Nature and Nurture

As a kid I visited the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (The Netherlands) multiple times per year with my parents. Minimal ones in a year I go back to see the museum and its garden anew. The sculptures in the sculpture garden of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo have the same landscape of The Hoge Veluwe National Park as a literal background. The sculptures are made by various artists of different nationalities. The works have at least one thing in common, namely that they must stand the test of time. Recently they have purchased an extraordinary sculpture in the form of a landscape garden, made by the French artist Pierre Huyge and entitled Saison des Fêtes. The garden is planted with vegetation in honour of national feast days during the year (as a Christmas tree for Christmas and roses for Valentines Day). It’s a ‘garden in a garden’ and would in contrast to other sculptures of brass and epoxy resin change and develop over time. This garden raises questions about cultivating nature and indirectly also about the surrounding nature of The Hoge Veluwe National Park. What is conceived and made by humans and what is ‘real’ nature (if that still really exists in the Netherlands).


Something else caught my eye in the Park, namely the titles of some art works. Some artists reveal themselves as real poets and others mostly the Calvinists, are very clear in the way they give their works their titles. It is what it is and nothing else or more. I remember the work of Mondriaan and how he sometimes gives the viewer a minimal hint to the reading of his work (Pier and Ocean), but most of the time lets the viewer speechless by giving them names as Composition no XI. 

In the park the difference between ‘poetic titles’ and ‘essentialist titles’ became very clear in the titles of the works of Luciano Fabro and the work of Piet Hein Eek. The title of the work of Fabro is called La doppia faccia del cielo (the double face of (the) (sky)/heaven) and the title of the work of Eek is called Huisje (little house). Has this difference something to do with national identity, or is this just coincidence? Is Concetto Spaziale (Spacial Concept), one of the beloved titles of Lucio Fontana (Italian painter and sculptor) a ‘poetic title’ or an ‘essentialist title’?