Page 13: 2017/2020 – MARKERS
January through February 2020 Ron Mandos Gallery in Amsterdam will show ten new perspectivist wall sculptures made from salvaged wood by Rotterdam based sculptor Ron van der Ende. The bas-reliefs were produced over a period of five years and are on display now for the first time.
The core of the exhibition is a rendition of five archeological finds from the soil of Rotterdam. Other subjects are landscapes, a truck covered in soap, a tribal mask, and a lambs rib. Each was chosen to mark the stages in an epic obstacle course designed to find new modes of expression.
Reverb/Decay (Transition 1) 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 119 x 218 x 13cm
Reverb/Decay is the first in a series of five reliefs based on archeological finds from the soil in and around the city of Rotterdam. They represent pots, dishes, and bottles that have been discarded throughout the history of human settlement in the area. All the original specimens come from the collection of Museum Rotterdam.
The works in the series are numbered Transition 1 through 5. The term Transition refers to their regular shapes, which are mathematically defined by a transition that is relative to a single axis.
The Reverb/Decay bas-relief is based on an albarello, an ointment jar, that dates from the sixteenth century. The glazed jar decorated with stripes and leaves was used as a starting point for intense experimentation with color and texture intended to make the work visually vibrate. The name is in reference to synthesizer equipment where the term can be found next to the buttons that regulate audio loops. “Reverb” regulates repetition within the loop and “Decay” regulates decline.
Superlotado (Transition 2) 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 124 x 145 x 17cm
Superlotado is the second in a series of five reliefs based on local archeological finds representing pots, dishes, and bottles.
The work is based on a ceramic cooking pot made around 1700. Pots like this were used all over the world throughout human history until within a short period of time they were all replaced with factory-made metal pans at some point in the 19th century.
Superlotado is a word from the Portuguese language meaning ‘full to the brim’. It signifies affluence and superabundance.
Flux (Transition 3) 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 173 x 107 x 11cm
Flux is the third in a series of five reliefs based on local archeological finds representing pots, dishes, and bottles.
Flux is based on a ‘starling pot’, a nesting pot, estimated to be from the 17th or 18th century. The color scheme revolves around oxblood red, pinks and greys.
The Blimp (Transition 4) 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 174 x 161 x 15cm
The Blimp is the fourth in a series of five reliefs based on local archeological finds representing pots, dishes, and bottles.
The work is based on a large storage jar from the fifteenth century. It is named for a type of inflatable airship in reference to its bulbous shape.
Floe (Transition 5) 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 170 x 85 x 12cm
Floe is the last in a series of five reliefs based on local archeological finds representing pots, dishes, and bottles.
Floe is based on an iridescent (wine or water) bottle from the second half of the eighteenth century. The word ‘floe’ is used for floating ice sheets in the polar regions.
Unterer Grindelwaldgletsjer [2013-2019]
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 149 x 183 x 11cm
The Unterer Grindelwaldgletsjer bas relief was based on postcards of this glacier in the Swiss Alps from around 1900. The Lower Grindelwald Glacier covered more than 20 km2 fifty years ago but today it is retreating rapidly.
The idea to do two landscapes in a rectangular shape occurred in 2013. In 2014 the bas-relief base shapes were produced. However, construction of the actual mosaic layers stalled until late 2018 because the artist first needed to develop his technique to emulate geological structures in a free-flowing way. The series of pots had been elemental in acquiring this skill.
Grand Canyon [2013-2019]
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 149 x 183 x 11cm
The cover of Arizona Highways magazine of February 1938 was the model for the Grand Canyon bas relief. The photo shows Emery Falls on Lake Mead in Arizona. Today Lake Mead is many miles away. The lake is manmade and formed after the completion of the Hoover Dam in 1935. Because of drought and increased demand for water the lake has been shrinking for decades. It is currently at 40% capacity.
Truck Wash 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 182 x 146 x 14cm
Truck Wash was based on a photo of a truck covered in soap. The image could be reconstructed in whites only pierced by some of the brighter colors allowing for a playful painterly approach to the subject.
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 99 x 212 x 13cm
Mediator is a new type of bas relief that lacks an emphasis on realism but instead focusses on an object resulting from a specific strategy.
In March 2019 Van der Ende paid a visit to artist Diet Wiegman in his Schiedam studio. He knew Wiegman to possess a collection of masks from around the globe, collected through the decades on auctions and flea-markets. The visit resulted in a series of photos of the back of these masks.
“I chose an African tribal mask as a starting point for the Mediator sculpture because it had an interesting shape and appearance. In all probability, it came from the Senufo culture in the region of Southern Mali, Northern Ivory Coast en Western Burkina Faso. Wiegman had bought this mask in an auction some 35 years ago, without any documentation. To try and reconnect it to its place of origin I collected street photos from the region and incorporated those into the work. The mosaic is executed in the strict color scheme of the local Bògòlanfini or ‘mudcloth’ technique, with dirty whites, red and yellow earth tones and black.”
The title Mediator comes from a quote from Pablo Picasso about his visit to the Trocadéro ethnographic museum in Paris in 1907, an occasion Picasso sees as the birth of modern art.
When I went to the old Trocadéro, it was disgusting. The Flea Market. The smell. I was all alone. I wanted to get away. But I didn’t leave. I stayed. I stayed. I understood that it was very important: something was happening to me, right?
The masks weren’t just like any other pieces of sculpture. Not at all. They were magic things. But why weren’t the Egyptian pieces or the Chaldean? We hadn’t realized it. Those were primitives, not magic things. The Negro pieces were intercesseurs, mediators; ever since then I’ve known the word in French. They were against everything—against unknown, threatening spirits. I always looked at fetishes. I understood; I too am against everything. I too believe that everything is unknown, that everything is an enemy! Everything!
(Picasso’s Mask, André Malraux, New York, 1976, p10-11)
Lambchop (Still Life 2) 
Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 189 x 112 x 14cm
Still Life 2 is a depiction of a lambs rib. It was originally envisioned as a partner for Still Life 1, a bas relief from 2010 depicting a rib-eye steak.
This new work is completely constructed out of one material: old roadside fencing painted in red and white blocks. It was bought as one large batch but it holds many different colors of red and white faded and weathered to various degrees.