Bright artworks for an anonymous EU organization

Submitted by David Lindberg

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Client: Anonymous European Union government organization

Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $110,000

Project Team

Project manager

Melchior Jaspers

Rijsgebouwendienst

Installation Manager

Harold Schouten

Wiseguys

Overview

A colorful art-thread leads users through the building. This commission is composed of six artworks–two sculptures and four paintings. The commission was coordinated by the esteemed Rijksgebouwendienst (Royal Dutch Building Services). The recipient is an anonymous EU government organization located in the Hague, the Netherlands.

The largest artwork is a colorful fiberglass sculpture which hangs and glows (it has two very bright LED light rings inside) in the Central Hall. It’s titled “Sua Sponte (on its own motion).” From the Central Hall one can also see a glowing sculpture in the Stairwell which leads to four paintings in the downstairs Conference Rooms.

The most challenging aspect of the project was making the large sculpture in the Central Hall modular–so that it could be disassembled for packing, and for reassembly after shipping. I also found it challenging to choose the colors that would fit the best with each artwork and the location, as well as other artworks I made–so they match together. I was aiming to make a connection between them so that it would be clear there is only one signature. I used the same style, flow of resin and colors which I believed fit together well.

Goals

I was awarded this commission after the building design was completed and the building was already under construction. I felt fortunate to have been selected. I had a possibility to talk to members of the Art Committee, including the architect, and the contractor, who introduced me to the design of the building and shared with me their thoughts.

Then I started thinking and thinking--in the morning from when I got up until I went to bed. I work with my imagination. No pens, no computers. Once I can visualize a project I can start creating it.

We decided on an ‘art thread’ following the path of organization's employees and external visitors in the building. Going from the Central Hall, down the Staircase to the Café and to the Meeting Rooms. For those places I created my works. According to me the artwork doesn’t require explanation, I think the artwork should speak by itself.

Process

From the selection process to the final hanging there were six meetings which we conducted through Skype, with all the European participants together on site in The Hague, and myself in Maine USA. Then I worked closely with a Dutch engineer to certify the artwork and hanging systems. I performed a material fire-rating test which was approved. Then came four months of all-out work to create the artworks, and a two weeks to pack and ship the crates via air-freight.

Normally I would have had an assistant in my US studio but, because it was the beginning of the pandemic and it wasn’t clear how the virus spread, I worked alone. Also Due to Covid-19 I was not allowed to travel to Netherlands for the installation, so we enlisted a Dutch installation company called Wiseguys, who did an amazing job with the planning and execution of the installation.

In the end the client thanked me for a beautiful project, and they have included an article on my artworks in their in-house publication--including an interview with me. My thanks to them.

Additional Information

Due to the client's security restrictions during covid, until now it has not been possible to have a professional photographer on site. Therefore, please understand that the on site photos are iPhone shots. Artwork Dimensions • "Sua Sponte (on it's own motion)" 44 x 112 x 56 inches (H,W, L) - images 1-3 • "Datum en Plaats" 63 x 33 x 10 inches - image 4 • "Untitled" 22 x 95.5 x 1.5 inches - image 5 • "Supple Hitherto" 22 x 95 x 1.5 inches - image 6 • "Begin Again" 22 x 95 x 1.5 inches - image 7 • "sun, trees, house, car, pool" 22 x 95 x 1.5 inches - image 8 (The four paintings are pictured one above the other, but they actually hang one per each of the four conference rooms.)