Henry, de Statistocraat
The foyer of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag features the new artwork Henry, de Statistocraat by Atelier Van Lieshout. The eight-metre-high sculpture is designed to serve as a visitor information desk and is a humorous nod to the ‘rivalry’ between H.P. Berlage, architect of the Gemeentemuseum, and his Belgian contemporary and confrere Henry Van de Velde.
The commission was prompted by the Gemeentemuseum’s desire for a visitor information desk worthy of a great public art gallery. It had to be different from the usual nondescript counters found in railway stations, airports, municipal offices, cinemas and shops.
Van Lieshout’s creation, Henry, the Statistocrat, makes playful reference to the work of Belgian artist, designer and architect Henry van de Velde – a founder of art nouveau, trailblazer for the later Bauhaus, and famous in the Netherlands primarily as the architect of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Thus within the idiom of Atelier van Lieshout.