Brick, we see it every day. An ancient building material common in our environment for both the construction of walls and pavements. The exhibition BAKSTEEN pays tribute to the material with work by more than fifty artists, architects and designers from home and abroad. In new and existing work, they show the beauty and expressiveness of baked stone. BAKSTEEN can now be seen at Kunsthal KAdE, the Elleboogkerk and via a tour of Amersfoort with NEW FOLDIES and existing properties.
Judith van Meeuwen, exhibition curator: 'The appeal of brick walls is anchored in thousands of variations in size, shape, color, texture and repetition. But beyond that, it is the layering of content that makes the material unique. The same brick that gives someone a sense of security can serve as a weapon in a rebellion.'
Room view of painted brick at Kunsthal KAdE. Photo: Mike Bink
A remarkable number of visual artists feel a kinship with brick. At Kunsthal KAdE, several artists display its aesthetic and symbolic aspects. Photographer Caroline Heinecke honors a brick collector's collection with a photograph of the brick on a pedestal. In her colorful sculpture, Suzie van Staaveren focuses on the power of repetition. The painted brick is featured with new works by Florens Kool and Lisa Couwenbergh. Especially for the exhibition, Bart Lunenburg did a residency in Buitenplaats Doornburgh where he examined masonry brick in relation to the technique of weaving.
The symbolism of brick emerges in Makkink & Bey's "Washhouse. Here the brick provides 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 the brick as a means of protest, with photographs of the Nieuwmarkt protests by Karel Wetselaar and ballast bricks from old VOC ships on display. Shilpa Gupta lets visitors experience what it is like to push boundaries while walking over a brick wall. A small presentation at Kunsthal KAdE focuses on the different facets of technology: from the brick factory of yesteryear, to the robotic masonry machine and the brick-laying drone.
Per Kirkeby in the great hall
The beauty of the material is emphatically expressed in Danish Per Kirkeby's monumental structures. Of special note is the re-execution of two important projects, "London" and "Paris," by the artist in the main hall of Kunsthal KAdE. Kirkeby wanted all versions of his sculptures to be constructed with local materials and by local craftsmen.
Since 1973, Kirkeby has been creating brick sculptures that recall forms and buildings from his travels. The structures have no obvious function, much like the folly's from England in the early 19th century: foolish construction without function, purely to enjoy the beauty.
André Pielage, Heemtuin, 2022. Photo: Mike Bink
Folly's in the city
Especially for the exhibition, Kunsthal KAdE has asked seven makers to come up with a folly made of brick: Floris Alkemade, ATMosphere (Antal Bos, Thijs Trompert, Marisja Smit), Olivier Goethals, André Pielage, Jan Poolen, Office Winhov and Baukje Trenning. Six folly's will be bricked throughout the city during the months of July and August. The folly's are part of a special route along special bricks in the city of Amersfoort. The booklet with the brick tour will be available in the KAdEShop from September 10. The tour was developed in cooperation with architecture center FAsadE and the Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed.
Ugo Rondinone, achtundzwanzigsteraugustzweitausendundneunzehn, 2019, courtesy Kamel Mennour, Paris. Photo: Mike Bink
Sculpture Park Elbow Church
Just steps away from Kunsthal KAdE is the Elleboog Church. Its large floor space makes the church well suited for a veritable sculpture park with work by Jennifer Tee, Marlon de Azambuja, buro BELéN and Filip Dujardin, among others. Upon entering the church is a wall by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi. The artist invites visitors to break down the wall stone by stone: a physical act with symbolic meaning. Students of MBO bouwtechniek brick a special piece of work live during Open Monument Days.
A catalog will accompany the exhibition. The catalog reflects a study of brick artworks worldwide.
Image editor: Machteld Leij
Texts: Judith van Meeuwen / Robbert Roos / Lara Stolwerk / Josephine Glazener
Introduction: 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 KAdEteam.
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) | Sol LeWitt (US, 1928-2007) | 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) | Jan Hein van Rooy (NL, 1940) | Sandberg Institute o.l.v. Lotje van Lieshout | August Sander (DE, 1876-1964) | Cornelia Schaap-Roozendaal (NL, 1901-1981) | Tanja Smeets (NL, 1970) | Bosco Sodi (MX, 1970) | Omar Sosa (ES, 1983) | Toni Spyra (DE, 1981) | Suzie van Staaveren (NL, 1991) | Ad Swinkels (NL, 1940) | Jennifer Tee (NL, 1973) | Joost van den Toorn (NL, 1954) | Baukje Trenning (NL, 1969) | Veron Urdǎrianu (RO, 1951) | (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) | Héctor Zamora (MX, 1974) | Dolf Zwerver (NL, 1932-2010)
The exhibition BAKSTEEN was made financially possible thanks to the Municipality of Amersfoort, the K.F. Hein Fonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds, the Mondriaan Fonds (artist's fee) and Stichting Stokroos for contribution to project Bart Lunenburg.
The production of the folly's was accomplished with the help of Ella Derksen of Embedding The Arts. The construction of the folly's and other masonry work will come about 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), association 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 contributors to the exhibition were: FASadE (Irene Edzes, Lotte Schuitemaker), 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), Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (Michiel van Hunen, Albert Reinstra), Van de Burgt & Strooij and Gemeente Amersfoort (Leontine Sies, Micha de Haas, Sandra Hovens).
Thanks to artists, designers, architects and lenders.
Brick, so much more than building stone alone!
Caroline Heinecke, Masters of Things, Bricks, 2020, photo, Fine Art Print on Hahnemühle paper, courtesy the artist