The Archive

Documenting the life and work of…

Since 2012 Fondation Constant has done research for the catalogue raisonné of Constant’s work. The Constant catalogue raisonné is a work in progress and can be consulted on the website. In 2018 the foundation started looking into the different collections that were located in Constant’s home in Amsterdam and made a plan to document and in some cases digitalise these collections. It lead to quest with many an untold story, which continues to this day…

Library

When you enter Constant’s library you realise that it is the gift he gave himself. The taylor made bookcases and matching library stairs breathe a love of books that is only matched by his love for animals and instruments. Constant’s love of literature, theory, politics and philosophy is like a red thread though his work so it was clear that before the foundation could decide what to do with the library, it needed to be documented. In 2018 the foundation made a plan to document and digitalise the library and started looking for funds.

The library can now be viewed on the website of Foundation Constant, click here.

Team

Kim van der Horst (project manager), Jephta de Visser, Freek Dijkstra, Eliane Odding, Iris Mahu

The project was supported by:

Stichting Dioraphte, Gravin van Bylandt Stichting and Fundatie Van Den Santheuvel, Sobbe

Image

Bibliotheek | Joachim Westphart

Description

Photo: Joachim Westphart

Home Studio

While working on the Library Documentation Project Fondation Constant realised that Constant’s home studio was also a treasure trove of painting materials, curiosa and unidentified objects. In 2008, when Constant’s main studio had been moved, his work materials had been meticulously documented by Hanneke Leemans for the Nederlands Architectuur Instituut (now called Het Nieuwe Instituut). With no plan, but a strong realisation that the foundation should do the same for his home studio, help came unexpected. Janine van Reekum, long term metal restorer for many of Constant’s models offered to help out as a volunteer. With an enormous passion for and knowledge of materials, Janine set out to document. It has resulted in an even more meticulous file of invaluable information for any future art restorer.

We are eternally grateful to Janine for her help, her passion and knowledge. If you are interested in Janine’s report, send an email to Kim van der Horst | info@stichtingconstant.nl

In June 2020 were were glad to distribute many of Constant’s exces painting materials and equipment amongst young artists from the Rijksacademy and the Constant 1 0 1 project.

Image

Atelier-1 | Kim van der Horst

Image

Verf | Kim van der Horst

Description

Photo’s: Kim van der Horst

Image

Antonis Pittas

Image

Antonis Pittas

Image

Antonis Pittas

Image

Antonio Guzman atelier | Kim van der Horst

Image

Krien Clevis atelier Constant | Kim van der Horst

Image

Virag Szentkiralyi, Anh Tran and Hend Abdulalim | Kim van der Horst

Description

F.l.t.r: Virag Szentkiralyi, Anh Tran and Hend Abdulalim

Image

Antonis Pittas and Kaspar de Jong | Kim van der Horst

Description

F.l.t.r: Antonis Pittas and Kaspar de Jong

Archive

After the library it was time to start working on Constant’s archive. From presentation slides of New Babylon to files on Constant’s architectural projects, from video’s to mysterious sound tapes, we found it all. At the moment the digitalisation of the material and publication on the website is still in process. As soon as the project is made public, it will be announced here.

Team

Kim van der Horst (project manager), Eva Hoogkamer, Iris Mahu, stagiaires: Chiara de Haan, Janneke Luns and Jet Weerkamp.

Special thanks goes out to:

Kunstinstituut Melly for sharing their entire digital archive of the exhibition Hyper Acrhitecture of Desire, 1997-1998.

The project was supported by:

Stichting Dioraphte, De Gijselaar Hintzenfonds

Image

Doos geluidsbanden | Kim van der Horst

Image

Tekening Poort van Constant | Kim van der Horst

Instruments

As a musician Constant had a special love for musical instruments, over his life he collected about fourty instruments from violins to cymbaloms, mandolins to harps. Since no one at Fondation Constant really has any knowledge on musical instruments, it was a big question mark what should be done with this collection. After some research it was clear that no institute would take the collection as a whole. every one was interested in some pieces in the collection but keeping it together was just not an option.

When that option was crossed off the list, we moved on to our second wish; that the instruments would be cared for and played again by musicians. Slightly more success was had with that goal. Over the years, one on Constant’s three cimbaloms was sold to British film composer Gregory Knowles, the Panormo guitar was sold to French guitar player Nausica Canella and finally last year the second cimbalom was sold to pianist and cimbalom player, Dani Luca, who is now also part of the Constant 1 0 1 program. Eventually it was decided to take the rest of the collection to an auction hause specialised in musical instrument in the UK, except for the 18th Century harp Constant had traded with the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (now Kunstmuseum Den Haag) because it was too fragile to travel.

Image

Nausica Canella | Kim van der Horst

Description

Nausica Canella | Photo: Kim van der Horst

Image

Harp | Kim van der Horst