For more than twenty years now, a somewhat yellowed picture postcard has hung in the studio of Heringa/Van Kalsbeek: “Study for The Grey Tree, Mondrian 1911” from the Kunstmuseum The Hague. This drawing by Piet Mondrian is an important art-historical prelude in the oeuvre of one of the most important Dutch artists, on his way from figuration to abstraction.
The bare tree with its massive trunk, the many fanning branches and the graphic impression of it with the emphasis on vertical and horizontal lines already seem to point in the direction of this abstraction in Mondrian's stylistic development.
Even more than in the final painting "The Grey Tree" by Mondrian, the essence of this drawing is the interplay of lines and the transparency of the composition. And it is precisely here that the sculptors Heringa/Van Kalsbeek meet the draftsman Mondrian. Both disciplines, drawing and sculpture, are close to each other, perhaps in line with each other.
The sculptures by Heringa/Van Kalsbeek deviate quite a bit from what we are used to seeing as conventional sculpture. Not the robust material such as stone or bronze, not the modeled compact form, but the image as a theater piece, a viewing world, an assemblage of many elements with all kinds of techniques. Over the course of several decades, Heringa/Van Kalsbeek have used just about any material to express their visual language: porcelain, ceramics and colorful synthetic resins in wonderful solidified forms. More recently they have become fascinated by found and disused 'old metals': umbrellas, bicycle parts, CD racks, everything that was left here and there on the street. Art can hardly become more sustainable…
The exhibition at BorzoGallery this spring focuses on a series of seven sculptures, all of which originate from and are inspired by Mondrian's drawing “Study for The Grey Tree”. Transparent as the drawing itself, the composition is formed into a 'bricolage' of welded metal pins, rods, tubes and other bric-a-brac finds. With horizontals and verticals and the atmospheric curve above the tree, so characteristic in the drawing. Not a 360˚ sculpture, but following the drawing, it tends towards a two-dimensional image, albeit with an equal front and back.
In the autumn, a solo exhibition by Heringa/Van Kalsbeek will be organized in the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, in which their assemblages will be central.
The vernissage will take place on Saturday 1 April from 13:00 - 18:00. Benno Tempel, director of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, will talk to the artists at 4 pm.