Pilastro di Luce
beton, keramiek en neon
h. 600 cm
Architect Berlagelaan, 2552 Den Haag
52.057636747213, 4.2554084042297 View on map
During the day, the cheerful primary colours of the two geometric elements on the column, which is about 6 metres high, catch the eye. But also at night, the column, covered with ceramic tiles in a black and white striped pattern, does not escape your notice. Then a fairy-like, blue neon glows through the slits of the red disc and the yellow triangle.
The 'Pilastro di Luce' by Jozef van der Horst is a striking sight. The artist designed the light column in 1989 on the occasion of the new construction of the primary school Houtwijk on the Architect Berlagelaan. The Italian title 'Pilastro di Luce', or column of light, refers to Italy in at least two ways. Firstly, it refers to the Italian educationalist Maria Montessori (1870-1952), whose teaching method the Houtwijk school uses. In addition, the column is inspired by the classical architecture of the Romans and Greeks, a source from which Van der Horst has drawn for years. The building element from antiquity is combined in an unusual way with modern geometric forms. The result is an extravagant, playful work of art, reminiscent of the objects of the Italian Memphis designers and architects. In the 1980s, their work became widely known. At the time, Van der Horst produced not only the 'Pilastro di Luce' but also other Memphis-like objects.
But unlike the Memphis members who made buildings and utensils, Van der Horst is a pure sculptor who has been working with neon light since the mid-1970s. In his work, sinuous, colourful neon lines sprout from geometric pedestals on wheels. To achieve this freedom of form in neon, he taught himself to blow the tubes. It is clear that there is no plan behind his sculptures. They arise spontaneously. Like plants, the whimsical neon tubes seem to have grown organically.