Moeder en kind
Jacob Mulderweg, Den Haag
52.107825691625, 4.3075384951759 View on map
In almost all my sculptures, drawings and paintings, the subject is woman, the primal mother. That is where I can express my total emotion', sculptor Nic Jonk said about his work in 1976. The same themes keep recurring in Jonk's work. They are derived from classical mythology, the bible and nature. In many cases they revolve around the mutual attraction between the sexes and fertility.
I hide my themes in mythology to make them less crude,' says Jonk. Twenty years earlier he had already made the sculpture of 'Mother and child', which stands on the lawn at Jacob Mulderweg. The scene looks traditional. The same applies to the representations of the other statues in the same spot. They reflect the prudish fifties and are also little innovative from a sculptural point of view, that is to say: naturalistic and with a clear front and back.
Later, with Jonk, the woman's body is increasingly reduced to 'primal forms' that are caught in voluptuous movements. The women are often wrapped in an intimate entanglement with an animal or a cloud. Spherical, smoothly patinated bulges reflect the light. The result is impossible to grasp from a single point of view. The viewer has to walk around it and touch the sculptures,' the artist emphasised.
Animals, especially large fish, dolphins and whales also occupy a prominent place in Jonk's oeuvre. In a mythological context, the fish often has a sexual connotation. Jonk, who comes from a family of whalers, felt particularly attracted to this 'primeval animal'. He has depicted Jonas in the whale on several occasions and was preparing a 7-metre high sculpture off the coast of California. Incidentally, in 1991 an exhibition by Jonk was removed because of its erotic nature. Jonk was right: without a mythical or biblical context, a nude is too bare.