Out of Focus
No longer exists
The construction of a gas pipe prompted consideration of this three-part sculpture by Phil van de Klundert. In the early 1980s on Middachtenweg, it was a substantial gesture that could relate well to the low flats around it. However, the artwork is increasingly surrounded by towering buildings. As a result, you experience it as insignificant. At the time, the municipality and Stroom were thinking about relocating it. Only, the sculpture turned out to be in very poor condition. Vandalism and time had not done the artwork any good. Therefore, contact was made with the heirs of the artist who died in 2016. Given all the circumstances, they agreed to remove the sculpture. This was done in early 2023.
De drie zuilen
h. 235 cm
Middachtenweg, Den Haag
52.04869899738, 4.3025290665389 View on map
Compared to the modest concrete 'Knoop' by Phil van de Klundert that was placed near the community and service centre on the Laakweg in 1979, the three stainless steel columns by the same artist are real eye-catchers. The concrete knot is only 1 metre high, while the minimalist columns that were given a permanent location on the lawn near the waterfront on the Middachtenweg in 1981 are over 2 metres high.
Van de Klundert was trained at the Free Academy in The Hague (1963-1966). In the early seventies, the sculptor and installation-maker became known mainly for the buttons he made in all sorts, sizes and materials. Later, the knots changed into stainless steel couplings consisting of bolts and nuts.
The thread running through the artist's oeuvre is the need to create connections. Another constant is the pursuit of visual accents. Van de Klundert wants to achieve visual tension without allowing himself to be seduced by unnecessary effects. He is particularly interested in directions and forces. For example, the upwardly directed force of the three columns is a grateful point of departure for him. In contrast to other, similar sculptures, which are visibly anchored in the ground with nuts and bolts in order to emphasise their rooting in the soil, the three columns on the Middachtenweg seem to rise out of the grass like shapes without a solid foundation.
In later work, Van de Klundert goes a few steps further. His work develops more and more emphatically from static geometric forms towards natural growth forms that refer to, among other things, Irish landscapes and butterfly trees.