Boijmans this Summer: A Platform for Contemporary Art

26 APRIL 2017
The highlights in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen this summer (24 June– 24 September 2017) will be exhibitions of work by international contemporary artists including Richard Serra, Zijlmans & Jongenelis, Gunnel Wåhlstrand and Raphael Hefti. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has traditionally provided a platform for trend-setting contemporary artists to make their work known to a broad Dutch public.

Richard Serra - Recent Drawings

The American artist Richard Serra (San Francisco 1938) is known above all for his huge steel sculptures that appear to transform and even disrupt the space around them, like Waxing Arcs (1980), the work in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection. Now, though, another aspect of his work is highlighted. The museum is showing eighty recent drawings by Serra. Uniquely, he made the series Rotterdam Horizontals and Rotterdam Verticals especially for this exhibition. They can only be seen in Rotterdam. The drawings, along with sketchbooks never exhibited before, are a perfect entrée to the artist’s approach and his motives.

The Magnetic North & The Idea of Freedom
Sylvie Zijlmans (Geertruidenberg 1964) and Hewald Jongenelis (Etten-Leur 1962) make everyday life in a suburb of a sprawling Dutch town into a metaphor of the times. The Defector, The Swindler and The Spendthrift. Are these illustrious people with names as omens? The Conservator who cannot resist change: linguistic misunderstandings at a juncture when reality outdoes fiction at every turn. An artwork inspired by local issues that could have landed anywhere at the same time. Does everything have to remain the same forever? What is full? Who should go? Every parallel with existing events is based on chance. Films of the performances, in which a series of topical, bizarre phenomena occur, are directed in detail. The sound is so clear you can almost touch it.

Boijmans is also showing The Idea of Freedom, video art by this duo in its own collection. A man pushes a car along a country road. The doors continually open and close while rubbish is thrown from the car. It slowly disappears from view and leaves behind a trail of litter: the licence many take to throw out everything, unfiltered, and break into someone else’s universe with uncalled for, uninteresting and unfounded things.

Gunnel Wåhlstrand
The museum presents the first European solo exhibition of work by the Swedish artist Gunnel Wåhlstrand (Uppsala 1974). Wåhlstrand makes extremely realistic paintings of monumental landscapes, compelling portraits and serene interiors with intriguing compositions. For her paintings she uses different kinds of black ink and different kinds of impressively large pieces of paper. Each work takes months to complete. The ink washes are applied in successive layers; the image is formed slowly, like developing a photograph. The starting point for Wåhlstrand’s work was a box of family photographs – the only link she had with her father while she was growing up. To fill this need she began to use these photographs: by enlarging the image and filling in missing details she got the feeling that she was coming close to her subject. In this way she slowly expanded her oeuvre; her attention has now shifted to panoramic coastal landscapes, typically Swedish, but at the same time universal.

The exhibition features 23 works by Wåhlstrand – early as well as very recent work. Gunnel Wåhlstrand is staged in collaboration with Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, Sweden.

Sensory Spaces #11 – Raphael Hefti
Raphael Hefti (Switzerland 1977), who lives and works in London and Zurich, presents a site-specific installation for the eleventh edition of Sensory Spaces. Hefti’s work is experimental, he breaks apart chemical and technical processes with industrial material to the maximum to discover new things. His work cuts through everything, through nature and industry, through abstraction and figuration. For this presentation he is making a space-filling installation with black sand and melted zinc.

And there’s more...

The Collection as a Time Machine
In the collection rehang, The Collection as a Time Machine, the accent also lies on art from after 1945. Emeritus professor and artist Carel Blotkamp has designed a new layout he hopes will tempt visitors to spend longer looking at artworks. ‘I want to encourage slow watching.’ The idea behind this collection change is that old and modern art, well-known and unknown artworks confront one another. There is room for lesser-known works in the collection. The presentation includes great names like Mark Rothko, Pyke Koch, Donald Judd and Paul Cézanne, but also features less familiar names artists like Suze Robertson and Kees Timmer. Blotkamp’s rehang puts the museum’s masterpieces in a new light and brings a number of treasures out of the depot and into the galleries.

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