141. Carel Visser
Lake Powell (c. 1998)
Iron, H. 18.1 x W. 114.6 x D. 24.8 cm
Collection Geertjan Visser (1931-2010), Retie, then by descent
Geertjan Visser (1931-2010) was, together with his brother Martin (1922-2009), one of the main and most influential collectors of his generation in the Netherlands. Today, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo houses over 400 works from their impressive collection, including works by artists like Lucio Fontana, Anselm Kiefer, and Bruce Nauman. The renowned 'Collection Visser' also includes art by the third brother, the successful sculptor Carel Visser (1928-2015).
Carel Visser is widely regarded as one of the most significant post-war sculptors in the Netherlands. His mastery of minimalism allowed him to transform simple materials like steel sheets, metal blocks, and concrete into elegant and impactful shapes. One of Visser's most significant sources of inspiration was nature, as demonstrated by this famous work, Lake Powell. The visual motif of Lake Powell is strongly tied to water, as the sculpture takes its inspiration from the winding streams of the eponymous lake, located near the Grand Canyon. The whimsical patterns of the waterways, formed as water naturally follows the path of least resistance to the lowest point, and the quirky contours of the lake's basin, shaped by the surrounding mountains, provided Visser with a wealth of material to draw upon.
Visser held that an ideal sculpture should be horizontally balanced, with equal emphasis on length and width, and should not overpower one another. This idea of horizontality is evident in Lake Powell, as Visser incorporates the ground into the sculpture. He believed that this “earthly aspect” was important, as the earth is the only reality we can truly know, being the surface we walk on. In his words, “We don't know the supernatural. Maybe it's there, maybe not. Nobody knows.”
* Condition report available upon request