The Hermitage (2004) Lebbeus Woods

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

This parasite-like steel sculpture, Woods' only realized project in public space, is a gift from TU Eindhoven to the former Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi). The Hermitage was attached to the east end of the elongated depot building and was unveiled on July 15 by 2004, then alderman Hulman. The Hermitage originated in 1999 from a collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology and the MU Art Foundation. Woods was asked to design a facade object for MU. He made an abstract 'hermit cell', which depicts the tension between individual expression and public display. The artwork was attached to the facade of the Witte Dame (MU) in Eindhoven for a period of two years and then stored. The CBK made a one-off financial contribution to refurbishing and installing the artwork at the NAI. As a result of this artwork, Showroom MAMA opened the multidisciplinary exhibition 'City City Bang Bang' in the nearby Witte de Withstraat that same day. In it, a number of young (video) artists, architects and performers gave a critical vision of the western city, inspired by the ideas of Woods. A number of installations were also placed in and around Museumwoning Sonneveld. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam.

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About the artist

Lebbeus Woods (Lansing, Michigan, 1940 - New York City, 2012) operated as an architect from his hometown of New York. He is often counted among the group of avant-garde architects, including Coop Himmelb (l) au and Daniel Libeskind. Their deconstructivist architecture not only influences a young generation of architects, but also designers. Woods is best known for his ominous drawings that inspire film makers, visual artists, musicians and graffiti artists. Lebbeus Woods gave lectures and was regularly asked for exhibitions, workshops and lectures from Sarajevo to Havana. He was also the academic director of an architecture school in Vico Morcote (Switzerland).

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