Niko de Wit

Spigot and shield (1981, metal)
Cobbenhagen Building

Niko de Wit – Spie en schild (1981)

Niko de Wit (1949) is a sculptor and created this sculpture during a period when he expressed himself in an archaic visual language. Inspired by forms derived from heraldry, he designed an object composed of two complementary volumes. These are in contrast to each other: the heavy, expanding “shield,” which faces the earth, is flanked by the light, upward-pointing “wedge,” which is almost detached from the base. Through this contrasting effect the two objects complement each other; the one object is, as it were, not complete without the proximity of its opposite. This creates a close relationship between the two elements, fixing the intervening space to a fixed form, like a negative volume

De Wit is fascinated by the surprises that occur when you stack shapes, turn them upside down, distort them or balance them. He himself says: “Suddenly an image can—literally—show itself from a different side, and the amazing thing is that this works best with very simple, elementary forms.” Art critic Chris Bergman once wrote, "Those who walk around his sculptures undergo the curious sensation of seeing a different image from every angle." And Karel Soudijn, a collector of medals who was a longtime associate professor of Psychology, wrote the following about this work in 2011: "For Niko de Wit, sculpture is a progressive process of experimentation and variation, in which residual forms from one sculpture are often the beginning of the next work of art; for example, some sculptures are created by taking used plaster molds as a starting point... A sculpture by Niko de Wit always generates tension because the artist always seems to be pushing the limits of physical balance."

De Wit studied at the Tilburg Art Academy, then located in the current Academia Building. In addition to sculptures in public spaces, he makes autonomous work and medals.

In 2020, De Wit received the Tilburg Trophy on the occasion of his 50th anniversary as an artist. This award consists of a statuette of... Niko de Wit.

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