Harald Vlugt

Dutch Mountains (1996, mixed media
Warande Building

Kunst openbare ruimte - Harald Vlugt – Dutch mountains (1996)

In the hall of Warande Building, you can see a display case containing three tower-like structures. They are constructed from the spines of old encyclopedias, topped with a pointed shape consisting of pulverized paper.

The work is by Harald Vlugt (1957), who was trained as a teacher of drawing and handicrafts and lives and works in his studio in an old Bols liquor distillery in the middle of the Amsterdam Jordaan district. The work in the Warande Building fits in well with the oeuvre of this artist, who, at the time, often worked with found objects, which were given a place in large three-dimensional tableaux-non-vivants that were sometimes derived from classical icons such as books and trophies, but often also found their origin in pop art and kitsch.

Vlugt gained notoriety when he identified the frame around his painting as the center of artistic creation. In a sense, this also happens in the work owned by the university. The image is determined by the outside of the encyclopedia, not by the knowledge it contains. That knowledge, one might say, is treated ironically in that it only plays a role in a pulverized form. The towers created in this way also show Vlugt's interest in architecture.

Vlugt's work can be found in several leading collections, including those of the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller in Otterlo and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1988, Vlugt participated in the Venice Biennale, exhibitions of his work were shown in New York, Montreal, and Paris, among other places. As of 2003, he has created many images for polemical stories in NRC Handelsblad, for which he used his million-image analogue archive. In 2016, Vlugt made prints for the special edition of the last collection of poems Wakend over God by the early deceased writer Joost Zwagerman.

More about history and academic heritage

The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.