17-8-1992 NCRV Ned. I: 'Miniatuur'
This programme showed work of Hanneke De Munck at the exposition in February 1992 in the Oude Kerk at Amsterdam (videotape available)
Ernst van der Vossen
daily, 20 March 1992
'Art & Value', magazine
1997, no. 2
Jaqueline van Vollenhoven
'Nieuws van de Dag', daily
6 June 1997
In 1989 Ernst van der Vossen wrote on this theme in the 'Tableau' magazine:
In her atelier the model was dancing. A model is usually sitting or standing rather immovably, so a swirling figure, bonded to the earth but nevertheless floating, is quite a different approach of the theme. The silk dancing-robe was flaring out wide, gravity drew spatial lines. Artist and model had themselves inspired by Chopin's piano concertos and Beethoven's sonatas for cello and piano. The first clay sketches led to little bronzes, that in their turn gave the impulse to life-size drawings and paintings out of which medium-sized sculptures developed, ca. 85 cm high. A visit to Greece (the bronzes in the Museum of Athens, e.g. the world-famed Poseidon) and an already long-standing admiration of Samothrake's Nike (Louvre) left reminiscences: the dancing statues are classical evocations of delight, freedom, joy. The dance calls, shouts, elevates. Two years of intimate dialogue between matter and thoughts have been caught in statues, drawings and paintings.
With a Feeking for Shape
Rob Schoonen wrote in 1992 in the art pages of the daily 'Brabants Nieuwsblad':
What Hanneke De Munck (1951) has to say to us is clear and impressive. With her, emotion comes first, but her dancers, angels and dragons tell that story more implicitly. They are beautiful statues, built up with fervour to a tradition that refers to e.g. Maillol's sculptures – though quite different – but at the same time are reminiscent of Van Hall or Van Pallandt. It is wonderful to see how De Munck goes on kneading, smoothing and pushing, and, at exactly the right moment, leaves the shape as it is, without losing herself into any 'nice touches', which indeed would mar the result. De Munck knows this - her statues prove it.
Emy Gomperts wrote in 1997:
Granite and dance were for Hanneke De Munck the sources of inspiration for the creation of a series of monumental sculptures. This group of statues consists of: Sirius, Werveldans (Swirl Dance), Vlinderdans (Butterfly Dance) and Spiraaldans (Spiral Dance).
When approaching the statues you will associate them with Stonehenge. The contours of the slabs, erected vertically in an open space carry you away in a timeless dance. Walking closer to the statues you'll see the effect of the interplay of lines on the smooth surfaces in the varying light. The heavy stones seem to become alive. The statues dance – as do many of Hanneke De Munck's sculptures. The dance represent freedom, and harmony with heaven and earth. De Munck's model is a dancer moving through her atelier to the music of different cultures. This lithe dance was caught in beautiful slabs of very old granite - crusts - rough on one side whereas the other side is smoothly sawn.
For this group Hanneke De Munck tooled grey and white granite, as well as green and red gneiss. The largest stones are 2.20 m high en 1.20 m wide. With their powerful swirling patterns the crystals of the red gneiss already suggest the movement of the dancer. The sculptures are particularly striking because of the contours that in one strong stroke form a shape within space. In the frontal saw-cut the design with cut-in lines is more subtle – these lines are reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The shallow relief, the result of working with different chisels, alternates with polished surfaces. Thus the character of the stone comes out optimally.
Solo-exposition in the GAK Building, Apeldoorn
Johan Bonekamp of GAK, Apeldoorn:
Hanneke De Munck, now living in Amsterdam, studied in The Hague at the Koninklijke Academie (Royal Academy) and in Amsterdam at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten (State Academy of Visual Arts). Since then she had countless expositions, e.g. in the Oude Kerk - Amsterdam, the 'Tongerlohuys' museum - Roosendaal, art shop Ina Broerse - Laren, 'Hoge Hees' - Eersel, 'Keukenhof' - Lisse and in the gardens of Mien Ruys - Dedemsvaart.
She works in a figurative manner, based on the classical tradition, with a universal symbolism in her own language of forms represented by human and animal figures. With her movement plays an essential role. She always succeeds in catching the strongest tension, the very moment of transition from one movement to the other, an point of articulation in which the figure is in perfect balance. Her angels just landed on the earth and will – maybe even while you look – move on, her eagles are on the verge of taking wing; with the dancers you'll have to wait a moment to see what they will do next – will it be a step or will they jump? The dragons are light and airy, they move between heaven and earth like lightning along the horizon. Other animal figures such as the bat convey an even more subtle movement: transformation.
To Hanneke De Munck angels, birds, dragons and dancers are symbols of spiritual energy. Everything represents an aspect of man finding the synthesis in the opposites and moves freely in the infinite universe.
For her statues in natural stone Hanneke De Munck carefully chooses the material with a feeling for the structure of the stone. The character of the stone must potentially contain the subject of the statue. The result is that she uses much varying types of stone. The drawings originate from the combined action with Peter de Haas, who works already many years as a dancing model for Hanneke De Munck. They form the basis for the statues. The gouaches later develop into individual works of art. The charcoal drawings and gouaches range from 30 x 40 to 100 x 200 cm.
Decathlon-Award (by order of Sara Lee / DE)
Carla Arendsen of Sara Lee wrote in the DE Magazine:
Via the Amsterdams Beeldhouwers Kollektief (Amsterdam Sculptors' Collective) Hanneke De Munck received the assignment to make a naturalistic statue of a pole-vaulter, about 20 cm high, with a rather rough surface. Together with her regular model she tries to catch the jump in 'slow motion'. She is looking for the very point in the jump where both the human being and the pole reach their moment of supreme power. In a library Hanneke finds a book on athletics where the jump is described step by step and with many photos. Then she makes the construction of the first design, finishing it in the presence of the model. After several telephone calls Hanneke succeeds in getting permission to attend to a training session of today's Dutch pole-vaulting champion, Laurens Looiens. During the training it becomes clear that the technique has been changed compared to the explanation given by the book she consulted - athletes nowadays do not jump with their arms bent (as they do in our logo), but stretched.
After studying many run-ups and jumps she makes a second construction out of thick brass wire, whereby she tries to secure the explosion of power with dark modelling wax.
Pole-vaulter, 1996, bronze, 20 cm high, on a Belgian freestone pedestal.