinity of space and time. He is particularly well-known for his Silent Sky Project, which involves him taking pictures of people lying on their backs and looking at the sky for certain lengths of time. Since 2004, Sweere has made almost 40 projects under this title worldwide (see www.robsweere.nl). He creates situations where every individual is conscious of being a ‘hub’: a motionless and never-changing middle point.

Text: Evert J. van Straaten
Photo: Marjon Gemmeke

The Hub by Rob Sweere

Rietveld Pavilion

In the year 2010, the Rietveld Pavilion in the sculpture garden of the museum has been restored. Gerrit Rietveld (1884-1964) designed the pavilion for the display of small sculptures at the Third International Sculpture Exhibition in Arnhem’s Sonsbeek Park in 1955. This ‘Sonsbeek Pavilion’ was intended as a temporary structure, and it was dismantled when the exhibition was over. On the initiative of several Dutch architects, the building found a permanent home in the Kröller-Müller Museum’s sculpture garden, under a new name: the ‘Rietveld Pavilion’.

From the very outset, the maintenance of the Rietveld Pavilion was a constant source of concern. Every conceivable method was considered and tried, from conservation and restoration to copying and replacing parts of the building, but it eventually became clear that the structure was beyond saving.
The 1965 pavilion has been disassembled. In 2010, the museum has rebuild the structure with new materials, while adhering as closely as possible to Gerrit Rietveld’s original design. Wherever possible, parts of the 1965 pavilion that were still in adequate condition have been reused. Construction work began in January and finished in September 2010. The new, third version of the pavilion now stands in the museum’s sculpture garden, preserving Rietveld’s world-famous design for the future. The pavilion is the property of the Government Buildings Agency (GBA) of the State of the Netherlands, which, as its owner, is responsible for its maintenance. The GBA was also overseeing the restoration project on behalf of the Kröller-Müller Museum.

Photo: Marjon Gemmeke

Download: kmm_09_zaaltekst_RP_ENG_web.pdf

Rietveld Pavilion

Ana Maria Tavares Secrets of the waters

A new five-piece work of art by Brazilian artist Ana Maria Tavares (1958) is on display in the sculpture garden from April 23 2009.

Tavares gets her inspiration from the context of her surroundings. In this work her inspiration is water, particularly the manner in which water is present in the surrounding area. Water symbolises the source of life and the power of nature. For the exhibition 'Sonsbeek 2008: grandeur', Tavares created her work of art Secrets of the waters. During her research in the surrounding area Tavares discovered 81 springs and brooks around the Veluwe. Five underground water junctions, so-called ‘fountainheads’, were marked by large round mirrors with stone edgings bearing the mantra ´Desire, Deserve, Delight, Still Life, Sparkling Water, Still Water, Sparkling Life’. This mantra refers to longing and to life.
The Kröller-Müller Museum purchased the five mirrors with mantra with the support of the BankGiro Lottery and Ana Maria Tavares personally chose a new spot for the works in the museum’s sculpture garden. Once again, the works are positioned on five underground water junctions.

Until September 20th 2009, the works Crystal Waters and The Wish-Ribbon Net by Tavares are on display in one of the temporary exhibition spaces in the museum’s Van de Velde wing. Crystal Waters is made of coloured, mirroring layers of Perspex. The mantra was also woven into the ribbons of the banner The Wish-Ribbon Net, which was carried in the Procession of Sonsbeek.
Ana Maria Tavares Secrets of the waters

EuropaHammer by Andreas Rimkus

Self-taught German artist Andreas Rimkus (originally a blacksmith) is currently working on a world-wide project which involves placing seven forged hammers on the following continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Antarctica. The African country Togo (Yohonou) already has a hammer in a so-called ‘forging village’. In Beijing there is a hammer at the 'University of Science and Technology Beijing'. Europe’s hammer is the third in this project: a massive figure measuring 3.2 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 90 cm high. The work weighs 12.8 tonnes. In consultation with the artist and National Park De Hoge Veluwe, the museum has chosen a suitable location across from the museum entrance, in a ‘basin’ beside the Steynbank. A Ginkgo tree has been placed which is to serve as the hammer’s handle. This tree variety has been chosen in order to reinforce the artwork’s symbolic meaning. Moreover, it is a tree that will last for generations to come. The hammer will in fact be clasping the tree.
Arrival and installation of the EuropaHammer (Photos: Steven van Beek/KMM) and plantceremony at the unveiling on November 1 2008.
More information: www.work-of-art-for-generations.com and www.ideenkunst.de (in German) and the book GenerationenKunstWerk

 

EuropaHammer by Andreas Rimkus

Marta Pan: Amphitheatre

On 21 June 2007 Amphitheatre, 2005/2007, by Marta Pan (1923) was unveiled. Marta Pan has donated the design for Amphitheatre to the museum. The sculpture has been realised with financial support from the BankGiro Lottery.

The work has been constructed for a site in the sculpture garden selected by the artist and consists of a circle of French grey-white granite ingeniously divided into segments. It is an ode to the beauty of geometry. Through its placement in an enclosed spot in the garden among trees with a large opening towards the light and the sky, the work takes on a surprising and dramatic dimension, while its functional character makes it an ideal place to meet, chat, rest or carry out a performance.

In 1960 the French artist of Hungarian descent designed the first sculpture for the garden, which had not yet opened: Floating sculpture, Otterlo, which is now internationally known as one of the best-loved and most-photographed objects in the museum’s collection. This second sculpture, created 45 years later, represents an entirely different aspect of her work.

Photo: Cary Markerink, Amsterdam
Marta Pan: Amphitheatre

Chris Booth - Echo of the Veluwe

The artist Chris Booth from New Zealand worked in the sculpture garden on his work of art 'Echo of the Veluwe', which consists of 310 boulders, from May 2004 up to August 2005, together with a team of coworkers. The design is based on the artist's research into the history of the sculpture garden, the flora and fauna, and the geological composition of the sculpture garden. On wednesday August 24, 2005, the work of art was transferred to the museum, after an impressive Maori ceremony.

Description by the artist:

The undulating shape of the boulders moves through and between the trees, like the wind moving the sand, like the glaciers of old that shaped the land and brought the boulders from Scandinavia. The shape refers to the waves of the sand dunes, characteristic of the area around the museum, and to the waves of the nearby ponds. The egg-shape of the work was inspired by the surface of one of the ponds. The work of art emphasizes the importance of water, that has become scarce on the Veluwe because of overuse. The spiral shape of the boulders was inspired by the currents of the wind, that changed the shape of the landscape over thousands of years. The work of art also deals with the descructive influence of man on the vulnerable land, by centuries of agriculture and other forms of overuse.

In request of the artist, an extensive geological research was carried out on the used boulders. All 310 boulders were researced on age and origin. The results of this research are available through the link below.

Chris Booth - Echo of the Veluwe