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).
Presently a prestigious retrospective of his work is on show in Museum Beelden aan Zee.
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.
As such he was an inventive craftsman and a prolific artist, and there is a lot to be admired in the show.
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.
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.
As such the presentation lacks good sightlines which might have expressed the special qualities of certain works in dialogue with each other.
What lyrical power the individual works may have, is destroyed by this massive, wholesale approach.
However, for the aficionados who just want to see a lot of Zadkine this is probably their best chance.
© 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