The work was initially commissioned by Van der Wal, director of Bijenkorf department store, aided by Nelly van Doesburg, widow of artist Theo van Doesburg, and an expert in abstract modern art. It was placed in front of Bijenkorf in 1957, itself an iconic building designed by Marcel Breuer.
In 2011, the Bijenkorf building and the artwork were declared national monuments of the post-war reconstruction period. But the sculpture has deteriorated. This presentation took place as the sculpture was about to undergo a restauration, alongside the long expected redevelopment of the entire Coolsingel. Rotterdam Cultural Histories provided a history of the sculpture through preliminary drafts, film footage of the unveiling and documentation of various restorations that have occurred over the years.
Sculpture International Rotterdam
This edition was organised in close cooperation with Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR), the international programme for art and public space of CBK Rotterdam. Naum Gabo’s sculpture is included in the international sculpture collection of the city, managed by SIR, but is owned by IEF Capital.
Rotterdam Cultural Histories
In Shared Space, our shared exhibition space on the second floor, TENT and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art alternatingly create presentations on subjects from the history of art and culture in Rotterdam. This collaborative series was conceived by Defne Ayas (Witte de With) and Mariette Dölle (TENT) in 2014 to explore the common roots of both institutions in Rotterdam.