ArtZuid International Sculpture Route

When you stroll around Amsterdam Old South this summer, you are bound to be confronted with some very unique, sometimes shocking works of art. The neighbourhood is transformed in an outdoor gallery of internationally renowned artists, showing off their work. All 60 sculptures/installations were hand picked by Henk van Os, former director of the Rijksmuseum. Some of the sculptures make you think, others really resonated with me, and naturally some I didn’t understand or didn’t like. The route is 2.4 km and runs across the Apollolaan, Zuidas, and Minervalaan. The ArtZuid International Sculpture Route lasts until 22 September 2013.


Exodus by Jem Robert Koko Bi (Ivory Coast) are wooden carvings of feet and refers to the enforced deportation during slavery and to the current swarms of emigrants.


El Anatsui (Ghana) created the drying towels and pants. The huge pants and towels are made from copper wire and alluminium bottle tops strung together. Amazing to see in real life! I wonder how many hours it took him and how many bottle tops.

pants IMG_2839

Holy Land by Kader Atia (Algeria) is a field of reflective sculptures. As in most of his work he draws inspiration from his double cultural identity. The holy land refers to the promised land. The observer can watch himself while contemplating about the meaning. Now that is true reflection!


Mandela 27,000 pieces of life history by Jem Robert Koko Bi (Ivory Coast) tells the story of Mandela’s 27 years in prison. The artist took an unconventional approach in creating this sculpture. First he sawed timber into pieces, then he glued them back together to a massive shape. He used an electronic saw to give the bulky shape the facial features and used a torch to add the colour.


Michael Craig Martin from Ireland created the blue umbrellaIMG_2855


Blue Head, Pink Head by Nigerian Soukari Douglas Camppink and blue

Judith by Markus Lupertz is a contemporary interpretation of the biblical Judith


Jonathan Meese (Germany) made the Humpty Dumpty Machine

IMG_2863 The Rag and Bone with bin by Laura Ford is a cynical fairytale with a social and political message. A raccoon as a bag lady scowling the city looking for food in bins.


Tom Sachs (USA) Miffy Fountain symbolizes the consumption society and branding of designer goods. The fountain is Miffy crying, which refers to the sadness of and protest against the commercialization of toysIMG_2869

A shocking sculpture but one with an interesting story. It symbolizes the current society of beauty and health expectations that is almost Utopian and fed by the many health clubs. Inside the skull is a spa and a small bathroom. A skull to remember us that we will all die anyway. Wellness skull by Joep Lieshout (Netherlands)IMG_2871

La Danse by Folkert de JongIMG_2886

Erwin Wurm made this sculpture called Big Pumpkin.IMG_2887

Tony Cragg’s (UK) Mixed Feelings is about change of shapes but also of yourself and growing because of that.IMG_2888

Elf rien a Foutre which means I don’t give a damn questions illegal oil tapping and smuggling. The jerrycans are from Elf, a Benin gasoline brand. The government and big oil companies attempt to stop this but the oil dissapears via illegal routes. by Romuald HazoumeIMG_2890

David Bade’s Burger Queen undermines social popular currents like this pole dancer as an exuberant spectacleIMG_2893

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3 thoughts on “ArtZuid International Sculpture Route

  1. Miffy crying is fab! what a great idea. My daughter loves Hello Kitty and Miffy and the thought of her crying makes me laugh. The legs are the weirdest of the photos above I think.

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