h. 900 cm
Bezuidenhoutseweg, Den Haag
52.097183811063, 4.356401741114 View on map
Usually, the constructivist sculptures of André Volten are characterised as 'minimalist'. Volten is not interested in the poetic appearance of a sculpture but in its architectural properties. He realised his objects largely in cooperation with architects and urban planners.
André Volten is regarded as one of the Netherlands' best-known sculptors and 'environmental artists'. His exemplary role is undisputed. Many artists followed in his footsteps and made similar sculptures. However, these imitators seldom reached the same level. Volten built up a completely individual 'empire' of brass, granite and especially stainless steel sculptures with a technical, detached and industrial character.
Form research is always central to Volten's work. Recurring elements include the cube, the sphere and the H and U beams used in construction.
Although Volten's oeuvre is strongly associated with the pioneering detached abstraction in sculpture, it is not difficult to dream away at his 'Modern City'.
This iron sculpture stands in the park on Bezuidenhoutseweg near the flats opposite the entrance to Park Marlot. Anyone with an interest in urban planning will have no trouble seeing the skyline of a modern metropolis in it. The contours of a metropolis are caught in a complex set of forms that are stacked and linked, so that the object fans out to the left and right as well as towering up and reaching for the firmament.
The sculptor has constructed a kind of model of a compact city that is cut approximately halfway horizontally into two halves, making it seem as if the city's silhouette is reflected in a dark body of water. Voltens vision of the modern city reflects the ideal of a new world that first became visible in the visual arts and architecture of De Stijl and Nieuwe Zakelijkheid in the 1920s and continued in a logical way in the 1950s.