h. 75 cm
De Rade, Den Haag
52.046328292187, 4.2606032615158 View on map
Colourless grey speckled aluminium concrete. At the time, it was an innovative material. Jan Snoeck made eight different heads out of it. Elongated and caricatural, the noses strongly pronounced, with ears, mouths and small eyes, sometimes also a bust with small breasts. This is how Snoeck began in the Netherlands in the early 1960s, after living and working in Paris for a few years, in the studio of the famous sculptor Zadkine, among others. Later, Snoeck became known mainly for his colourful ceramic sculptures.
In 1964 Snoeck was still at the beginning of his successful career, but the rough outlines of his style, as it would develop, were already becoming visible. In addition to abstract sculptures, he produced figurative work. In both, style and simplicity are already strongly present. So too in the eight stylised heads.
Total abstraction fell away for Snoeck in the course of time. In figurative work, he continues the simplification process. In faces, ears, eyes, mouths and chins are superfluous, unless they fulfil a special function. He ultimately reduces the human body to its most essential form: the worm. This strong reduction of form shows what this sculptor is really about: life itself.
If you compare Snoeck's early sculptures with work from after 1965, it is the use of colour that is most striking, in addition to the extreme stylisation. This is also the main reason why in the 1960s he switched from stone, metal and concrete to ceramics. Snoeck loved to carve in stone, as he said in an interview with Max Danser. But the lack of colour became too acute.