Untitled (1994) Helena van der Kraan & Axel van der Kraan

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Since 1994, an ornamental frame has been hanging on the corner of Anjerstraat and Burgemeester Hoffmanplein, containing a painting made by the artist duo Helena and Axel van der Kraan. It is a photo-realistic representation of two pink carnations, a reference to the Anjerstraat. In the background we see the former Willemsspoor bridge, which spanned the Nieuwe Maas with five bridge sections between 1877 and 1994. This bridge is closely linked to the history of the North Island. A second work hangs further down the Laurierstraat, with which this work forms an ensemble in the Anjerstraat.

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About Helena van der Kraan

Helena van der Kraan (Prague, 1940 - Rotterdam, 2020) was a well-known Rotterdam photographer and artist. She first studied in Prague, but fled from the former Czechoslovakia to the Netherlands in 1968. She was accepted at the postgraduate art course Ateliers '63 in Haarlem. Here she met her husband, sculptor and graphic artist Axel van der Kraan. In the years that followed, Van der Kraan started taking photographs, mainly friends and acquaintances, and everyday objects in and around her house. In her work the emphasis was on shapes, lines and patterns. Helena and Axel have worked together as an artist duo from their studio in Rotterdam since the 80s. In 1989 they received the Hendrik Chabot Prize. Her work is included in the collections of the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, in Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and in the Kunstmuseum in The Hague, where she regularly exhibited.

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About Axel van der Kraan

Axel van der Kraan (Rotterdam, 1949) is a sculptor, performance artist and graphic artist. From 1966 to 1968 he studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. He is married to photographer Helena van der Kraan, whom he met in 1968 at his further education, the Ateliers '63 post academy in Haarlem. Axel and Helena have been working together as an artist duo from Rotterdam since the 80s. In 1989 they received the Hendrik Chabot Prize.

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Anjerstraat 1, 3071 VA Rotterdam, Netherlands