Zwarte bouten op zwart
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
'Black bolts on black' by the Dutch artist Armando consists of a sheet of wood to which six black bolts are attached. There are three bolts on the left side: one exactly in the middle, one just above and one just below. The other three bolts are attached in the same way on the right side. The sheet of wood has been painted with shiny black oil paint.
Armando was fascinated by extreme situations in which human behaviour becomes unpredictable and in which themes such as violence, guilt and tragedy play a role. In the late 1950s he was part of the Informal Group. The work of the members of this group was expressive, picturesque and very abstract. During this period Armando gave his work titles such as 'Peinture Criminelle' or 'Espace Criminelle' (criminal place). In the early 1960s his work became less expressive.
In 1960 Armando founded the Nul group together with artists such as Henk Peeters, Jan Schoonhoven and Jan Henderikse. This group wanted to open the public’s eyes to the beauty of everyday reality, which was not to be represented using artistic means such as canvas or paint, but pieces of reality were to be transformed directly into a work of art. The bolts in 'Black bolts on black' are an example of this. The Nul members aimed to maintain a distance, “a metropolitan hardness”, as Armando described this period later. Despite their attempts to achieve objectivity, the work of each of the members maintained its own character. Armando’s fascination with violence and the beauty of horror is reflected in his work. “The evil that is beautiful. I always thought about this in the background”. He opted for hard materials such as barbed wire, bolts and rivets. When Nul was disbanded in 1965, Armando’s work once again became very expressive and he started doing paintings again in which he referred directly or indirectly to the Second World War, also in the title, such as, for example, 'Fahne' (flag) and 'Guilty Landscape'. In addition to being an artist, Armando was also an author. His stories and poems are based on the same themes as his artistic work.
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