North-Brabant Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch


December 9th, 2014

In the Verwersstreet ‘s-Hertogenbosch, at the square in front of the North Brabant Museum is an iron gate. In the 1970s, the classical building in Louis XVI style was still the Government Building. As a child I then participated in a puzzle tour in which was asked how many gold-plated points the fence has. I remember it; there are still sixty-six.
   The gate is open. The visitor is welcomed by two large bronze sculptures. A seated toy dog ​​by Tom Claassen (1964) looks silently in front of him, as does a sexless figure without a face and arms by Henk Visch (1950). This looks uninterested and a bit awkward. The dog does nothing but the lying figure seems to want to stand up. It can not without arms. The duo is somewhat alienating. Frozen, dark forms.

Aluminum animals, completely cut away with large round holes, decorate the lawn of the large inner garden. Guido Geelen (1961) made the sculpture group in 2000.

You gradually move further in time. Further in the museum, with the rural paintings of the Knip family, the brush strokes were even finer. After that, in the last century, the use of brushes becomes a bit more rushed. The colors are mixed less. The paintwork here and there becomes abstract. Then suddenly there is an airplane window from J.C.J. Vanderheyden.

There are abstract sculptures on a wall in a long corridor. Compositions by Johan Claassen, Man with Scythe form, and Planos. In the background one of the open worked ceramic blocks by Guido Geelen.

There suddenly appears a bronze from 1999 by Peer Veneman (1952): Stinginess. A stack of abstracted heads. You see the bulbs with mouths gaping coming from a cup. From the series The seven deadly sins. I like the work of Peer Veneman, it is often colorful and he uses many different materials. Today, the work is more organic and looser than the rigid sculptures he made in the 1980s. I know Peer from when he was temporarily staying in my home town of Heerewaarden. He looked after Reggy Gunn's house - teacher at the Rietveld Academy and ice cream manufacturer - and worked in his studio. There Peer showed me what he was doing, busy kneading chairs with plastic. Work that would later also be exhibited in the Pont in Tilburg. We mainly talked about the materials we used. Material is essential.