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

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

On this painting is a laurel branch with the pillars of the Willemsspoor bridge demolished in 1994 in the background. The view of the north bank of the Maas has been worked out with photographic precision, seen from the Maaskade. A number of striking buildings are depicted, such as the White House, the Pencil and part of the Cube Houses. The performance is largely painted in blue and white, with the exception of the green / white bay laurel in the foreground. The laurel branch refers to the Laurierstraat, where this work has been applied. This painting on the Laurierstraat and the painting on the Anjerstraat offer a view of something that has long been a part of history. The ensemble was created by artist duo Helena and Axel van der Kraan.

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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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Laurierstraat 2, 3071 VD Rotterdam, Netherlands