Exhibitions — September 24, 2021

Museum Beelden aan Zee — Maura Biava

Spinning the stars

During her residency in Curaçao in 2020, Maura Biava focused her research on the star shape, which she had already studied briefly in 2014, in her work Hypotrochoid or Albrecht Dürer & Apion or Giordano Riccati. For this first series, she started with a soft-serve ice cream cone, where the ice cream is dispensed through a special nozzle in an attractive star shape. The artist continues this theme in Spinning the Stars. She observed that many animals and plants in the natural world, such as a starfish, the cross-section of a cactus, many flowers, and sea anemones, in essence, all have the same basic shape.

‘In our visible reality, the world is filled with star shapes: many diatoms and microscopic forms are determined by mathematical formulas with a star as a graphic representation,’ — Biava wants to show that the world functions according to a complex system largely determined by hidden mathematical rules. This forms the consciousness of the world of which we are but a part.

For Biava, the search for a meaningful understanding of how the world is put together has led to the development of a practice in which the work of art and the creative process are equal and thus should be so presented. This mathematical and philosophical study of the star shape has resulted in a poetic landscape in the Kabinet room in the Museum Beelden aan Zee, an ode to the star. As-yet-unfinished sculptures are held up in the hands of the artist near the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Alongside are sculptures of white cacti and installations containing ceramic flowers and starfish. The visitor is invited to wander around and wonder at the order in the natural world. This is nature as analysed by Biava, deconstructed into its basic elements, and then re-ordered. Only in the subtle, somewhat artificial nature of this world is it evident that it has passed through the hands of the artist and totally became her own creation.


Museum Beelden aan Zee
Harteveltstraat 1
2586 EL Den Haag

Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm

go to the museum’s website