The exhibition BAKSTEEN │ BRICK pays tribute to the versatile building material

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The exhibition BAKSTEEN │ BRICK pays tribute to the versatile building material
Per Kirkeby, Londen, 1986, Museum Jorn, courtesy the artist, Axel Vervoordt Gallery & Galleri Susanne Ottesen. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

AMERSFOORT.- Brick, we see it every day. An ancient building material that occurs frequently in our environment for both the construction of walls and paving. The exhibition BAKSTEEN | BRICK pays tribute to this material with works by more than fifty artists, architects and designers from the Netherlands and abroad. In new and existing work they show the beauty and expressiveness of fired stone. BAKSTEEN | BRICK can be seen from 10 September in Kunsthal KAdE, the Elleboogkerk and via a tour through Amersfoort with new folly's and existing buildings.

Judith van Meeuwen, exhibition curator: 'The appeal of brick walls is anchored in thousands of variations in size, shape, colour, texture and repetition. But it is also the intrinsic layering that makes the material unique. The same brick that gives someone a sense of security can serve as a weapon in an uprising.'

Versatile brick

A strikingly large number of visual artists feel an affinity with brick. At Kunsthal KAdE, various artists will be exhibiting its aesthetic and symbolic aspects. Photographer Caroline Heinecke honours the collection of a brick collector with a photograph of the brick on a pedestal. In her colourful sculpture Suzie van Staaveren focuses on the power of repetition. The painted brick will be featured in new works by Florens Kool and Lisa Couwenbergh. Especially for the exhibition Bart Lunenburg did a residency at Buitenplaats Doornburgh where he researched the brick in relation to the technique of weaving.

The symbolism of bricks comes to the fore in the 'Washhouse' by Makkink & Bey. Here the brick gives a sense of security. The photograph of a pile of rubble where a house once stood by Lara Almarcegui illustrates decay. Kunsthal KAdE also shows bricks as a means of protest, with photographs of the Nieuwmarkt protests by Karel Wetselaar, and there are ballast bricks from old VOC ships on display (that were used in the colonies to build houses). Shilpa Gupta lets the visitor experience what it is like to push back frontiers while walking over a brick wall. A small presentation in Kunsthal KAdE will focus on the various facets of technology: from the brickworks of yesteryear, to the robotic brick laying machine and the brick laying drone.

Per Kirkeby in the main hall

The beauty of the material is emphatically expressed in the monumental buildings by Danish artist Per Kirkeby. The re-enactment of two of the artist's major projects, 'London' and 'Paris', in the main hall of Kunsthal KAdE is exceptional. Kirkeby wanted all his sculptures to be built with local materials and by local craftsmen.

Since 1973 Kirkeby has been making brick sculptures that recall forms and buildings from his travels. The constructions have no clear function, just like the folly's in England at the beginning of the 19th century: foolish construction without function, purely to enjoy the beauty.

Folly's in the city

Especially for the exhibition Kunsthal KAdE has asked seven makers to come up with a brick folly: Floris Alkemade, ATM Atmosphere (Antal Bos, Thijs Trompert, Marisja Smit), Olivier Goethals, André Pielage, Jan Poolen, Office Winhov and Baukje Trenning. Six folly's will be masonry in the city during the months July and August. The folly's are part of a special route along special bricks in the city of Amersfoort. The booklet with the brick tour is available from September 10 at the KAdEShop. The tour is developed in cooperation with architecture center FAsadE and the Cultural Heritage Agency.

Sculpturepark Elleboogkerk

The 'Elleboogkerk' is just a stone's throw away from Kunsthal KAdE. Because of its large floor area, the church is well suited to a true sculpture park with work by Jennifer Tee, Marlon de Azambuja, buro BELéN and Filip Dujardin, among others. At the entrance there is a wall by the Mexican artist Bosco Sodi. The artist invites visitors to break down his wall brick by brick: a physical act with symbolic meaning. Students of MBO bouwtechniek will be bricklaying live during the Open Monument Days.


A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. The catalogue is the result of research into brick artworks worldwide. Machteld Leij is responsible for the production and final editing.

The exhibition BAKSTEEN is curated by Judith van Meeuwen, Lara Stolwerk and the KAdE team.

Artists, designers and architects:
Floris Alkemade (NL, 1961) | Lara Almarcegui (ES, 1972) | Marlon de Azambuja (BR, 1978) | ATMosphere (NL, groep) | Iwan Baan (NL, 1975) | Buro Belén (NL, groep) | Willem Besselink (NL, 1980) | Lisa Couwenbergh (NL, 1953) | Wim Delvoye (BE, 1965) | Filip Dujardin (BE, 1971) | Harun Farocki (CZ, 1944-2014) | Olivier Goethals (BE, 1980) | Wei Guangqing (CH, 1963) | Shilpa Gupta (IN, 1976) | Jasper Hagenaar (NL, 1977) | Caroline Heinecke (DE, 1986) | Bijoy Jain (IN, 1965) | Immo Jalass (DE, 1938) | Chris Kabel (NL, 1975) | Per Kirkeby (DE, 1938-2018) | Florens Kool (NL, 1988) | John Körmeling (NL, 1951) | Peter Land (DK, 1966) | Bart Lunenburg (NL, 1995) | Studio Makkink & Bey (NL, groep) | Koen Mulder (NL, 1971) | Lennart de Neef (NL, 1990) | Lieven Nijs (BE, 1976) | Claes Oldenburg (SE, 1929) | Oscar Abraham Pabón Morales (VE, 1984) | André Pielage (NL, 1975) | Jan Poolen (NL, 1955) | Roger Raveel (BE, 1921-2013) | Sandberginstituut o.l.v. Lotje van Lieshout | August Sander (DE, 1876-1964) | Tanja Smeets (NL, 1970) | Bosco Sodi (MX, 1970) | Omar Sosa (ES, 1983) | Toni Spyra (DE, 1981) | Ad Swinkels (NL, 1940) | Suzie van Staaveren (NL, 1991) | Jennifer Tee (NL, 1973) | Joost van den Toorn (NL, 1954) | Baukje Trenning (NL, 1969) | Veron Urduriǎnu (RO, 1951) | Gijs Van Vaerenbergh (BE, group) | Marijke van Warmerdam (NL, 1959) | Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch (NL, 1824-1903) | Karel Wetselaar (NL, 1935-2017) | Office Winhov | Hendrik Jan Wolter (NL, 1873-1952) | Sol LeWitt (US, 1928-2007) | Héctor Zamora (MX, 1974)

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