Artwork Data


Gerry de Kraai


Henk Rijzinga




ijzer / hout


300 cm

Artwork Location


Prinsessegracht, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.0815767212545, 4.32034660276572 View on map

To be found on route

City Center Stroll

Artwork Description


You have to stand up for it. And then, out of the tangle of black cedar slats, a crow flaps its wings. It is a sculpture by artist Henk Rijzinga from 1989, called 'Gerry the Crow'. Like this object from The Hague, Rijzinga's other sculptures are usually palisade-like constructions. He builds his works of art from apparently randomly placed slats and sticks. Yet Rijzinga carefully considers the location of each component beforehand. He does give himself the freedom to intervene spontaneously during construction.
Rijzinga strives to keep the construction open, to give it a certain layeredness. For instance, in the construction of Gerry he placed batten over batten, but took care to preserve the spaces in between. Light plays between the straight black lines, creating a dynamic effect. With the light as a playful element, the black slats become feathers and the crow comes to life.
It was June 1989 when Gerry, the crow, was unveiled at the corner of Prinsessegracht and Herengracht. In an interview that preceded the unveiling, Rijzinga talked about an earlier version of Gerry. That crow was a protest against the abolition of a special support scheme for visual artists, the Visual Arts Regulation (BKR), as of 1 January 1987. The earlier version hung from a gallows during a banquet organised by artists in the Zuiderpark. The crow was a real bringer of doom, as we often come across in art.
In the Haagsche Courant of 8 May 1989, Rijzinga says about the meaning of Gerry the crow: 'This crow symbolises the havoc the government has left behind'. The abolition of the Visual Arts Regulation meant that many artists became dependent on welfare. As time went by, Gerry became a special element in a special place.