Birds and fish (1965) Lotti van der Gaag

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

With her fanatic figures, artist Lotti van der Gaag enjoyed a lot of fame in the fifties and sixties. This facade relief was located next to the entrance of a gymnastics building. It consisted of five parts with rune-like representations of birds and fish. The background was black concrete and the protruding abstract figures were white. Van der Gaag made the work in a series, because at other places in Delfshaven and Kralingen comparable motifs of birds and fish have been placed on the facades of gyms. The work was made in the percentage scheme and concerned an assignment for the construction of the gymnasium, but the work has been removed due to demolition of the building.

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About the artist

Charlotte ('Lotti') van der Gaag (The Hague, 1923 - Nieuwegein, 1999) was a well-known sculptress, ceramist and painter. In the 1940s she took classes at the Royal Academy of Art 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 firmly denied by some of that group. Her work was heavily influenced by the Cobra group, especially when it came to her fantasy characters. In 1951 she took some lessons in the studio of Ossip Zadkine. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam showed her work in 1952 and afterwards she also got exhibitions abroad. In 1958 she received the Jacob Maris Prize and in 1993 the Ouborg Prize.

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