Brons / steenachtig
h. 75 cm
Utenbroekestraat, Den Haag
52.0992725, 4.3134343 View on map
An image with a double function. You can look at it and you can jump over it. Moreover, it is surprising. Because sculptor Carla Rutgers made a traditional sculpture that is also contemporary. The child is wearing modern clothing: a body warmer and narrow trousers with slits. If you come to the schoolyard, take a good look at the child's head. You will see how faithfully the soft, drooping facial skin of the forehead and cheeks is rendered.
Rutgers made the bronze 'Boxing child' in 1984 on the occasion of the construction of a new gymnasium at a primary school. Born in Gouda, Rutgers grew up in The Hague, where she studied at the Royal Academy of Art. In the early seventies, she made a name for herself with her portraits and figures of people and animals in terracotta, stone and bronze. Without exception, her naturalistic sculptures have something unconventional and unexpected about them.
In 1997 she made the bronze 'Battle Dressed' for a shopping centre in Breda. It is a seated nude that playfully, but also provocatively, hides her face half behind a boa. If you come across her quietly shopping, you will at least look up for a moment. The statue in the pond behind the Wassenaar town hall will also make you look up. Holding up her robe, a woman wades through the water. The sculpture is a quote from Rembrandt's painting 'Bathing Woman' from 1654.
Rutgers quotes regularly. The art of quotation emerged as a stylistic form in the 1980s. Existing works of art or parts thereof acquire new meaning through a different arrangement, an unexpected connection, or, as in Rutgers' case, through the addition of the third dimension. Because the viewer can approach Rutgers' three-dimensional bathing woman, who thinks she is alone in the intimate activity of bathing, from all sides, the erotic content has become explicit. In Rembrandt's case, it was only tangible under the skin.