Untitled (1950) Piet van Stuivenberg

BKOR archive
About the artwork

This statue by sculptor Piet van Stuivenberg was commissioned by the Rotterdam Art Foundation after World War II and was unveiled during 'Opbouwdag' on 19 May 1950. The statue is connected to the reconstruction period and was located at the Weena at the entrance of the Bouwcentrum. That was an organization with the aim of bundling construction 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 to be placed in Rotterdam. This marks the beginning of the government's deliberate involvement in art in public spaces. The statue is made up of five stacked fan shapes and carved from one block of bluestone. Van Stuivenberg made the image during a period in which he experimented with abstract forms. He constructed the image from free organic forms, which he appropriately extracted from the reconstruction for this case: the forms are inspired by the spiral staircase, which was located in the Bouwcentrum. It is a sculpture that fits in the tradition of 20th century sculpture. Due to construction work on the Gedempte Zalmhaven, the statue has been placed in storage.

read more
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.

read more