Mother and child

Mother and child

Beeldenterras Westersingel 2006, photography Toni Burgering

Beeldenterras Westersingel 2006, photography Toni Burgering

Design

Design

Mother and child

Mother and child

The Artwork

Carel Visser’s expressive sculpture Mother and Child (2001) is an assemblage of various found objects and scrap metal cast in bronze. The individual elements remain recognisable: a folded steel plate, a doll, wire, reinforcing rods, tubes and other scrap metal. Together they form an associative whole representing two figures: a mother and her child.

The mother is made up of rough and angular forms with a wild hairdo of reinforcing rods. A whisk lies at her feet. The mother’s crude forms contrast with the smooth, round forms of the child, cast from a plastic doll. The sculpture makes a harsh impression, enhanced by the surface treatment with nitric acid.

Manufacturing
2001
Carel Visser

Carel Visser

Carel Visser was born in Papendrecht in 1928. He helped to transform Dutch sculpture after the Second World War. He initially studied architecture at the Technische Hogeschool in Delft and then studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunst in The Hague. In the fifty years thereafter he explored fundamental sculptural problems such as construction, appearance, space and the connection between volumes.

His early sculptures, around 1950, mainly had animal and plant motifs. From the mid-1950s he abandoned figuration in favour of geometric abstraction, often welding together iron beams, sheets and rods. The finish of these sculptures (straight lines that were not exactly straight, and visible welding joints) reflected his aversion to surface perfect surfaces. Important themes in this period were the effects of stacking, toppling, rotation and mirroring.

Alongside sculptures and installations Visser made drawings, woodcuts and collages. Of his works on paper, it was the collages; in which he used increasingly diverse material and which call to mind the transitory works of Arte Povera; that had the most influence on his three-dimensional work. Visser incorporated a variety of materials, objects and forms in his assemblages of found objects, some of which he cast in bronze. Later Visser added softer less-conventional materials to his repertoire such as leather and rubber car tyres. After the 1980s he gradually returned to a more figurative style, but only in his recent work has he depicted the human form.