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Reconstruction d'une maison détruite

Reconstruction d'une maison détruite, 1989

Rien Monshouwer
  • Artist (1947)

A teacher at the Free University at the Hague, Rien Monshouwer (born in 1947 in Rotterdam) is linked to the sculptors of the North by way of his installation proposals which show a particular liking for industrially cut wood and machined iron, and an elementary spatial form, as is illustrated by Reconstruction d’une maison détruite. In addition to his serial paintings consisting of flat tints and composed using the principle of orthogonality, Rien Monshouwer’s works are, for the most part, 3-dimensional. Made of standardized materials connected by rudimentary articulations, they invariably owe their conception to a line of thinking associated with place, its configuration, and its dimensions. The Reconstruction d’une maison détruite, a monumental work produced in the Ateliers-Logements of the Centre Region during the summer of 1989, is the metamorphosis of the structure of that workshop which had been doomed to demolition, but the scope and linear aspect of that structure can be fully understood in relation to the exhibition hall of the Centre of Contemporary Creation in Tour. The vacuous nature of the premises, the organization of the equidistant pillars, and the effects of intense overhead lighting provided the basis for this kind of “architecture”. The reverse relations of solids and voids, and above all the physically sensed ban on entering into the volume which only authorizes an external reading, suggest an “inside-out” vision of the idea of the house. This latter, without any function as shelter, and itself sheltered by a larger building, endlessly duplicates the idea of envelope. In the onlooker, Monshouwer’s works invariably give rise to an active stroll and then lead him to think about his own spatial experience.

Nadine Labedade