In Memoriam Rob Schröder

Roosje Klap

Graphic | Heritage

In Memoriam Rob Schröder, November 13, 1950 – July 6, 2024

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Rob Schröder, Dutch filmmaker, graphic designer and beloved teacher. Rob Schröder died of cancer on July 6, 2024 at the age of 73, surrounded by friends at his home in Amsterdam.

Born Nov. 13, 1950, in Oegstgeest and raised in Hoorn, Schröder studied graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In 1974, together with Lies Ros and Frank Beekers, he founded the design collective WildPlakken, which refreshed and renewed the Dutch design world in the 1980s. The design collective had an explicit social and political mission and contributed to organizations such as the CPN, De Balie, De Nederlandse Opera and Het Zuidelijk Toneel.

From 1982 to 1997, Rob Schröder taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and in 1995 he co-founded the Sandberg Institute, the master’s program of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. In his lifetime he taught thousands of students, for whom he was an important inspiration both through his work and his way of life and his moral backbone.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Schröder increasingly embraced moving image. He developed as a unique filmmaker and television producer and made a large number of films and television programs for the VPRO including ‘Late at night after a short walk…,’ ‘DNW -Rooksignalen uit de Nieuwe Wereld’, ‘Trendspotting’ and ‘Ouwehoeren’ about his neighbors on the Amsterdam Red Light District. In 1998 he was awarded the H.N. Werkman Prize for his collage film ‘Van de Snelheid’.

His work is characterized by a profound and often unconventional approach to political-social themes with an undeniable ability to reinterpret and renew traditional ideas and techniques within a modern context of digitization and social media. “I make old shit in a new context,” he told the Parool in 2018.

Rob continued working until the very end on his montages and collage images in which he spoke out against fascism, populism and the far right, starring the figures of Wilders, Baudet, Trump, Putin, Orban, Marine Le Pen and the war in Gaza, among others, which he published on his Instagram account. “Those people are collaborating to fuck up our earth,” Schröder told me, “they are the billionaires of our time, the politicians, the rulers who could do something but who don’t lift a finger. On the contrary – they only make everything worse. All my anger about what is going wrong in the world is in this work.”

Rob Schröder, ‘N serie nr 20,’ June 2023

Rob Schröder leaves an impressive legacy in graphic design, film and education. His eclectic style remains an inspiration to many designers, filmmakers and artists. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and everyone touched by his work and personality.

Portrait photo Rob Schröder 2018: Annaleen Louwes

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