Untitled (1969) Peter Struycken

photo of the Rotterdam City Archives
About the artwork

Artist Peter Struycken was one of the pioneers of the Arnhem School and of environmental art. In the latter case, an artist did not leave a physical work of art, but made a design for a new environment together with the architect or landscape designer. In this way the artist could imagine himself to be equal to the architect. In 1967 a modern design was made by municipal architect André van Stekelenburg for the third depot of the Municipal Archives on Robert Fruinstraat. The building was completed in 1970 with an outdoor work of art by Struycken. The work consists of a design of black and white lines and surfaces on the paving, the fence, the facades and the fence. A sofa on the top floor patio is also part of the design. Meanwhile, the work from 1969 has been affected, but old photos from the Rotterdam City Archives clearly show how the original design connects with the architecture. The white facades continue in this way into the white surfaces in Struycken's design. The windows form black lines in the building, which in Struycken's design are continued in the paving, facades and fences.

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About the artist

Peter Struycken (The Hague, 1939) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Since the 1960s he has been active as a sculptor, painter, computer artist and monumental artist. He is one of the founders of the Arnhem School for Environmental Design. From 1964 to 1976, he headed a specially established environmental art department at the Arnhem Academy of Visual Arts. He has designed environmental artworks for the whole of the Netherlands; in Rotterdam include a walled outdoor space for the Erasmus Medical Center (now disappeared) and the illuminated arcade under Het Nieuwe Instituut. He also contributed to the discourse, was active in committees and designed related works, such as color palettes for clients. He is also successfully active in other artistic disciplines. In 1981, for example, he made the famous pixelated postage stamp of Queen Beatrix. The computer and the idea of ​​a mathematical and external logic are always a common thread in his work.


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