Posted on Leave a comment

Cornelius Rogge (1932)

Schermafbeelding 2020-04-01 om 15.26.38

The reason i started to read about Cornelius Rogge and his art is because some 12 years ago i encountered two publications by Rogge. The first and most important one was his TENTENPROJEKT (1976) and the second Battlefield (1997) . 21 years apart from each other but both of a rare quality. Here is what the Kroller Muller writes on his tent project:

Schermafbeelding 2020-04-01 om 15.31.21

These six, mysterious, brown tents are no ordinary tents. Some have the shape of a truncated pyramid or cone. Others are reminiscent of a wigwam, a dolmen or a ziggurat; a pyramidal temple building with terraces. But what contributes most to their unusual appearance is that none of the tents has an entrance.


What lies in the darkness of these tents? What secrets do they hold? Cornelius Rogge offers no concrete solutions or answers to these questions. With the inherently mundane object of the tent, he calls attention to the mysterious, the inexplicable. ‘Every culture always has mysteries that are inaccessible to people. And that mystery has disappeared in modern culture. Perhaps today’s art has the task of bringing back mystery’.

Vanitas symbol

Over the years, the tents deteriorate and perish under the influence of the wind and weather. Rogge is also aware of this aspect of decay and impermanence. ‘Despite its concrete materialization, the subject of “the tent” is an image of decay, a vanitas symbol’, according to the artist.

These outdoor sculptures are among the largest sculptures collected in the Netherlands and because of their size you can not encounter time as much as i would like to see them, but here is a short film on Rogge in which you can see him at work in his studio.

Here are some titles available at

Leave a Reply