h. 300 cm
Lozerlaan, Den Haag
52.040150181636, 4.2476387306496 View on map
Most people only know his stylised human figures made of colourful ceramics. You can find these sculptures by Jan Snoeck in squares and along streets all over the Netherlands. Also in The Hague. This sculpture of steel, however, looks nothing like human worms in bright colours. It is therefore not obvious to attribute this abstract sculpture to this sculptor.
That 'Vlucht' does not stand alone is proven by 'Spectre' and 'Rasp', which can be seen elsewhere in The Hague. These too are abstract sculptures built up by Snoeck from geometric forms. This language of form appears to be typical of his early work.
That early abstract phase in Snoeck's oeuvre is not so surprising when you look at his education. In 1949 he completed his studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He then worked for a year (1953) in Paris in the studio of the cubist sculptor Zadkine, known for the 'Destroyed City', the monument to the bombing of Rotterdam.
Although geometric principles are the defining feature of 'Flight', it is not difficult to recognise an upward movement in the sculpture. A reference to flying is clearly found in the abstract wing shapes in this sculpture. Despite the suggestion that the form is taking off, it remains firmly attached to the base.
In the mid-1960s Snoeck came into contact with ceramics. This material not only offered him the opportunity to work with colour, it also gave him more freedom in form. In clay he developed his characteristic visual language of round organic forms and fresh colours. This is not to say that he never again produced anything in metal. What did disappear was the abstract geometric language of form that is still present in 'Vlucht' (Flight).