Lange Voorhout, Den Haag
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Paul van Solingen rode through The Hague in a hearse to inaugurate his mosaic exhibition at Esher Surry gallery, which had death as its theme. And he publicly shot his own artwork 'Goldfinger' to complete it. It was the early 1960s, the turbulent time of nozems and provo's, who were kicking against the sacred cows of the established order. Van Solingen participated fully in this with his actions.
As taboo-breaking as his actions were, the means with which he expressed himself was just as traditional: mosaic. As a very young, beginning artist, he already experimented with white and black mosaic. Yet I prefer to paint. I just want to prove that what I can do with paint is also possible in stone. The result is only harder', said Van Solingen in the 'Nieuwe Haagsche Courant' of 7 June 1963. Nevertheless the newspaper called him a 'promising mosaic worker'. And it was his mosaics with which he made his name.
Initially, he produced relatively small, framed mosaic paintings with stylised, sometimes abstracted representations. The more daring, larger format soon followed. He received commissions for large floor and wall mosaics, for example for a factory and a school. In the 1980s Van Solingen also made floor tiles from granite and concrete. At the same time, he simplified his visual language. He built up his compositions from geometric forms.
One example is the granito tile made to mark the fortieth anniversary of Bodega De Posthoorn. The representation consists of three deep-lying forms: a square and two broad curved lines. The tile has been in the pavement in front of the bodega on Lange Voorhout since 1986. At the top of the border is the sponsor. At the bottom are the owners of De Posthoorn who succeeded each other in the period 1945-1985: Jan Knijnenburg and Hans Meeuwisse.