Better than Escher…

Written by dr. Jos ten Berge Ten Berge met de 'Grootmoedertekening' van Hans Scholze

A happy day for Jos ten Berge! Besides teaching job with the Art and Culture department at the VU, he is also chairman of the Foundation De Stadshof Collection. In that capacity he recently received a donation of beautiful works of art. De Stadshof collects Outsider Art: work by people who usually have little to do with the art world and often don’t consider their own work to belong to this category. Despite not being involved with the art world and not fitting into our usual genealogical narratives of art history (that’s what they are ‘outside’  of), they do create things that are really great and worthy of our attention.

This case we’re dealing with some twenty drawings by Hans Scholze (1933-1993). Though trained as an interior designer, Scholze mostly made drawings, and how! In the 1960s and ‘70s he created endless, meticulously drawn  ‘wanderings’ on paper, often with a magnifying glass attached to his forehead. ‘Walking’ is how he called this way of drawing himself: “Okay mom, I’m going upstairs now and walk a bit”, he’d say when he felt the urge to withdraw in drawing. The results are often bewildering with respect to size, amount of detail and seemingly obsessive diligence, but just as often most charming in ways that remind one of Paul Klee. It’s this wonderful combination that makes his work so attractive, Ten Berge thinks. Once acquainted with Scholze’s poetic, fairy tale-like labyrinths, M.C. Escher’s much colder visual mathematics lose much of their attraction. Just zoom in, zoom in! Below you can see three older works that were already in the collection of De Stadshof and three of the recently acquired works.


The donation comes from the inheritance of a good friend of Scholze’, who passed away last spring.

Below you can see of one of Scholze’s first drawings, the so-called ‘Grandmother-drawing’, consisting of four A4-pages glued together with a drawing in Indian ink. Please note that the white forms are not drawn, but left out amidst all the black.

The ‘Grandmother-drawing’

Ten Berge already published about Scholze in an article in (our own, VU-affiliated) Kunstlicht (year 31 (2010), nr. 1, entitled ‘Taking a line for a walk’). You can read it here (in Dutch)!

Hans Scholze (1933-1993)
Hans Scholze (1933-1993)

The best book on Scholze is: Felix Villanueva (ed.), Hans Scholze: Niet de bestemming, doch de reis…, Amsterdam 2004.

The collection of the De Stadshof Foundation can be seen in Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium, is described in Solitary Creations: 51 Artists out of De Stadshof Collection (Eindhoven 2014), and can be visited also virtually here.

Best, Jos


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