Gerrit den Breems

'Wall relief'  (1968)


Donated by RCN (later ECN) on the occasion of the opening of the Athene building.

If an artist has no clear image after which to model his work, he is given the chance to take his creativity to its limits. A good example is the way in which the Rotterdam artist Gerrit den Breems (1931) has rendered the atom in this bronze wall relief. Later on in his career he shifts towards installations and performances, while he currently spends much of his time on making (short) films.

Den Breems makes a craggy, alomst graphic, plastic that visualizes how the trajectory of atomic nuclei materializes. The Energy Center of the Netherlands (ECN) donated this sculpture to TU/e on the occasion of the opening of the Athene Building in 1968, where at that time radioactive materials were being used in research.

Gerrit den Breems becomes an electrician before moving on to the academy of art. However, he always already considers himself primarily an artist. This wall relief demonstrates a fine balance between his two backgrounds, and also how a technical education may produce exciting results. In recent years Den Breems often retreats into his studio to compose music and create works of visual art. And sometimes he stages sensational performances in town, see also the article from De Volkskrant below.