Image

Constant Nieuwenhuys-Le barricade, 1949

Photographer

Tom Haartsen

Barricade

1949
Cobra
372,0cm
x 300,0cm
linen
oil paint
Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL

CID

285

This huge painting "Barricade" [372 × 300 cm] was made in 1949 for the exhibition International Exhibition of Experimental Art' at Stedelik Museum Amsterdam.

Materials for this and other works by fellow Cobra artists, were provided by the museum, as the artists couldn't afford them. Due to its large size and since Constant was unable to pay back the 100 guilders he was due for the materials, the painting stayed at the museum.

In 1963, Constant sees 'Barricade' reproduced in an exhibition catalogue as being 'on loan' from the Stedelijk. Constant is taken aback. He's under the assumption that the work was on loan to the Stedelik as collateral for the 100 guilders. He raises the issue with the then current director, Edy de Wilde, who writes him that he has consulted with Sandberg and Appel, who confirm that the museum would provide the, at the time, precious materials in exchange for the produced work. As a side note he mentions that Constant seems to be the only painter who has raised this issue after 14 years.

Now slightly agitated, Constant replies that the fact that De Wilde seems to choose to believe the opinion of Appel and Sandberg over his does not constitute proof of the donation of the work. He also points out that Eugene Brands has raised the same issue. In 1963 Constant files a lawsuit against the municipality of Amsterdam.

In 1969, the municipality's defense is dismissed. The judge finds no proof that an arrangement for donation of the painting had been made with the artist and Constant wins the case. Eventually, Constant pays back the 100 guilders and donates Barricade [1949] to the Stedelik Museum Amsterdam, where the painting remains to this day.

    English title

    Barricade

    Alternate titles

    Barricade
    1949 Archive entry
    La barricade
    2001

    Signed/dated

    Signed and dated Constant '49 bottom center, in black paint

    Provenance

    1949 Constant
    1970 Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL (donation)
    Tags
    Figures
    Rebellion

    Frame dimensions

    nee

    No other related bibliography items available

    No other related bibliography items available