Minimal Myth

Carl Andre, Forty-Ninth Steel Cardinal, 1974, Loan: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed 1979

Press release

Minimal Myth
2 June - 16 September 2012

This summer the museum is exhibiting a selection from its own collection of Minimal art and works by the Dutch Nul group from the 1960s and 1970s alongside related work by contemporary artists. Icons such as Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Jan Schoonhoven and Ad Dekkers will be exhibited in relation to contemporary artists. The exhibition has been selected by Francesco Stocchi, the museum’s senior curator of modern and contemporary art.

Major works from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be shown in the museum’s main Bodon Gallery, together with works by contemporary artists. The Bodon Gallery opened in 1972 with the express purpose of providing space for large installations by artists living and working at that time. The exhibition attempts to explore the legacy of Minimal art by confronting works by contemporary artists with that of their forebears. The exhibition features sculptures, paintings, prints, drawings and photography.

Changing significance

‘Minimal Myth’ juxtaposes the work of two generations, but avoids a historical perspective. The artists start with common interests, but differ in their intentions. The selected works highlight contradictions: a theoretical versus emotional approach, regularity versus irregularity, objectivity versus subjectivity, attention to detail versus an overall vision. There is also an emphasis on the way in which geometric abstraction has changed from one generation to the next.

The same, yet different

Artists in the 1960s and 1970s, for example, would use machinery in the production process to keep their work as objective as possible, whereas contemporary artists are not at all bothered about revealing their own personality in their art. At first glance Minimalist icons such as Carl Andre, Mel Bochner and Jan Schoonhoven seem to share the same interests as the contemporary artists, but the exhibition shows that the two generations have different approaches.

First foreign curator
Italian Francesco Stocchi joined Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s team of curators on 1 January; he is responsible for modern and contemporary art. Stocchi has been active for several years as a curator, writer and publisher.


The participating artists are Ben Akkerman, Carl Andre, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Larry Bell, Mel Bochner, Nicola Carrino, Marieta Chirulescu, Chris Cornish, Ad Dekkers, Ger van Elk, Dan Flavin, Lydia Gifford, Raphael Hefti, Martijn Hendriks, Nathan Hylden, Donald Judd, Nicholas Knight, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, François Morellet, Robert Morris, Marc Nagtzaam, Kenneth Noland, Nick Oberthaler, Tomas Rajlich, Kilian Rüthemann, Jan Schoonhoven, Monika Sosnowska, Peter Struycken, Oscar Tuazon, Giuseppe Uncini and Ned Vena.