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Female figure sculpture exhibition

The RKD presents its ninth exhibition of a selection of sculptures from Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculptures at Sea Museum) inThe Hague. Three various interpretations of the female figure are exhibited. There is the coarse, raw sculpture of Rennetz versus the sensual, soft forms of Mostard and Reijers’ highly stylistic monumental female figures.

The three female sculptures vary both in technique and material. For his Galatea sculpture Rennertz carved a tree trunk with a chainsaw, whilst Mostard endlessly filed wood, sanding and shaping it layer by layer. Reijers sculpted his stylised monumental piece from French limestone after making the naturalistic preliminary study from plaster of paris.

The German sculptor Karl Manfred Rennertz (1952) is inspired by pure, rough wood and robust tree trunks. He searches forests for old trunks which are about to be chopped down. When sculpting the trunks he is guided by the shape of the tree, its nerves and its surroundings. The rough trunks are sculpted using a circular saw, paint and by burning. The result is an expressive image which reminds one of primitive art.


Karl Manfred Rennertz, Marabu I (Galatea) (1982), wood (alder), paint 198 x 34 x34 cm

Yvonne Mostards' (1954) sculptures are achieved through a labour intensive process. She works in an artisan manner, using traditional methods. She consciously distances herself from rapid working methods, rushed pace and impermanence of the present day and age. She sands her wooden sculptures until she gains the desired surface. Her piece entitled Ontvankelijkheid (Receptivity) is on the one side of the sculpture an attractive hair-textured sculpture, and on the other a kind of shell or cocoon, the shape of which conjures up images of the lid of a sarcophagus.


Yvonne Mostard, Ontvankelijkheid (Receptivity, 2000), wood, silver leaf, copper leaf 195 x 65 x35 cm

The sculptor Willem Reijers (1910-1958) also worked using traditional methods. After first casting the design in plaster of paris, he then made a full-scale preliminary study, which he then carved out of French limestone. Reijers was given the commission for the liberation monument in themunicipality of Vorden, Gelderland, in 1948. Reijers experimented in his free time with abstraction and spatial concepts, but reverted to the classical image of a nude female propping up the Dutch flag for this commission. This theme had been used during the war many times, in 1943. The first design was a full-length subdued female nude with a stylised flag in her left hand. This design was rejected by the municipality. TheVorden Committee seemed to have had issues with nudity in public. The final stone monument design depicts the stylised figure of a farmer’s wife in Vordens traditional costume, carrying the flag ahead of her.


Willem Reijers, Treurende vrouw met vlag halfstok (Mourning female carrying a flag half-mast, 1949), stone 154 x 48 x51 cm

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