Machteld Wijlacker with DOK in the Serra gallery

Machteld Wijlacker (1966), DOCK, 2011, Installation of wreckage and demolition wood Photo: Peter Bak, 2011 Courtesy: the artist

Press release

Machteld Wijlacker
2 July - 24 September 2011

One of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s most fascinating and complex spaces is the gallery in which Richard Serra erected his steel walls in the 1980s. In the exhibition ‘DOCK’ Machteld (Max) Wijlacker takes on the challenge of making a new work in this space. She has created a monumental, rhythmic and layered installation from carefully selected salvaged wood.

Machteld Wijlacker has created a sort of city from driftwood and weathered materials. It represents the experiences of someone walking through a large city: the commotion, the megalomaniac architecture and the whirlwinds. Her ‘city’ is made up of a sort of palisade, which the visitor moves between and under. Wijlacker has attempted to create an installation in which visitors can lose themselves.

‘This installation is a direct confrontation with Waxing Arcs by Richard Serra. The sobriety of the steel against the variety of the wood. A meeting of different colours and weathered textures.’ The Serra gallery, on the museum’s street side, functions like a mirror for the city. Wijlacker is interested in how she can alter this space by placing a large-scale object within it.

Machteld Wijlacker
Machteld Wijlacker (Maassluis, 1966) grew up on the coast. She wandered along the beach from an early age. It was natural for her to start collecting driftwood and making assemblages from it. In her compositions she combines these found materials into a new whole. Wijlacker studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and has been practicing as an artist since 1996.

Waxing Arcs
The Minimalist artist Richard Serra (1939) made the monumental sculpture Waxing Arcs specially for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 1980. The freestanding steel walls are identical in form and length, even though this is not initially apparent because one arc encloses a corner, while the other cuts into the space.