Sculpture International Rotterdam
3014 GP Rotterdam
Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR) acquires recent work by Elmgreen & Dragset for the city and masterpiece by Henry Moore in storage for four years
The city changes and its art keeps pace: Elmgreen & Dragset’s temporary artwork has recently been added to Rotterdam’s permanent collection, whereas in November Henry Moore’s 1955 masterpiece Wall Relief No. 1 disappeared from the city scene for a period of four years.
Elmgreen & Dragset’s It’s Never Too Late to Say Sorry: latest permanent work
It’s Never Too Late to Say Sorry by Elmgreen & Dragset is a new permanent artwork in Rotterdam’s city centre. Commissioned by SIR, the artists—also known for last year’s successful exhibition in the Submarine Wharf of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Prada store located in the Texas desert in the USA—created this artwork specifically for the Coolsingel axis as part of a long-term development programme for the boulevard.
It’s Never Too Late to Say Sorry is both a sculpture and a performance: every day at noon, a man walks up to the sculpture—a glass display case on a pedestal containing a shiny megaphone—opens the display case, takes out the megaphone and shouts over the boulevard:
“It is never too late to say sorry!”
A meaningful gesture certainly at this location, next to the city hall and the old post office building, in the middle of the most important but also neglected city boulevard.
The sculpture/performance is a huge success, which is evident not only from its continuation in Rotterdam. It is also gaining a place in other cities around the world. In New York City it was recently placed in City Hall Park, where it remained until November 30, 2012 as part of the Common Ground project by New York’s Public Art Fund. Later this year it will be presented in Germany.
During his first year as the ‘town crier,’ the performer in Rotterdam kept a diary in which he meticulously described his observations and experiences. Parts of this diary are posted on the Sorry Blog on www.sculptureinternationalrotterdam.nl.
Henry Moore’s unique Wall Relief no. 1 (1955) in Rotterdam
Henry Moore’s Wall Relief No. 1 was put in storage for four years. The building that carried the relief is demolished.
Crimson architectural historians recently researched the building complex by architect J. Boks and the relief by Henry Moore: “The Bouwcentrum along Weena by architect J. Boks is one of the most important symbols and nerve centres of not just the post-war reconstruction of Rotterdam but of The Netherlands as well. It represents an experimental abundance that is rare in such an important institutional building, carrying a huge and extremely unique work of art by one of Europe’s main post-war sculptors.” (From: ‘Het Bouwcentrum en Wall Relief No. 1’, Crimson, 2011).
Demolishing the building that carries this work of art raised a number of questions: is it possible to look at the Moore as an autonomous work of art and to place it somewhere else in the city? Or is its relationship to the Bouwcentrum essential to such an extent that the Moore needs to be put back in the same place in the new building? It was decided that the relief will be incorporated into the new building, giving it a new lease on life commemorating both the Bouwcentrum and the post-war reconstruction of Rotterdam. In four years’ time, the Henry Moore will return onto the new building as part of Rotterdam’s entirely renovated Central District. Sculpture International Rotterdam commissioned Dutch documentary maker Anneloek Sollart to make a documentary about Wall Relief No. 1. The film Henry Moore Wall Relief (5 minutes) will be released in December 2012.
Sculpture International Rotterdam manages the unique international art collection displayed in Rotterdam’s public space, including artworks by Naum Gabo, Rodin, De Kooning, Paul McCarthy, Giuseppe Penone, and Franz West.
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T +31 (0)10-2250854 / PR [at] sculptureinternationalrotterdam.nl
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