Combien de gens ne sont abstraits que pour paraître profonds.
Even though abstract art is not my ‘thing, in the house of my 97-year-old friend Jacques I found a beautiful non-figurative piece. He got it from its author, Henk Bouwer, once the model maker of the famous Office of Meccano Architects.
This first photo is not of good quality, yet the plot is already visible, especially when a somewhat better picture of this detail is added:
Made of wood veneer, the artist created a paradox: A three-dimensional flat surface. In itself a beautiful shape, but more particularly very intriguing, this surely the result of Bouwer’s original profession. It also looks a bit like a scale model, however not presented as such. Whether perhaps it was also meant as a model we shall never know.
This is its plot. A slight alteration of ‘climate’- the blend of ambient humidity and temperature – will change the form of these thin wood layers. This work of art is alive. Actually, I would need the patience to sit in Jacques’ room for weeks, this time with a smart camera that would record the slow progress of all these fine transformations.
Directing a series of photographs like this, however, would also seriously test the patience of my host. He wants me first of all as a chess player and to receive as his guest.
Jacques is surely lucky that deafness has struck him. Your author often calls always himself loquax. Now the two of us can play our speechless parties without this chatterbox drawing his host’s attention away from the game.
There is, indeed, another picture on a wall that, every visit again, fascinates me, a drawing made by Jacques’ son Michel, the man who once played his jazzy cracker boxes in the Jazz clubs.
Again not ideal picture:
Yet again, a slightly better view of this detail:
Figuration here touches abstraction, a combination that suits me far better than pure abstract art. Is it a landscape? Is it a picture of the sea? ‘T is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
This much is certain: Absorbed in our chess game, Jacques and I feel nourished by the lustre of those images, even if our intimacy is guarded by this Mirror Eye in which pretty much everything is caught.
As if the two of us hide there – in our own small cosmos.
Sierksma 02/26/16 Haarlem