In the autumn of 2019, Hans Demeulenaere and Dimitri Vangrunderbeek visited the concrete sculpture Sylvette, a public work located in the famous Rotterdam Museum Park. In 1971, the Norwegian sculptor Carl Nesjar created the sculpture after a design by Pablo Picasso. Picasso started from a gouache that he cut out and folded, such that the paper could stand up on its own.
Artist(s) Hans Demeulenaere, Dimitri Vangrunderbeek
Publisher published by the artist
The city of Rotterdam had originally commissioned the concrete artwork in 1963, but due to the protests of local residents, it would be eight years before it could eventually be finished. The technique that characterises this work was also a source of criticism.
Critics viewed Sylvette as being too much of a flat line drawing unfolded into space, rather than an autonomous sculpture that completely dominates the space around it. In 2003 it was moved from its original place, finding a new home on the Westersingel in the neighbourhood of the Museum Park.
It was the sculpture’s transformation – from the two-dimensional design, by means of a few simple acts, to the three-dimensional model and subsequently into a monument – that interested Demeulenaere and Vangrunderbeek. The artists started an email conversation entitled Promenade (circulaire). The dialogue developed through imagery and text, the artists responding to each other in turn. Out of their correspondence, which comprised new images and reflections on each other’s contributions, a circular movement arose. In some cases, the dialogue remained close to Sylvette, while in other cases the artists wandered from the original topic and turned to the pleasure of reflecting on their specific domains of knowledge, without reaching a definite conclusion.
Both the video Sylvette and the conversation Promenade (circulaire) were part of the exhibition verloren voorwerpen – objets trouvés (Brugge, March 2020), curated by Bert Puype. This dialogue is now reflected in the form of a book, which has been realised as part of a subsequent collaborative project between the two artists.
by Hans Demeulenaere and Dimitri Vangrunderbeek,
published 2021, 22.6 x 29.7 cm, 146 pages,
limited edition of 40 copies +5 AP,
signed and numbered by the artists,
English language, Design by Leroy Meyer