Maartin Baas Grandfather Clock – The Father

maartin baas grandfather clock iiihih

The Maartin Baas Grandfather Clock – The Father is unusual take on the classic Grandfather clock, and on time itself. It’s the latest addition to the Dutch artist’s’ Real Time series of uniquely designed and engaging clocks (which includes the specially commissioned Schiphol Clock for Amsterdam’s international airport).

Maartin Baas Grandfather Clock

An artist who combines conceptual thinking with craftsmanship and performance in his art installations, Baas’ dramatic works often require participation of the viewer. His 2018 Grandfather Clock – The Father is a digitally operated brass and bronze piece of art that asks one to lose themselves in its intimate drama for 60 seconds as time flies around them.


An engaging mix of raw simplicity and conceptual performance, Grandfather Clock – The Father is simultaneously humorous and mysterious.


On the translucent clock face where one would expect the hands to tick off the minutes, is an elderly man living within the clock itself, constantly drawing and redrawing the correct time onto the inside of the clock face.

maartin baas the grandfather clock the father

The tireless performance of this “grandfather” doesn’t give away any clues as to whether he is enslaved by time, or dictating it. Whatever his motivations, his task seems Sisyphean in nature, as without fail each of his efforts are erased 60 seconds later. This conception makes us acutely aware of the passage of time while reinforcing the fact that time is a human invention.


This 12-hour digital performance is housed within a brass and bronze body whose silhouette is that of a classic wooden grandfather clock. A brass key placed in the locked door of the clock is a teasing invitation to the mystery of what lies within. Is it the grandfather’s body? A swinging pendulum? We may never know.


Maartin Baas

maartin baas grandfather clock on IIHIH 700

Limited edition of 8 + 4 ap
Brass, bronze, digital equipment
CM H: 221 W: 45 L: 65
IN H: 87 W: 17.7 L: 25.6

Enquire about purchasing the clock here at Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery