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'Rider' Arthur Spronken

'Rider' Arthur Spronken

Arthur Jan Elisa Spronken (Beek 1930 -2018 Sitard) is one of the Netherlands' most famous sculptors. In his youth, Spronken was influenced by the horse hobby of his father (cigar manufacturer and breeder) and grandfather (horse dealer), as well as by the sculptor Paul Schmalbach. He was prepared for trade, but eventually went to the Applied Arts School in Maastricht, where he was taught by Charles Vos and Harry Koolen. After this study, he completed an internship at the Accademia di belle Arti di Brera with, among others, Marino Marini, a specialist in the field of horses in sculpture. In Italy he studied statues in Florence by Michelangelo and Donatello and in the Vatican Museums, including the Belvedere torso. Back in the Netherlands, Spronken settled in Beek, together with the Finnish artist Varpu Tikanoja (1928-1983), whom he had met in Milan.

Once back in the Netherlands, Spronken initially mainly made religious figures from wood, then switched to bronze around 1961. In addition to his abstract masterpieces, Spronken was also an authority on the theme of 'horsewoman and her horse'. These figurative images often focus on the dynamics of bodies, dancers and later horse torsos. The expressive sculptor alternated periods of intense work with periods of rest and reflection. He developed his own visual language and often worked on several images at the same time for years.

In his work, Spronken searches for the essence of humans and animals. There is little peace to be found in the distortions he applies. The almost fragmented images are constantly in motion and therefore have a certain tension that is specific to Spronken.

Many of his sculptures can be found in public spaces across the country. In 1964 he was given an individual exhibition in the Frans Hals Museum. In 1996, a retrospective exhibition took place in Scheveningen in the Beelden aan Zee museum.

Arthur Spronken and Varpu Tikanoja had four daughters, including the artists Siiri Spronken, Arja Spronken, Kore Spronken and a son Caius Spronken. Later, after Varpu's death, he lived with sculptor Francesca Zijlstra. He made many monumental sculptures on his own estate in the hamlet of Kelmond near Beek.

1975-Amazone-Assen
1973-Amazone-Assen
Plastiek voor gemeentehuis Eindhoven
Plastic for town hall, Eindhoven
Julius Sulway-Moreelse park Utrecht 
Julius Sulway-Moreelse park Utrecht
1975-Kop Athur van Schendel
1975-Kop Athur van Schendel
Paard
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