Het Wiel, Jeroen Henneman, 1996
A wheel must turn and money must roll in
The artist Jeroen Henneman was born in Haarlem and lives in Amsterdam. When he takes his car to go visit his home ground it is not unthinkable that he drives past the tax office at the A10, on top of which is his artwork Het Wiel (the wheel). From the driver’s seat he’d be able to glimpse his own work, briefly indeed for he shouldn’t keep his eyes off the road for too long. But even a glimpse is enough to see the perfectly shaped minimalist piece of work, a nine-metre high wire frame of a disc with an axis. The perspective was chosen by the artist, the viewer determines the angle.
Down here looking up there is more time to really see the work. Right underneath the centre of Het Wiel there seems to be a fold in the glass and steel of the building, as if the building itself was made to look like one of those letters coming from a blue envelope. Through the centre of the wheel and the fold in the structure of the building the two become more closely linked than you noticed at first sight.
Another link was established between the work and the tax office. In the early 1990s Henneman made a series of drawings in steel which he called Staande tekeningen (standing drawings). He made steel drawings of a reading light, two bricks, pencil and paper, a cardboard box, and various wheels. Some wheels are off-centred, leaning on their axis like a spinning top at rest. Others are upright and show a tread pattern as if once belonging to a cyclo-cross bicycle. Henneman himself always speaks about wheels when it comes to these pieces. But from 1996 onward, the year his work on top of the tax office was installed, his commissioners have been calling them ‘coins’. It isn’t entirely clear whether Henneman agrees on this new interpretation, but what would you do… his money must roll in too after all.
Henneman, Jeroen (1991) Werken op papier – objecten. Roermond: Galerie Wansink