The breakthrough (1990) Jaap Zwier

Paul van der Blom
About the artwork

This painting in an ornament frame is called The breakthrough and is a design by Jaap Zwier. The work is on the corner of the Zwaanshals and the Woelwijkstraat. The breakthrough is a homage to boxer Leen Jansen. The name of the work was invented by people in the neighborhood. Jaap Zwier wanted to make a design that fits the neighborhood, because most Rotterdam boxers come from the Oude Noorden or from Crooswijk. To make the painting of the boxing fist through the wall as realistic as possible, Zwier had the scene executed in real life. He built a wall for hours with a hole in it, until the hole was pleasing to him. He then asked someone to pose by standing behind the wall and putting his arm and hand with boxing glove through the hole. While Zwiers was taking the photos, a woman constantly had to throw stones at the wall for a lifelike imitation of the breakthrough. When the photo was successful, Zwiers sent it to an advertising agency that specialized in outdoor paintings. The photo was projected on the ornamental frame and executed by specialized painters. Twenty years later, the work of art was in poor condition due to wind and weather. Due to a large-scale restructuring of the Oude Noorden, many facades were renovated. Havensteder (the former PWS) and Sonor took the initiative to refill existing ornament lists and approached CBK Rotterdam for this. That is why this painting has been restored in 2011 by Atelier Leo Mineur.

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About the artist

Jaap Zwier (Utrecht, 1952 - Rotterdam, 1990) was an assembly artist, installation artist and photographer. He was a man of the idea. He attended the Rotterdam art academy and subsequently became a well-known figure in the Rotterdam art scene of the seventies and eighties. He managed in the traveler tunnel of the former Central Station The Kijkdoos, the smallest museum in the Netherlands. It was a showcase with the uppercase 'For your daily art'. From 1984 to 1989 he managed the gallery 'The Laughing Cow', a place where young, unknown and especially local artists could show work that had no place in the regular gallery circuit. 'The Laughing Cow' closed in 1989 and a year later Zwier died at the age of 38.

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Location
Gooseneck 317, 3035 KJ Rotterdam, Netherlands