Luxury Design, Past & Present
Unique stone head sculpture by John Raedecker, circa 1950.
Coming fom the family's private collection, this well-crafted piece is a very rare and unique find. The letter comes with a letter of provenance from the family.
In good original condition with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful patina.
The sculptor John Rädecker is one of Hollands most famous artists, his best-known work is the National Monument on the Dam in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Throughout his career John Rädecker made an interesting development; where his early works show various influences, varying from Jugendstil to Cubism, Rädecker made a breakthrough with his luministic paintings and after World War I gained international recognition for his expressionistic sculptural style. Rädecker was born into a sculptors family, including his father, his brothers and his sons with whom he worked together.
Rädecker dreamt of sculptures as living creatures, which breathe, think, move, seduce and look at you, but are petrified. According to Rädecker "One should represent the time. One should be himself and express himself. Express yourself and you are the image of the time".
Throughout his career Rädecker is called 'the artist of the dream', caused by his apparently intuitive way of working. This is reinforced by the fact that many of his early mask heads seem to be dreaming or meditating. Rädecker was inspired to make masks when he lived in Paris, where he came into contact with primitivism and ethnographic objects through his regular visits to museums.
A.M. Hammacher states about the artist: 'The most important for Rädecker is giving form to a completely personal world of faces and figures. Face more often than figures. Rädecker has reshaped the face much stronger than any of his contemporaries. In his hands it has become a peculiar mix of night and day, of female and male, of dream and senses. Dream power is eminent in many of Rädecker's heads, never dominant though.' (A.M. Hammacher, De beeldhouwer John Rädecker, Amsterdam/Antwerp 1940).
During his life, John Rädecker was involved in the artistic environment of the places he lived in, knowing many people, including his friends Jacob Bendien, Tjerk Bottema, Jan ten Herkel and Charley Toorop. Through Charley Toorop Rädecker came in contact with Gerrit Rietveld, whom he probably met at her house in Bergen which served as a meeting place for several artists.
John Rädecker was also involved in several artistic groups. For example ASB, a Dutch abbreviation for Architecture, Painting and Sculpture. This group was established by Charley Toorop together with Bendien and Rädecker in 1926 with the aim to represent artists as well as architects on an international level. Gerrit Rietveld was also involved with this group and present at the meetings.
Raedecker produced many small-scale works of scultpure, mainly in bronze and wood, but he also sculpted various larger forms in stone. An example of the latter is the monument to Jan Toorop in The Hague, Netherlands. He made many drawings during his life, and -especially before 1940- he painted.
After World War II Raedecker spent most of his time on his best-known work, the National Monument (a memorial to all of the Dutch victims of the war) on the Dam in Amsterdam, a project that he carried out in cooperation with the architect J.J.P. oud. he also created a war monument for the town of Waalwijk. His works can be found in all of the major art museums in the Netherlands.