Birds and fish (1965) Lotti van der Gaag
In her fifties and sixties, artist Lotti van der Gaag enjoyed great fame with her fanatical figures. This facade relief was located next to the entrance of a gymnastics building. It consisted of five parts with rune-like figurations of birds and fish. The background was black concrete and the outstanding abstract figures were white. Van der Gaag made the work in a series, because similar motifs of birds and fish have been placed on facades of gymnasiums in other places in Delfshaven and Kralingen. The work was made in the percentage scheme and involved an assignment for the construction of the gym, but due to demolition of the building, the work was removed.
Charlotte ('Lotti') van der Gaag (The Hague, 1923 - Nieuwegein, 1999) was a well-known sculptor, ceramicist and painter. In the 1940s she took classes at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts and the Free Academy in The Hague. In 1950, Lotti moved to Paris and came into contact with members of the Cobra movement. She was unofficially - and the only woman - part of that movement, something that was strongly denied by some of that group. Her work was strongly influenced by the Cobra group, especially with regard to her fantasy figures. In 1951 she took a few lessons in the studio of Ossip Zadkine. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam showed her work in 1952 and after that she also got exhibitions abroad. In 1958 she received the Jacob Maris prize and in 1993 the Ouborg prize.