Artwork Data




Lotti van der Gaag





Artwork Location


Dedemsvaartweg, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.044160363463, 4.2728604695503 View on map

To be found on route

Cycling route Reconstruction Art Escamp

Artwork Description


During her lifetime, there was repeated commotion about whether she belonged to the Cobra group or not. Lotti van der Gaag herself insisted that she was a Cobra artist, but male brothers like Corneille denied this with at least as much tenacity. Be that as it may, it is certain that she experimented a great deal and worked in the innovative spirit of Cobra. She was taught by Zadkine and in her Paris years shared the poverty with Appel and Corneille. Although her work was rarely or never represented at major Cobra exhibitions, it is generally recognised as Cobra-related art.

The sculpture 'Ornitopus', which has stood in the park behind the flats on the Dedemsvaartweg since 1966, is striking due to its rough contours. It evokes associations with animal or vegetable creatures. The Greek word 'ornitopus' literally means 'bird's foot'. It is not difficult to imagine that. The whimsical protrusions speak for themselves.

The subject of this sculpture ties in with Van der Gaag's other work (sculptures, paintings, gouaches). From the beginning of her career, she has focused on a fantasy world inhabited by strange plant species, scary ghosts, apparitions, monsters and other strange creatures with curious names such as floating animal, peephole or nightwing.

Preference for a surrealistic atmosphere is certainly not foreign to Van der Gaag. Her sculptures appeal directly to the imagination. In his book 'Sculpture of this century' (1955) the renowned art historian A.M. Hammacher (1897-2002) praised her work for the lively tension it radiates. Liveliness and tension are indeed the characteristics that stand out most in the multiform sculpture 'Ornitopus' which is much more than the simple representation of a bird's leg. Van der Gaag made the characteristic pedestal together with fellow sculptor Rudi Rooijackers.