Untitled (1950) Piet van Stuivenberg

BKOR archive
About the artwork

This sculpture by Piet van Stuivenberg was commissioned by the Rotterdam Art Foundation after the Second World War and was unveiled during 19 May 1950 during 'Opbouwdag'. The statue is connected to the reconstruction period and stood at the entrance to the Bouwcentrum. That was an organization with the objective of bundling building and living in and outside the Netherlands in order to realize a better environment for people and society. This image was the first abstract image that was placed in Rotterdam. This is the beginning of the deliberate involvement of the government with art in public spaces. The sculpture is made up of five stacked fanning shapes, cut from one block of freestone. Van Stuivenberg made the image in a period in which he experimented with abstract forms. Van Stuivenberg constructed the image from free organic forms, which he appropriately took from the reconstruction for this case: the forms were inspired by the spiral staircase that was located in the Bouwcentrum. It is a statue that fits into the 20e century sculpture tradition.

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About the artist

Piet van Stuivenberg (Schiedam, 1901 - 1988) has made a number of sculptures for the public space of Rotterdam and Schiedam as a stonemason, such as Dolle Jans Dream (a monument to Herman Heijermans) and a sculpture at the former Bouwcentrum. He attended evening classes at the Rotterdam Academy from 1921 to 1927 and made study trips to Brussels, London and Paris. Artworks by Van Stuivenberg are in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam and in private collections. Van Stuivenberg started his career as a stonemason boy. As a sculptor he was initially influenced by expressionism, later he made geometric and sleek shapes, which increasingly tended to abstraction.

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