h. 370 cm
Groenhovenstraat, Den Haag
52.094098856662, 4.3114840293021 View on map
The abstract works of Theo van der Nahmer are sometimes called 'ghost images'. Signalement' on Groenhovenstraat is a typical example of such a 'ghost image'. Whimsical shreds of bronze that look like black wisps of mist are reminiscent of a grim figure emerging from the bushes. The title and associations arose later. The municipality of The Hague had explicitly commissioned Van der Nahmer to make an abstract sculpture for this location.
Incidentally, 'Signalement' is one of the few abstract works by the artist, originally from Brabant. Van der Nahmer is best known as the 'imagineer' of typical characters from The Hague, such as 'Eline Vere' from 1958 and the 'Flaneur' on Lange Voorhout from 1968. His reliefs and early sculptures, such as 'Eline Vere', are often taut and monumental, but gradually his work became more ethereal and graceful.
This change was linked to the discovery of 'cire perdue', or the lost wax method, which was rediscovered and frequently applied in the 1950s. Initially Van der Nahmer carved his sculptures in stone or modelled them in clay. He felt that working in wax was liberating. Wax is supple and easy to mould, so that sculptures arise in direct interaction with the hands and thoughts. Just like with clay, the wax models are cast in bronze. The result is often much lighter and, above all, more expressive than the result of carved sculptures. For Van der Nahmer, this lightness and expressiveness are important characteristics.