Xander Spronken was born in Maastricht, Holland in 1956 and studied sculpture at the Stadsacademie in Maastricht and design at the Fachhochschule in Aachen, Germany. Spronken’s sculpture finds its genesis in the application of Cubist ideas to iron as found in the work of Julio Gonzalez created following the Second World War.
Unlike his predecessors, Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida, who transformed iron into a means of artistic expression, Xander is a smith and intimately understands his medium. Spronken’s subject derives from nature with vegetal imagery being his point of departure in his monolithic sculptures where he manages to animate the negative space or volume which has the same value as the positive mass.
Spronken’s sense of responsibility toward the environment and nature is rooted in Bauhaus design and the architectural concerns of the De Stijl. Thus, it is not surprising to learn that he is also a master of furniture design and its fabrication in steel. More recently he has produced a series of “iron plate” reliefs enhanced with paint.