Sol Calero for Sensory Spaces 15

From 13 October

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The first solo exhibition in the Netherlands by Sol Calero opens at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen on 13 October. The installation that Calero has created for the museum will be the tailpiece of the ‘Sensory Spaces’ series, which was initiated in 2013.

With her colourful, space-filling installations that are causing a furore around the globe, Sol Calero is a rising star in the art world. For her first solo exhibition in the Netherlands she is creating an installation with the title ‘El Patio’. Calero’s work tackles the complex Latin American identity and people’s stereotypical impression of it. She tries to disentangle cultural clichés and offers an alternative for the Western perspective on the history of art.

Sol Calero

The Venezuelan artist Sol Calero (b. Caracas, 1982) fled to Europe with her family at the age of 17. She decided to scrutinize the history of Latin America in her artistic work. Calero currently lives in Berlin and is conducting research into syncretism: the phenomenon of blending one culture with another, whether spontaneous or imposed. Pivotal in this regard is Calero’s fascination with the Renaissance and the Baroque, and the influence that these schools have exerted on Latin American art. With its extensive collection of historical art, including masterpieces by Baroque masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen offers Calero ample points of departure to explore this subject in greater depth.

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Sol Calero's 'Amazonas Shopping Center' in the Hamburger Bahnhof in 2017. Photo: Trevor Good.

Institutions from around the world have invited Sol Calero to present her projects. This year she has already shown her work at Kunstverein Düsseldorf, at the FIAC in Paris and at Kunsthalle Lissabon, while next year she will be exhibiting at Tate Liverpool and elsewhere. In 2017, Sol Calero was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie and was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize.

‘El Patio’

For Sensory Spaces at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Calero is keen to create a colourful meeting place for museum visitors. During her travels through the Andes she noticed to what extent the patio has permeated Latin American culture. It is where people come together to live and exchange ideas. You could almost forget that the Spaniards introduced this icon of colonial architecture into the ‘New World’. Calero investigates syncretism in colours and patterns, as well as in architecture. That is how she searches for an alternative to the Western perspective on the history of art. ‘I have always regarded my practice as a means to reaffirm a non-Western understanding of art,’ says Calero. ‘I’ve achieved that by focussing attention on folklore, craftsmanship, handicraft and decoration as sources of aesthetic style and knowledge’. In ‘El Patio’ she approaches syncretism in a more abstract way, with power and influence being represented in painting and architecture. 


To quote Saskia van Kampen-Prein, the museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art and curator of this presentation: ‘Calero’s colourful installations look playful, frivolous and exotic, but appearances are deceptive; all the forms, colours and patterns are related to the complex Latin American identity and its social and political history.’

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Sol Calero, 'El Patio', Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photo's : Hans Wilschut.

Sensory Spaces

Sensory Spaces is the title of a series of solo exhibitions in the Willem van der Vorm Gallery, the exhibition space in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s entrance foyer that is free to enter. For each edition an artist was invited to take full advantage of this space. Sensory Spaces was launched in 2013 and has hosted presentations by Oscar Tuazon, Sabine Hornig, Elad Lassry, Liu Wei, Siobhán Hapaska, Sara VanDerBeek, Aleksandra Domanovic, Mike Nelson, Beni Bischof, Olaf Nicolai, Raphael Hefti, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Anne Hardy and Latifa Echakhch. Sol Calero’s installation is the 15th and final presentation in the series.

The museum is compiling a publication about the complete Sensory Spaces series, which will be presented in January 2019. For further information about this series of presentations, visit


The Sensory Spaces series has been generously supported by Ammodo.

About Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The world-renowned art collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has over the span of 170 years expanded to more than 151,000 artefacts, which includes some 63,000 paintings, photos, films, pre-industrial design and design objects, contemporary art installations and sculptures, as well as 88,000 prints and drawings.

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