Contemporary Drawings. Acquisition Presentation

Paul Noble, Ye Olde Ruin, 2003-2004, graphite, Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Paul Noble, Ye Olde Ruin, 2003-2004, graphite, Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Acquisition Presentation
Contemporary Drawings

20 February - 9 May 2010

For the third time Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is reflecting on its own collection in public. On this occasion it is the turn of national and international contemporary drawings. In the light of recent acquisitions and loans the museum is formulating guidelines for the future.

The presentation contains recent acquisitions of contemporary drawings. There are some eighty drawings by national and international artists, among them Paul Noble, Luc Tuymans, Hans de Wit, Ronald Cornelissen, Paul van der Eerden, Oscar de las Flores, Peter Feiler, Ewoud van Rijn, Krijn de Koning and Charles Avery. Most of the drawings have not been shown in the museum before.

Reassessment of the medium
Until the last century drawings, in the form of sketches or preliminary studies, were used mainly in the making of other works of art. Over the course of the twentieth century drawing became an art form in its own right that differed from other disciplines in the directness of the technique. A draughtsman is not able to repeat or disguise anything, whereas a painter or sculptor can make endless improvements. Luc Tuymans’s ‘sous main’, which depicts a drawn hand, symbolizes this direct relationship between body and mind.
In the mid-1990s major artists elected to concentrate on drawing, experimenting with various materials and techniques. Egg, a work by Paul Noble drawn on a two metre high egg-shaped sculpture, is just one example. Since then drawing has no longer been automatically associated with pencil on paper.

Startling universes
This acquisition presentation focuses on the narrative and figurative side of contemporary drawing. Some of the artists have been inspired by comics and literature. Fabulous, terrifying and mysterious parallel universes are depicted on huge sheets of paper, in works like Ewoud van Rijn’s dark fantasy worlds. In some cases these alternative world views can be interpreted as a commentary on modern society.

Expanding Collection Two
Collection Two, the present installation from the permanent collection, features art up to 1945. This selection focuses on prints and drawings, a hundred and fifty of which are being shown. The acquisition presentation of contemporary drawings is a fine addition to it. It is the third and last of a series in which the museum is formulating guidelines for its own collection.