Between Art and Kitsch: Museum Kranenburgh – Realistic Art – Between Art and Kitsch

Between Art and Kitsch / April 20, 2022

In the broadcast on Wednesday 20 April 2022 from Museum Kranenburgh, Pieter Jorissen assesses plexiglass prototypes, Bas Hesselink receives a diorama at the table and Rob Driessen assesses a picture of a camel driver.

plexiglass Ad Dekkers
  • Presentation: prototypes
  • Origin: Amsterdam
  • Creator: Ad Dekkers
  • Date: 1973
  • Material: plexiglass
  • Dimensions: 40 cm wide, 40 cm long

The Lord’s father was a graphic artist. He had a family business in Amsterdam and made art in plexiglass for Ad Dekkers. The artist came to him with these two prototypes, and it was up to his father to recreate them. But before the official order was given to make more than one, Dekker committed suicide. Therefore, the prototypes are still in the family’s possession, the artist was never able to assemble them.

Pieter Jorissen: It is very special that these two prototypes were made by the artist Ad Dekkers himself. He first made a design himself and went to a graphic designer for the drafting. He then made a whole series of them, usually 50 pieces. It is two sheets of plexiglass, in which a number of lines can be seen, very minimalist in shape. It is two-dimensional, but because of the drawn line and the light that falls on it, it acquires a third dimension.

Ad Dekkers did not want to belong to a group, but worked solo. He was very perfectionist, everything had to be right down to the millimeter. If that did not work, he started again. His style is reminiscent of Jan Schoonhovens, who is part of the Dutch Zero movement. Dekkers was often depressed and took his own life in 1974.

Value plexiglass Advertisement Dekkers: 22,000 euros

  • Presentation: ships at sea
  • Maker: Jan Kopper
  • Origin: The Netherlands
  • Date: 18th century (circa 1750)
  • Material: paper
  • Dimensions: 24 cm high, 32 cm wide

This comes from the wife’s family, she got it from her parents, who got it from their parents again. It is not known how far it goes back in the family. It hangs in the former children’s room because her son likes it so much. The glass is cleaned on the outside, but there is still dirt inside. They have no idea what the value is, but the sentimental value is high.

Bas Hesselink: This work of art dates from the 18th century, while most bavelaars come from the 19th century. It is not called a bavelaar, but a diorama. Cutting was an art. The diorama was made by Jan Kopper, he was a very famous paper artist from Rotterdam. Before he started with this, he was a baker. He often made dioramas showing ships. It all makes a clean, genuine impression. A small sloop, a large ship with sails, everything is very nicely designed. Here you can see that you can work just as well with clippings as with a brush.

Value diorama: 3,000 euros

Picture of a camel driver
  • Image: boy on camel
  • Creator: Josue Dupon
  • Origin: Foundry Petermann Brussels
  • Date: 1900
  • Material: bronze
  • Dimensions: 45.5 cm high, 37 cm wide

This statue was always on the closet of the Lord’s father. When Dad died and he finally got the statue, he put it on a turntable where the cheese and snacks usually go and sit and watch it all evening with his wife with a glass of wine. When he first got married, he had already been allowed to pick it up, but it stayed with his father for years to come. His father’s older brother was a painter, but also a professor at the Art Academy in Antwerp, where Josuë Dupon also taught. He exchanged a painting for a statue of Dupon.

Rob Driessen: The large version of this statue is five meters high and weighs three tons and stands at the entrance to Antwerp Zoo. The city council of Antwerp organized a competition for the decoration of the newly opened zoo. Dupon won that competition and made the statue with the camel driver. The sculpture was to show the relationship between humans and animals. The goal of the zoo was to show exotic animals. Showing the wild, exotic animal as realistically and dramatically as possible was a trend in 1860s art. Dupon is superrealist, especially of animals.

Before he won this award, he already had a good reputation. He was initially quite traditional, but later he began to work more stylistically. But this statue is still in traditional style, especially in Orientalism. At that time, people in the West were fascinated by Eastern culture. This can be seen, for example, in the lightly dressed boy with the turban sitting on the camel.

Foundry Petermann was a really good company, where Rodins De Denker was cast i.a. There are probably several of these statues, they were usually made in a circulation of about ten.

Value statue camel driver: 12,000 euros

Sent on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 20.35 on NPO 1 (then the broadcast can be seen again on NPO Start)

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