Dutch artist Tom Claassen (1964) has been active in the arts both nationally and internationally for more than 25 years. He is primarily known for his pieces created for public venues – not only in the art circuit, but also by the public at large. Almost everyone has seen his family of elephants along the A6 motorway in Almere or has stumbled across his two enormous sitting men at Schiphol Airport.

Claassen’s work is often positioned along the border between culture and nature and is firmly rooted in the sculpture tradition, while at the same time featuring an original, playful and personal touch. His works in public spaces, like the elephants, sparrows donning pearl necklaces in Haarlem and drooling dog in a Tilburg park, are endearing, in spite of their enormity. It is precisely this extreme magnification that creates an interruption in the landscape or urban cityscape, while the often soft and rounded shapes and awkwardness of the animal with its own weight invite us to caress them. But this proves to be deceitful, since the material that looks so soft and inviting is actually bronze. Likewise, those sculptures that appear hard and uninviting to the touch turn out to be made of rubber.

The work of Tom Claassen can also be found in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Museum Beelden aan Zee in Scheveningen, and the Gateway Foundation in St. Louise, USA.

 

Education

1984-1989 St.Joost, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Breda, The Netherlands

 

Awards

1994 Charlotte Köhler Award

1993 Incentive Price, Stichting Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Amsterdam

1992 Prix de Rome

 

Solo exhibitions

2014

Stedelijk Museum Kampen, The Netherlands

2011

Tom Claassen, Coda Museum Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Tom Claassen, Eek & Ruijgrok, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

2010

Tom Claassen – Onnimals, Kristiansand Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Norway

Tom Claassen – Retrospectief, Kunsthal Kade, Amersfoort, The Netherlands

2009

Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

2007

Sabic Europe, Sittard, The Netherlands

2006

Beelden, Kunstfort, Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands

2005

Rosarium, Winschoten, The Netherlands

2004

Rocky Lumbs, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

2003

Maliebeeld, Den Haag, The Netherlands

2002

Galerie Olaf Stüber, Berlin, Germany

2001

Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Hülle, Museum Kranenburg, Germany

1999

In the wasteland, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim, Germany

Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Vereniging van het S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium

1997

Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Bergkerk, Deventer, The Netherlands

Exposorium VU, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1994

Car Crash, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1992

De Loods, Breda, The Netherlands

1991

Lokaal 01, Breda, The Netherlands

1990

Adrian Wulfse Startgalerie, Stichting Het Museum, Amersfoort, The Netherlands

 

 

Group exhibitions

2014

Luchtkastelen op Sypesteyn, nestkasten & vogelhuizen van hedendaagse kunstenaars, Kasteel-Museum Sypesteyn, Loosdrecht, The Netherlands

2013

Beeldig Hof ter Saksen 12: ab homine creatum, Park Hof ter Saksen, Beveren, The Netherlands

2012

Group Show, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2011

Tast-Zin, Arti et Amicitae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Atelier, De Vishal, Haarlem, The Netherlands

De proloog, Piet Hein Eek, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

2010

Beeld Hal Werk, Amsterdam Noord, The Netherlands

Floor Corner Wall: Selected Work from the Rachofsky Collection, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Dallas, USA

2009

Art Zuid (Internationale Sculptuurroute Amsterdam 2009), Apollolaan, Minervalaan, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2008

Antwerp Sculpture Show, Lokaal 01, Antwerp, Belgium

Kort is de tijd, en onherroepelijk, Beeldenpark Vijversburg, Tytsjerk, The Netherlands

2007

A selection from the collection of contemporary art, Kroller Muller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands

Group show with Gallery Artists, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Veertig jaar kunstbeleid op de VU, Exposorium VU, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Twintig Beelden, Exposorium Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Shelter; Tenten, hutten en andere schuilplaatsen, Museum de Fundatie/ Kasteel Het Nijenhis, Heino/ Wijhe, The Netherlands

2006

Group Show with Gallery Artists, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

TPG Post Modern: Een keuze uit de collectie, Maliebeeld, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Beaufort 2006, Middelkerke-Westende, Belgium

Beesten in de bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2005

Territoria, Prato and the Bisenzio Valley, Italy

H x B x D: The Rabobank Art Collection, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Nog nooit vertoond, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

De Paleistuin, Den Haag Sculptuur, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Kind en Kunst V, Coda Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Kus, Kunst uit de stad, Breda, The Netherlands

2004

Skulptur. Prekärer Realismus Zwischen Melancholie und Komik, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Vloedwerk, Stichting Beeldende Kunst Manifestatie, Heemskerk, The Netherlands

Body Talk, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen, The Netherlands

Den Haag Sculptuur 2004: Giganten, Europese Spraakmakers, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Bestiae Animatae, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

2003

Group show – New work by Gallery Artists, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Passie in Beeld, ruimtelijk werk uit de collectie van de Nederlandse Bank, Maliebeeld, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Hof van Heden, Hortus Haren, Haren, The Netherlands

Gnome Sweet Gnome, Keukenhof, Lisse, The Netherlands

De grote verbeelding, Grote Kerk, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Vitrine op De Strip, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands

Bergkerk Museum Beelden aan Zee, Deventer, The Netherlands

2002

Group Show, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Een Keuze, Aanwinsten 2001, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Contemporary Art from The Netherlands, European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2001

Sculpture avenue Foch, Le Havre, France

Floating Time, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

Figures Libres, FRAC, Frache-Comté, Vesoul, France

2000

Save the Gnome (Curated by Sven Lütticken and Reinout Rutte), Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Summer Show with artists from the gallery, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Group Show, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Over the edges- Op de hoeken van Gent, S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium

Wereldexpo, Hannover, Germany

Lustwarande. Pleasure Garden, De Oude Warande, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Mythos Wasser, Gerhard Marcks-Haus, Bremen, Germany

De Appel van Newton, Lokaal 01, Breda, The Netherlands

1999

Ruimtelijk werk in het bezit van Art&Project, Rijksmuseum Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Tom Claassen, ACHK De Paviljoens, Almere, The Netherlands

Serendipity (The Borders of Europe), Watou, Belgium

Panorama 2000, Dom, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Glad IJs, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1998

The Nature of Man, Konsthall Lund, Sweden

Mutatis Mutandis, Boerenkerk, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Förderkoje, Solo presentation Art Cologne, Köln, Germany

Beelden voor het stadserf, Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, The Netherlands

1997

De Steen Vliegt – Beeldende verkenningen geinspireerd door Spinoza, Arti en Amicitae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Take 3, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlandse

Bergkerk, Deventer, The Netherlands

Zomergasten. Aanwinsten Collectie hedendaagse Kunst, Noord-Brabants Museum, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

1996

De Muze als Motor, Beeldende Kunst in Brabant 1945-1996, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Dutch entry for 23th Biennal, Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil

Genuine Fiction (the real thing), W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1995

Summer Show, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Group Show, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

De Opstand der Dingen, CBK Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Raw Material, Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands

Scanning Sculpture, Artis, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

Opname, Ignatius Ziekenhuis, Breda, The Netherlands

Aankopen Stadscollectie Breda 1991-1994, Breda, The Netherlands

Tom Claassen (With Rineke Dijkstra), Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4th Biennal of Instanbul, Instanbul, Turkey

1994

Voorwaar, De Garage, Hoorn, The Netherlands

De Cilinder, in het kader van de reeks zomerbeelden, Culturele Raad Goes, Goes, The Netherlands

Art Hotel, Galerie Fons Welters at Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Het Grote Gedicht. Nederlandse Beeldhouwkunst 1945-1994, Grote Kerk, Den Haag, The Netherlands

1993

Art Contemporain, Stand Galerie Fons Welters, Art Fair Brussels, The Netherlands

Reis naar het einde van het atelier, Lokaal 01, Breda, The Netherlands

Coulissen, Park Wolfslaar, Breda, The Netherlands

1992

Peiling 92, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Prix de Rome, Beeldhouwen/ Beeldende Kunst en Openbaarheid, Museum Fodor, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Multiple Difference, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1991

UMSONST, Lighthouse-IBK, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

1989

Start 89, Centraal Beheer, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Zomeropstelling, Galerie Seegeren, Breda, The Netherlands

 

 

Commissions

Gemeente Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands

Gemeente Groningen, The Netherlands

Heijmans bv, Rosmalen, The Netherlands

Gemeente Groningen, The Netherlands

Gemeente Almelo, The Netherlands

Anningahof, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Stadsdeel IJburg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Verpleeghuis Atlant/ de Heemhof, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Nederlandse Postkantoren BV, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Rijkswaterstaat, Almere, The Netherlands

P.C.N., Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Kunsthal Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Stichting Amarant, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Stichting de Zonnehof, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Gemeente Vlaardingen, The Netherlands

Stichting Mesos Medisch Centrum, The Netherlands

Gemeente Utrecht, The Netherlands

Gemeente Almere, The Netherlands

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Gemeente Den Haag, The Netherlands

Gemeente Harderwijk, The Netherlands

Gemeente Breda, The Netherlands

Gemeente Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Ahold BV, The Netherlands

 

 

Collections

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Achmea Kunstcollectie, Tilburg, The Netherlands

FRAC France – Comte – Dole

Gateway Foundation, St Louis, United States

Bouwfonds, Hoevelaken, The Netherlands

Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, The Netherlands

ABN AMRO Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rabobank Nederland, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

KPN Kunstcollectie, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen, The Netherlands

Stadscollectie Gemeente Breda, The Netherlands

Nederlandse Textiel Museum, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Noord-Brabants Museum, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands

The Rachofsky Collection. Dallas, USA