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The Almere Collection 10

Jan van Munster, De Energienaald (The Energy Needle, 1984/1985)

The Energy Needle by Jan van Munster can be seen from far. Day or night, from the city center or the highway: the Energy Needle functions as an orientation point that stands, with its 55 meters, out from the polder landscape. The vertical line confronts the horizontal lines that are typical for the polder. The needle of Cortenstaal and the white light in the top function as a lighthouse for the city of Almere.

The Energy Needle was designed by Jan van Munster in 1986 to be placed on the Leeuwardenplein in Almere Stad. The artwork marked the lowest area of the city. Jan van Munster contributed with his Energy Needle to the highest point. It was decided to move the needle to the Bankierbaan after it started to sway in heavy winds. It received its current position because the city center was being rebuilt.

Mystic connotation of the object
Energy forms a leitmotiv in the art of Jan van Munster – a theme he visualizes in many forms. For example, some of his works make the onlookers able to actually feel cold or heat. Light is also an important material for the artist. “For me, light is not only a visual impression, but more specifically the invisible energy that it’s loaded with. This concerns the mystic connotation of the object, that is recognizable by a kind of closeness. A special arrangement of the elements causes the inside to come out. This creates tension, a radiation in space, in which the light explodes.
Like other Dutch artists in the sixties and seventies, for example Marinus Boezem and Ad Dekkers, Jan van Munster started to search for new materials and forms. They had a more conceptual approach and often used abstract forms instead of recognizable, figurative sculptures of bronze.

Nicoline Wijnja

Jan van Munster, 1939 – Gorinchem, the Netherdlands
De Energienaald (The Energy Needle, 1984/1985)
55 meters, cortenstaal and neon light
Commissioned in 1983, State authority for the IJsselmeerpolders
The Almere Collection / Museum De Paviljoens
Location: Zuidoever Weerwater

1. Jan van Munster in the catalogue Paper for Space, 1977, cited in: Jan van Munster, Paul Hefting, Rotterdam 1979, p.2.