Voorhout Monumentaal 2021 in The Hague

Caballo à la Pablo by Loek Bos. Bronze

Being a sculptor of large scale work is a bit like being a harp player. There must be times when they wished they had chosen something smaller, something less prone to logistical problems, easier to manage.

The problem with large scale sculpture, apart from having the facilities to produce them, is what do you do with them once they are finished. Now, if you have a wealthy patron or some public or private body to commission your work, no problem. If you have neither . . .  

Sculpture parks have sprung up all over the world and provide an ideal opportunity for the public to see large works, en masse. The Pulchri Studio in The Hague has come up with another opportunity for sculptors to show their work – they have mounted a temporary outdoor exhibition just across the road from their building in the Lange Voorhout, the city’s most beautiful and elegant thoroughfare.

There are twenty pieces spread out along the longest stretch of the Lange Voorhout and they range from the very figurative to the very abstract to the pleasingly decorative.

There were the ubiquitous large rusty-red girder pieces and a really nice piece by Louis Niȅnhuis called Triomf which was the interior of a tree trunk carved into tiny squares. In addition to the iron sculptures all the usual materials were there, including marble, bronze and steel. Of the steel pieces I particularly liked Double by Ewerdt Hilgermann. The metal was folded and creased almost like a piece of cloth or paper to form two intertwined shiny cubes or the wrapping of some strange unknown object.

Most of the pieces that caught my eye were, in fact, figurative. Marijke Gémessy’s Twee Wezen: Little Isac en ramat gan was a powerful and moving image of two rhinos in a cage. Also on the theme of unhappy animals, the familiar screaming horse’s head from Picasso’s Guernica is paid homage to by Loek Bos in his bronze Caballo à la Pablo.

A stroll along the shady Lange Voorhout is always a pleasure and now, with a rich and varied selection of sculpture to look at on the way, it is even more enjoyable. A very pleasant way to spend a summer evening.     Michael Hasted    9th June 2021

Voorhout Monumentaal 2021 continues until 14th September 2021 and is free of charge