Stairwell


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Stairwell
2015
With doodle from André Smits
Following the visit to the Kunsthal, Rotterdam. The Kunsthal in Rotterdam was built by the architect Rem Koolhaas. It is a unit composed of several blocks (halls), and with a lot of glass. The exterior and the interior blend pleasantly into one another. I recognise what hangs on the wall next to the stairwell: Ron van der Ende. I have already encountered his work several times on the Internet, but now I can see it for real; what a sensation! Bas-reliefs executed in this way are quite literally an art. Ron’s bas-reliefs are constructed of wood; almost flat sculptures by, amongst other things, American cars, a DAF-bus, buildings, space capsules, and even the cross-section of a planet. These archetypal images are instantly recognizable. I also saw enlarged cassette tapes, a steak and a tree stump. Van der Ende (1965) began making these bas-reliefs around the turn of the millennium.  They consist of a mosaic of countless pieces of veneer, old wood with remains of paint. The pieces are selected by colour. Then they are put together with an infinite amount of nails. The ingenious perspective it creates form a perfect optical illusion. The images hang on the wall. The quality is in the finish, the colour application, and minute precision in which every perspective detail has consistently been made. An elliptical edge of the underside of a piece of highway, which in reality is a difference in depth of three meters, becomes an edge of some millimeters here. The window of the bus is open, in the back it might be ten centimeters deep. The optical illusion can only be perceived by looking at the side of the reliefs or  measuring them up closely. The colours have been carefully selected to make the effect more realistic. In 1983 at art school, I designed a wooden seat. I distorted scale of the seat in the same way. That is why I appreciate how well Ron van der Ende knows his craft. Furthermore, I want to use the idea of this ‘trompe l'oeil’ concept. I make sketches for a concrete stairwell, where the emphasis should be on the bas-relief and perspective phenomenen.
In the summer my friend André Smits made a huge doodle in the Kunsthal. I think I’m gonna ask him to make such a little ‘home tattoo’ above the stairwell on the wall
Photo 2: Ron van der Ende, Fly Over 2002
Photo 3: André Smits, Doodle, 20 x 6 m photo Theo Goemaat.