Artwork Data




Albert Diekerhof





Artwork Location


Nieuwersluisstraat, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.05847562317, 4.2700017799011 View on map

Artwork Description


"Art does not always have to be beautiful, as many people think. Art does have to be true, using sheer ugliness if necessary. Sculptor Albert Diekerhof said in an interview in the newspaper Trouw on 11 February 1961. "And why is a work of art only really good according to many people if it is "just like the real thing"? It is not about the "just seeming real" in art, it is about the symbol, the sign, that must prevail. When I make a sculpture, I make a sculpture, not a person - if you know what I mean...".

Educated at the Arnhem Academy of Art, Diekerhof initially designed medals for the firm Gerritsen en Van Kempen in Zeist. He soon received commissions for decorations on the façades of housing associations and local authorities. For churches, he made pulpits and baptismal fonts. His work was also shown at important exhibitions of post-war sculpture such as Sonsbeek in 1949. Simplified human and animal figures are characteristic of all his works.

In addition, Diekerhof made some so-called play sculptures. The birds he made for the J.R. Snoeck Henkemansschool is another such play sculpture. In it, two sturdy birds appear to be dancing around each other. Their heads are turned towards each other and they have broad wings, which gives children plenty of opportunity to climb on them. According to the sculptor himself, he would never have been able to make this kind of sculpture if he had not also taught in schools. There he found a lot of inspiration from young people. Diekerhof: "It is attractive work, also because the children understand and accept certain abstractions and jokes much earlier than adults. Even though the sculpture has long since left the schoolyard itself, children still love to clamber on it.