Artwork Data


Clown met toeter


Guus Hellegers






h. 210 cm

Artwork Location


Lübeckstraat, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.084765169238, 4.276812913739 View on map

Artwork Description


Can the circus give rise to a different way of sculpting? Certainly. That is certainly true for Guus Hellegers. This sculptor and medallist initially made realistic sculptures in stone and bronze. Until he fell under the spell of their white clown during a performance of the Italian circus Heros at the end of 1966. For two years this figure with its pointed hat and glitter suit formed a source of inspiration for experimentation. It was there that the transition to abstraction took place. Hellegers built in contrasts between, for example, polished and unpolished parts and set round against rectangular, flat against three-dimensional. These contrasts are an indirect reference to the figure of the clown who is both dream and reality at the same time. In the results of his first experiments, pointed hats can still be discerned. Eventually only an abstract U-shape remained.

Nationally, Hellegers enjoys fame for his flat sculptures. For example, he has made people on chairs in which the portrait of the person coincides with the seat of the chair. Such a seat with figure shows a certain similarity to the medals that Hellegers frequently made. In this he was a leader.

Hellegers received the commission to create a work of art for the Da Costa School precisely in that period of experimentation. The result was this 'Clown with a horn'. It does not have the characteristic contrasts between very flat parts and clearly three-dimensional fragments that can be seen in his best-known work. However, you can see that the sculptor is experimenting with what is easily recognizable and abstract parts. It takes some searching to find the clown and the horn. Meanwhile, the building of the Da Costaschool on the Verhulstplein has been demolished. After a few years of municipal storage the sculpture now stands a few streets away next to the new building of Praktijkschool De Poort.