Loevesteinlaan, Den Haag
52.049564000432, 4.2838910756019 View on map
To be found on route
What do you do with a work of art if the building for which it was made is demolished? That was the question when the Haag Wonen housing corporation decided in 2007 to demolish a block of houses on Loevesteinlaan and build new flats there. In 1955, Jacques van Rijn (1921-2009) had placed a group of five ceramic reliefs on the end of the facade as an embellishment (Hengelolaan). The housing corporation decided to make use of the subsidy that the municipality had created to renovate and re-install monumental wall art in The Hague South-West.
Together with the art centre Stroom Den Haag, Haag Wonen looked for a solution. British artist Toby Paterson offered a solution. He made a steel frame in which he assembled the reliefs, which had been sawn out of the wall, in a new way. He placed this sculpture - 'Resetting' - on the lawn in Zuiderpark, exactly opposite the spot where the old flat used to stand.
Paterson has always been fascinated by post-war architecture. At that time the country was being rebuilt and it would be better than ever before. The ideal society could be seen in the abstract language of form of the architecture and art in the reconstruction districts. The building tools, the trees and the family in Van Rhijn's reliefs for the Loevesteinlaan also express optimism about the future society. With 'Resetting', Paterson wants to make the ideas and the beauty of the visual language from that time visible again. By also showing the wall on which the reliefs were mounted, he also makes the residents, and thus life in that reconstruction district, visible. The wall sockets and wallpaper in the wall remnants are the archaeological traces of this. With his intervention, Paterson puts Van Rhijn's relief on a pedestal. At the same time, he exposes lost ideals. Meanwhile, the reliefs remain a landmark for the neighbourhood.