Birds and fish (1965) Lotti van der Gaag
In the fifties and sixties, artist Lotti van der Gaag had a great deal of familiarity with her fantasy figures, which are also depicted in this concrete relief. The façade consists of five parts with rune-like figurations of abstract birds and fish. Van der Gaag made a series of stones with sculpted molds in 1965, which were then placed on four different gym buildings. Each facade relief looks different because Van der Gaag has always rotated the five parts and placed them in a different order. Birds and fish is placed decentrally on the façade at eye level. It is a subtle work in which the surrounding brick surface becomes a beautiful void. Van der Gaag allowed shapes and surfaces to play together in space. Birds and fish was made in the percentage scheme and involved an assignment for the construction of the gym.
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.