Artwork Data


Zonder titel


Toon Kelder






h. 280 cm

Artwork Location


Westbroekpark, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.103488055779, 4.2905688285828 View on map

Artwork Description


His greatest critic was himself. In an interview with 'Het Vaderland' on 24 November 1969, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, he said: "I am finally starting to make something that might be worthwhile". The total oeuvre of artist Toon Kelder was a search for the core, for the clear simplicity of form, plane and line. To find it, he abandoned figuration after the war and banished colour from his work. Moreover, Kelder started making sculptures. His romantic landscapes and figure pieces from before the war were no more.

Kelder's first wire sculptures still seem 'drawn' and there was also a recognisable image. But gradually Kelder gave his sculptures more volume by using closed forms. Moreover, he abstracted the starting point, such as the human figure. Kelder carved wooden sculptures, which he covered with copper. Towards the end of his life, his formal language took on a strictly abstract geometrical character. This was now the art form he called 'perhaps worthwhile'. He felt he had come close to the core. This also applied to his black-and-white gouaches, pen and chalk drawings with depictions reminiscent of spatial metal constructions or details thereof.

The bronze, which was placed posthumously in 1976 in Westbroek Park, marks, with its strict and simple forms, the end of Kelder's lifelong quest for true art. Shortly after Kelder completed the wooden sculpture covered with copper in 1973, he died. The municipality of The Hague bought the sculpture. For placement in the public space it was cast in bronze. The abstract sculpture, which leans forward, looks like a figure reaching upwards with its sharply pointed, upward-pointing triangle. It is also a movement reduced to its essence, about which Kelder might have said - 'the nonsense is gone'.