Untitled (1960) Joan Bakker

BKOR archive
About the artwork

Sculptor Joan Bakker has made facing bricks and reliefs for various buildings in Rotterdam, including this high relief that is difficult to see from the street. The stone is located under the roof frame of the building where Brunott jewelers has been located for years, at the intersection of Karel Doormanstraat and Oude Binnenweg. The building is from 1960 and Bakker was commissioned to make this stone from the architects Vermeer and Van Herwaarden. It is a characteristic stone for Bakker's work. The composition is tightly framed, in which various diagonals depict an image full of dynamics. The (female) figure is squatting with her head sideways to the left; she turns her head away from the hourglass that she holds between her hands. The idea of ​​the hourglass is symbolism of vanitas, a theme in art that depicts the transience, vanity and nullity of earthly life. There is also a star on the left and right.

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About the artist

Joannes (Joan) Petrus Anthonius Maria Bakker (Oosterblokker, 1919 - 1999) visited the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam, after which he settled permanently in Rotterdam. Among other things, he was a student of Herman Mees (1880 - 1964) and the husband of sculptor and ceramicist Riet (Maria) Elias. He made it together with Jan Poot (architect at the Municipality of Rotterdam) Liberation Monument at the Brink in Vreewijk, Feijenoord. On an office building on Botersloot, he designed ornaments with great visual power and clear stonemason qualities. He was able to handle the hardest types of stone, in which he applied reliefs with attention to the role of light on the various types of stone. There are several works by Joan Bakker in Rotterdam.

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