Artwork Data




Lotti van der Gaag






l. 21 meter, h. 1 meter

Artwork Location


Zuidlarenstraat, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.050739745545, 4.2688188552948 View on map

Artwork Description


Usually artworks at schools are realized in places that are easily visible to the students. Not so with this wall relief. Lotti van der Gaag just placed it on the back wall of the new gym at the school on the corner of the Exloo and Zuidlaren Streets. Only the users of the footpath behind the gym have a view of it.

Van der Gaag came up with a nearly 21-meter-long relief for this percentage order. Twelve light gray art tiles along the entire length of the building are teeming with dark gray, protruding abstract signs. Here and there you discover a cross, then another star, an anchor, dagger or trident. It seems like a secret language. If you look more closely, you discover that Van der Gaag ultimately only turned one motif at a time in a quarter turn.

It is special to have such a monumental relief by a prominent female sculptor in The Hague. From 1955 Lotti - that is how she signed her work - exhibited internationally. Van der Gaag began her career with classes at the Royal Academy of Art and the Free Academy in her hometown. In 1950, she moved to the city every artist wanted to go to at the time: Paris. Influenced by her world-famous Parisian teacher Ossip Zadkine, her earlier compact clay figures developed more and more into monumental constructions. Her formal language - spontaneous and resembling children's drawings - shows many similarities to that of artists such as Karel Appel and Corneille of the Cobra movement. Yet she never became an official member of this group.

From the beginning, fantasy creatures populated Van der Gaag's world. Plant-like structures could suddenly emerge as terrifying birds of prey or forest spirits. And although there is no direct link between her sculpture 'Ornitopus' on the Drentheplantsoen in Escamp, you can recognize a similar visual language in this wall relief.

In 2013, the wall relief was restored by restorer Paul van Laere.