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Brick, we see it every day. An ancient building material that occurs frequently in our environment for both the construction of walls and paving. The exhibition BAKSTEEN | BRICK pays tribute to this material with works by more than fifty artists, architects and designers from the Netherlands and abroad. In new and existing work they show the beauty and expressiveness of fired stone. BAKSTEEN | BRICK can be seen in Kunsthal KAdE, the Elleboogkerk and via a tour through Amersfoort with new folly's and existing buildings.

Judith van Meeuwen, exhibition curator: 'The appeal of brick walls is anchored in thousands of variations in size, shape, colour, texture and repetition. But it is also the intrinsic layering that makes the material unique. The same brick that gives someone a sense of security can serve as a weapon in an uprising.'

Installation view Kunsthal KAdE. Photo: Mike Bink

Versatile brick

A strikingly large number of visual artists feel an affinity with brick. At Kunsthal KAdE, various artists will be exhibiting its aesthetic and symbolic aspects. Photographer Caroline Heinecke honours the collection of a brick collector with a photograph of the brick on a pedestal. In her colourful sculpture Suzie van Staaveren focuses on the power of repetition. The painted brick will be featured in new works by Florens Kool and Lisa Couwenbergh. Especially for the exhibition Bart Lunenburg did a residency at Buitenplaats Doornburgh where he researched the brick in relation to the technique of weaving.

The symbolism of bricks comes to the fore in the 'Washhouse' by Makkink & Bey. Here the brick gives a sense of security. The photograph of a pile of rubble where a house once stood by Lara Almarcegui illustrates decay. Kunsthal KAdE also shows bricks as a means of protest, with photographs of the Nieuwmarkt protests by Karel Wetselaar, and there are ballast bricks from old VOC ships on display. Shilpa Gupta lets the visitor experience what it is like to push back frontiers while walking over a brick wall. A small presentation in Kunsthal KAdE will focus on the various facets of technology: from the brickworks of yesteryear, to the robotic brick laying machine and the brick laying drone.

Per Kirkeby in the main hall

The beauty of the material is emphatically expressed in the monumental buildings by Danish artist Per Kirkeby. The re-enactment of two of the artist's major projects, 'London' and 'Paris', in the main hall of Kunsthal KAdE is exceptional. Kirkeby wanted all his sculptures to be built with local materials and by local craftsmen.

Since 1973 Kirkeby has been making brick sculptures that recall forms and buildings from his travels. The constructions have no clear function, just like the folly's in England at the beginning of the 19th century: foolish construction without function, purely to enjoy the beauty.

André Pielage, Heemtuin, 2022. Foto: Mike Bink

Folly's in the city

Especially for the exhibition Kunsthal KAdE has asked seven makers to come up with a brick folly: Floris Alkemade, ATMosphere (Antal Bos, Thijs Trompert, Marisja Smit), Olivier Goethals, André Pielage, Jan Poolen, Office Winhov and Baukje Trenning. Six folly's were built in July and August. The folly's are part of a route along special bricks in the city of Amersfoort. The booklet with the brick tour is available at the KAdEShop. The tour is developed in cooperation with architecture center FAsadE and the Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed.

Ugo Rondinone, achtundzwanzigsteraugustzweitausendundneunzehn, 2019, courtesy Kamel Mennour, Parijs. Foto: Mike Bink

Sculpture Park Elleboogkerk

The Elleboogkerk is just a stone's throw away from Kunsthal KAdE. Because of its large floor area, the church is well suited to a true sculpture park with work by Jennifer Tee, Marlon de Azambuja, buro BELéN and Filip Dujardin, among others. At the entrance there is a wall by the Mexican artist Bosco Sodi. The artist invites visitors to break down the wall brick by brick: a physical act with symbolic meaning. Students of MBO bouwtechniek bricklaying live during the Open Monument Days.


A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. The catalogue is the result of research into brick artworks worldwide. 

Image editing: Machteld Leij
Text: Judith van Meeuwen / Robbert Roos / Lara Stolwerk / Josephine Glazener
Preface: Judith van Meeuwen
Final editing and research: Lara Stolwerk
Design: Nick Busch

The exhibition BAKSTEEN is curated by Judith van Meeuwen, Lara Stolwerk and the KAdE team.

