Out of Focus




No longer exists




In 2011, this artwork by Jan van IJzendoorn was removed from park Madestein. Due to material problems, it was no longer justified to leave this monumental sculpture in the public space.

Artwork Data




Jan van IJzendoorn






h. 750 cm

Artwork Location


Madestein, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.043854051187, 4.2354093826477 View on map

Artwork Description


Sometimes it is necessary to move a work of art. Usually this happens because of infrastructural changes. The relocation of 'Object' by Jan van IJzendoorn had a different reason. The more than 7 meters high work of art did not go down well with local residents. Exceptionally, the municipality sought a new location. More than three years after its unveiling, the artwork moved from the park on Puccinistraat to its new location in 1986: Neighborhood Park Madestein. There, on the lawn in the green surroundings, the tall, rusty slab did well.

The huge rectangle of Corten steel was placed a fraction out of plumb, eliminating the appearance of immovability. Form (rectangle) and material (steel) refer to architecture. 'Object' clearly emerged from the ideas of the Arnhem School. Van IJzendoorn studied environmental design at the Arnhem Academy of Visual Arts. There, teachers propagated the integration of art and architecture. Visual art had to be visible and should not be hidden away in a museum. In an interview with De Gelderlander in 2000, Van IJzendoorn indicated that he still adhered to the Arnhem ideas: 'It gives satisfaction when you make a sculpture that is visible to everyone and stands in an unexpected place.'

Van IJzendoorn's vision remained unchanged, but his formal language gradually changed from geometrically abstract to curiously figurative. The "Monumental Flame" from Gendt (1989) is somewhere in between. It is a twisted cone of brick with six windows at the top; recognizable as a flame, but encased in a geometric form. Total is the recognition at "De Lispeling" in Oosterbeek (2000): a giant octopus clasping a huge tongue. Despite the recognizability of the representation, this image raises questions. Does this encircled tongue represent limited freedom of expression or is it a symbol of love? Each meaning is legitimate, as Van IJzendoorn's images are multi-interpretable.