Screwarch

Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Aluminum painted with polyurethane enamel
12 ft. 8 in. x 21 ft. 6 in. x 7 ft. 10 in. (3.9 x 6.6 x 2.4 m)

Commissioned November 1978 by the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen
Installed May 1984


Screwarch, 1983 Screwarch, 1983 Screwarch, 1983


Statement by the Artists

Screwarch, 1983 In 1976, when we began working together and traveling in the landscape of the Netherlands, we began to identify an arched version of a screw with the many bridges in the surroundings, motivated also by the coincidence that Coosje’s last name means "of bridges" in Dutch. The letter "B" laid on its side, we also noticed, resembles a bridge. In search of a possible site, Coosje suggested that we focus on a project by the city of Rotterdam to build a new bridge in its center across the wide Maas river. Of course we realized how unlikely it was that a large bridge of our design might be chosen by the city, but we proceeded as if it could happen. Drawings and plans culminated in very large etchings, in color and black and white, of a bridge made of double arched screws, their points meeting in the center of the river, in a style influenced by Coosje’s admiration for the emotive landscapes of the seventeenth century Dutch printmaker Hercules Seghers.

Screwarch, 1983 In 1978, we were among the artists selected by the director of the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, W.A.L. Beeren, for the acquisition of a group of related works to show the full range of their activities. The works on the theme of the Screwarch in the context of the Netherlands seemed perfectly suited to the program. We accepted and set about making a collection that, besides drawings and etchings, included a table model of the Rotterdam bridge project using bronze castings of the two Screwarches in a model of the actual site based on plans and elevations obtained from the city, and a large-scale version of the Screwarch in aluminum, 3.86 meters high, its scale derived from the height of the room in the Museum where it would be shown.

The large Screwarch was fabricated in North Haven, Connecticut and transported in three sections to Rotterdam. Following the exhibition in June 1983, the large Screwarch was disassembled and reconstructed as a permanent outdoor work on a site between reflecting pools in the garden behind the Museum.


Screwarch, 1983 Screwarch, 1983


 

 


ALL IMAGES AND TEXT ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHT CLAES OLDENBURG AND COOSJE VAN BRUGGEN AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE ARTISTS.

 


Home | Back to Large-Scale Projects | Top of Page