Artists, designers and architects: 

Floris Alkemade (NL, 1961) | Lara Almarcegui (ES, 1972) | Marlon de Azambuja (BR, 1978) | ATMosphere (NL, group) | Iwan Baan (NL, 1975) | Buro Belén (NL, group) | Willem Besselink (NL, 1980) | Marcel Broodthaers (BE, 1924-1976) | Lisa Couwenbergh (NL, 1953) | Ronny Delrue (BE, 1957) | Wim Delvoye (BE, 1965) | Filip Dujardin (BE, 1971) | Latifa Echakhch (MA, 1974) | Harun Farocki (CZ, 1944-2014) | Olivier Goethals (BE, 1980) | Wei Guangqing (CH, 1963) | Shilpa Gupta (IN, 1976) | Jasper Hagenaar (NL, 1977) | Caroline Heinecke (DE, 1986) | Bijoy Jain (IN, 1965) | Immo Jalass (DE, 1938) | Chris Kabel (NL, 1975) | Per Kirkeby (DK, 1938-2018) | Florens Kool (NL, 1988) | John Körmeling (NL, 1951) | Peter Land (DK, 1966) | Evert Jan Ligtelijn (NL, 1893-1975) | Bart Lunenburg (NL, 1995) | Casper Luyken (NL, 1672-1708) | Studio Makkink & Bey (NL, group) | Hendrik Willem Mesdag (NL, 1831-1915) | Koen Mulder (NL, 1971) | Lennart de Neef (NL, 1990) | Lieven Nijs (BE, 1976) | Claes Oldenburg (SE, 1929-2022) | Oscar Abraham Pabón Morales (VE, 1984) | André Pielage (NL, 1975) | Giovanni Battista Piranesi (IT, 1720-1778) | Jan Poolen (NL, 1955) | Roger Raveel (BE, 1921-2013) | Ugo Rondinone (CH, 1964) | Sandberg Instituut under Lotje van Lieshout | August Sander (DE, 1876-1964) | Tanja Smeets (NL, 1970) | Cornelia Schaap-Roozendaal (NL, 1901-1981) | Bosco Sodi (MX, 1970) | Omar Sosa (ES, 1983) | Toni Spyra (DE, 1981) | Ad Swinkels (NL, 1940) | Suzie van Staaveren (NL, 1991) | Jennifer Tee (NL, 1973) | Joost van den Toorn (NL, 1954) | Baukje Trenning (NL, 1969) | Veron Urdǎrianu (RO, 1951) | Gijs Van Vaerenbergh (BE, group) | Johan Marinus de Vries (NL, 1892-1982) | Marijke van Warmerdam (NL, 1959) | Jan Weissenbruch (NL, 1822-1880) | Karel Wetselaar (NL, 1935-2017) | Office Winhov | Hendrik Jan Wolter (NL, 1873-1952) | Sol LeWitt (US, 1928-2007) | Héctor Zamora (MX, 1974) | Dolf Zwerver (NL, 1932-2010)

The exhibition BAKSTEEN has been made financially possible thanks to the Municipality of Amersfoort, the K.F. Hein Fund, the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, the Mondriaan Fund (artist's fee) and the Stokroos Foundation for their contribution to the Bart Lunenburg project.

The production of the folly's is accomplished with the help of Ella Derksen from Embedding The Arts. The construction of the folly's and other masonry works will be accomplished thanks to VANLAGEN Metselwerken (Marjan van Lagen, Johan van Lagen and team Erik Hop, Ruben Boorsma, Herman Maassen, Frans van de Lustgraaf, Robin Joosten, Jan van de Mheen), vereniging Koninklijke Nederlandse Bouwkeramiek (Ewald van Hal, Raimond Nuvelstijn, Arie Mooiman), Henk Engels BV, Brick manufacturers (GDS Keramiek, Rodruza, Steenindustrie Strating, Vandersanden, Wienerberger, Zilverschoon Randwijk), Drystack (Dennis Deen), Karbouw (Marco Berger, Berry van Peursum), Remix Droge Mortel BV (Hans Bouwman), Preco (Teus Kuijsten), Plegt Vos (Theo Opdam), T. van den Burg Grond- en Sloopwerk (Teus van den Burg), Rob Albers bouwtechniek (Rob Albers), Earthy (Robert van Ieperen), ZEEP Architects & Urban Designers (Chris van Uffelen, Jan Poolen, Jeroen Pot, Lotte van Voomveld, Lennaert Heet), ABC Vastgoed (Marcel Loosen), Het Eemklooster (Michiel Krutzen, William Wassenaar).

Further contributed to the exhibition: Buitenplaats Doornburgh, Schipper Bosch (Bart Schoonderbeek, Michel Schoonderbeek), De Nieuwe Stad (Marike de Meester), Bouwmensen Amersfoort (Jeroen van Drie, Frank de Wit, Martin Cramer), MBO Amersfoort School for Technology (Eric Ockhuijsen), Cultural Heritage Agency (Michiel van Hunen, Albert Reinstra), Van de Burgt & Strooij, Municipality of Amersfoort (Leontine Sies, Micha de Haas, Sandra Hovens, Johan Kunz).

Caroline Heinecke, Master of Things, Collection of Bricks, 2020, foto, Fine Art Print op Hahnemühle papier, courtesy de kunstenaar

Caroline Heinecke, Masters of Things, Bricks, 2020, Fine Art Print op Hahnemühle papier, courtesy the artist