The Tall Muse: The Skyscraper in Today’s Art Scene

The Tall Muse: The Skyscraper in Today’s Art Scene

This weekend is Art Rotterdam which is one of these fairs that, in the spirit of the city, focusses on the experimental, the brash and the young. I usually manage to have to decent time at these by trying to find skyscrapers like kids search for easter eggs. Sometimes they present themselves in your face, and sometimes you need a bit of imagination. It gives one a good idea of how the skyscrapers fares in today’s art scene. Anyway, here is this year’s loot.

First up somewhat resembles the leaning tower of Pisa. It is called Tower II and it was created by Lana Mesic in 2016. (more)

Below is a compilation of buildings of which some I recognize from The Hague, but some I don’t. No info on the artist.

Spread from an old cartoon magazine. Framed, so it qualifies as art, no?

Below is one for the engineers. I’m not sure if the artist had a skyscraper in mind when he did this, but to the skyscraper eye it definitely looks like a core-and-floors that is typical to a concrete skyscraper structure. The artists is Jan Schoonhoven and for € 25,000 this baby is yours!

If you were wondering if you read the price tag of the previous work correctly, please understand that Jan Schoonhoven is something of a name within the Dutch art scene. In the 1960’s he was a co-founder of the Nulgroep (meaning: Group Zero) which focussed on objective art with no emotional or personal references. Below is a series of works from the same artist showing an embossed pattern on a somewhat square piece of paper. To my eyes, this resembles the different orientations of window panes in the facade of a skyscraper. The detail image shows what I am talking about.

Next up is an actual sculpture which easily passes as a vertical city. Designed by Erik Sep, the vertical city is filled with actual markings of the urban life, and it comes with infrastructure as well. I couldn’t find a price tag, but more vertical pieces by Sep can be found here.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill meet the 1980’s in panel that is part of a series of many made by Dominic Beattie.

The one below came without a name of a price tag. Which is fine as I’m not sure if that’s a skyscraper or just an oversized chimney. Can’t be too picky at the art fairs though.

The following is not called ‘tribute to William Le Baron Jenney’ but it could have been. Being the first architect who successfully used a steel frame to built a skyscraper, this one sure brings back good ole memories. Actually, the name of this piece is ‘Come up to my room’ and it was created by Frank Halmans. If you have € 3,200 to spare, you could spend it on this.

More vertical window panes. Created by Jacques van der Heyden. Hey, I told you there was going to be some imagination involved!

Wrapping this one up is a piece taking urban knitting to the skies. This is actually a knitted skyline of the city of Rotterdam, in which you’ll easily recognize the Markthal, Euromast, World Trade Center, Potlood, Witte Huis and ss Rotterdam. It was created by Meschac Gaba and it is called ‘Perruques Architectures’ meaning ‘whig architecture’. Apparently these were designed as head pieces.

See you again next year!

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