Ossip Zadkine, Zadkine by the Sea; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

1914

The Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1888/90-1967) has a special relationship with the Netherlands, in particular with Rotterdam, where his monument The Destroyed City, placed in 1953, became the ultimate modernist war monument (click here to see some pictures of the monument in situ).

1967
1967

Presently a prestigious retrospective of his work is on show in Museum Beelden aan Zee.

1921
1919
1919

Zadkine is clearly the proverbial artist of the second quarter of the 20th century with a lot of expressionism and cubism and a touch of Modigliani in his portraits.

1929
1936
1923

As such he was an inventive craftsman and a prolific artist, and there is a lot to be admired in the show.

1930
1924
1939

However, his prolific output also makes his work a bit predictable which becomes clear in this exhibition of one hundred works (!), crammed into this otherwise very spacious museum.

1937
1937
1935

The presentation is more or less chronological in a kind of makeshift galleries and more loosely arranged in the left over open space, an approach that tries to bring some order in this forest of sculptures.

1943
1943
1948

As such the presentation lacks good sightlines which might have expressed the special qualities of certain works in dialogue with each other.

1951
1951
1951

What lyrical power the individual works may have, is destroyed by this massive, wholesale approach.

1929
1929
1956

However, for the aficionados who just want to see a lot of Zadkine this is probably their best chance.

1950

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the estate of Ossip Zadkine, all owners and to Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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