br. 1225 cm
Koningin Marialaan, Den Haag
52.084248068637, 4.334207006221 View on map
Once, the statue of the internationally known sculptor stood on the lawn in front of the TNO-ZWO building. There the horizontal stratification of the architecture echoed that of the object. Like no other, André Volten sought to connect with its surroundings. When it was announced in July 2018 that the old TNO building would be demolished, a concerned local resident (himself a sculptor) inquired with the project developer about the fate of Volten's "Construction. He was allowed to take over the sculpture immediately, was the reply. Eventually, the municipality of The Hague added the work to its collection of outdoor art. In October 2018, the work temporarily moved to municipal storage. In May 2019, the sculpture was given a new location in the median strip of Koningin Marialaan.
After the war, architecture and sculpture were driven apart. An 'unsatisfactory situation', according to Volten and other like-minded sculptors. They founded 'Liga Nieuwe Beelden' (1955-1968). Their ideal: a renewed integration or synthesis of art and architecture in order to make a positive contribution to the quality of social life.
Volten drew inspiration for his ideas and imagery from the Russian Constructivism of the early 20th century and the somewhat later, typically Dutch Stijl movement. Constructed of steel beams and with a strong flat accent, Volten's 1964 sculpture recalls both art movements. Two parallel layers of three long beams rest on two uprights. The horizontal nature of the sculpture is enlivened by an opening and several vertical sections. Here, Volten used welded I-beams. Compared to the H- and U-beams, which Volten also often used at the time, the closed volumes produce a calmer image.
With the H and U sections, he made his abstract geometric constructions at the end of the fifties. In the seventies, stainless steel tubes, discs and spheres made their appearance in Volten's work. Forms changed, but the idea of integration and the principle of abstract geometric art remained. Volten completed many large commissions. Early in 2002, he began a sculpture for Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima, on the occasion of their wedding. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete it. Volten died in September of that year.