On Art

The Space between the Choice, by Anjet van Linge

Anjet van Linge is an expert at remaining still. She and her husband manage a small working farm in the remote north of the Netherlands, along the North Sea. The farm also serves as a retreat, where Van Linge hosts organizations undertaking major transitions and guides them through reflective exercises. Working with challenging group dynamics, she encourages people to find internal stillness, leading to more reflective collective action. Van Linge seeks to effect a similar transformation as an artist, fostering transformation through quiet encounters with geometric blocks of Irish or Belgian stone, which she installs in the landscape and in the barn that serves as her studio. Michelangelo emphasized the need to emancipate forms from their blocks; for Van Linge, the blocks themselves are the essential forms. Rather than wielding her hammer and chisel to disclose twisting and turning forms beneath the surface, she studies the surface itself for rhythms, like a navigator studying silent ripples on the ocean’s face to trace the currents. Viewers are invited into what she calls, in the title of one of her recent works, “the space between the choice,” in which every stroke of the chisel—however slight and similar to the last—must be deliberate.