Artwork Data




Shamaï Haber






h. 20- 250 cm

Artwork Location


Vlaskamp, Den Haag

City district

Haagse Hout

GPS data

52.091126209889, 4.3455223751368 View on map

To be found on route

65 years of Mariahoeve: playful reconstruction

Artwork Description


I'm going to make a little mess in the pond,' he announced his sculpture 'Idea' in the Haagse Courant of 25 August 1967. The Parisian of Polish-Jewish descent, Shamaï Haber, found it all too neat and straight in the park near the Vlaskamp. With 105.5 tons of boulders, he wanted to 'bring real nature into the falseness of the park'. Haber succeeded with his artwork of Norwegian labrador granite; a piece of culture as a natural part of water and greenery.

Haber composed with raw stone, put together, shaped the space and created a new landscape. In this sense, his art is akin to land-art. Freed from the bonds of traditional sculpture, the land-art artist modifies the landscape through an artistic intervention, entering into a dialogue with the environment. This is exactly how Haber went about his work in The Hague. But Haber also brought in social considerations. He really wanted to make the park in The Hague more attractive for visitors. And certainly later on, when he regularly won commissions in France to create living space in stone jungles, improving the living environment was one of his main motivations. With a sandy plain lined with rocks, sculptures of tree trunks and a mini forest, as in Meaux, he made the monotonous suburbs more liveable. Prestigious are the Parisian commissions in the eighties of the 20th century.

On Boulevard Raspail and in the La Défense district, Haber realised a series of abstract sculptures at the time. This was different at the beginning of his career. At that time he carved nudes and portraits, which bear witness to his admiration for the famous French sculptor Charles Despiau (1874-1946). Around 1955, his formal language became abstract. Sometimes the natural, abstract form of the stone was so strong for Haber that he applied the material completely unprocessed, such as for 'Idea'. But small sculptures he continued to carve, refined and meticulous.