Ad Dekkers

Vloerreliëfs ('Floor Reliefs',1971 - 1972)

Van vierkant naar cirkel ('From Square to Circle')
Van vierkant naar vierhoek ('From Square to Rectangle')
Vierkant met middellijnen ('Square with Center Lines')
Vierkant met diagonalen ('Square with Diagonals')

Location: Lawn next to Vertigo building

Following the expressive and colourful 'Cobra' period during the nineteen fifties, in the sixties many artists once again reflect on form, light and materials. So too does Ad Dekkers (1938-1974), who graduates from the Rotterdam Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Sciences in 1958.

Dekkers lifts abstract art in the Netherlands to a higher level. Contrary to many painters, he does not believe that one can create the suggestion of space on a flat surface. He begins to saw objects from wood which he, on various levels, places on subsurfaces. However, this 'real' space turns out not to work for Dekkers either, and only in reliefs does he find his true form of expression. For these reliefs he uses various materials: wood, cardboard, plastics and concrete.

Drawing inspiration from De Stijl and from Piet Mondriaan, Ad Dekkers tries to achieve balance and harmony through abstract forms. He omits side details, as well as colour. Furthermore, he limits himself to geometrical forms like the circle, the square and the triangle in order to reach that symmetry.

Computing Center

Ad Dekkers designs four floor reliefs for the patios of the former TU/e Computing Center (now the Laplace building). At the time of the official inauguration (1972) he writes: "I wish to support the beautiful architecture through a maximum degree of integration. The building consists mainly of straight lines and diagonals, which is also the main theme of these sculptures ... The hight of these sculptures has been chosen for easy viewing from above and aside, and so that people may easily sit on them".

When the Laplace building is reconstructed in 2001 the floor reliefs are lifted from the patios and put in storage. The following year Ir. Jean Leering, former manager of the Van Abbe Museum, makes the current design for the floor reliefs, placing them back into an architectural setting and making them once again the property of the community.

Photography: Bram Saeys