A Rehang of the Collection

Joan Miró, Monsieur et Madame, 1969. Purchase: 1976, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Daan van Golden, Fats Domino, 1973-1974. Transfer Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam 1990, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Roy Lichtenstein, Mirror No.4, 1970. Purchase: 1971, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Andy Warhol, The Kiss (Bela Lugosi), 1963. Purchase: 1993, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, 1954. Purchase: 1968, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Donald Judd, Galvanized Iron 17 January 1973, 1973. Purchase Fonds W. van Rede 1979, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Jan Schoonhoven, Square relief, 3rd conception, 1967. Purchase: 1968, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen


A Rehang of the Collection
14 April 2016


In May a number of Surrealist masterpieces from the collection are travelling to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and will temporarily be unavailable to view. From 4 June works by René Magritte and Salvador Dalí will appear in Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous in Edinburgh.

Part of the display of the Boijmans collection is being reorganized: on 16 April four galleries re-open with a completely new layout. One presents abstract trends within Surrealism, with work by Yves Tanguy, Francis Picabia and others. For a long time there have also been three galleries totally devoted to post-war developments – they shed light on abstraction in the Europe of the 1950s, image and representation in Pop Art and systems and structures relating to Minimal Art and the Dutch Nul Group.

Instead of the emphasis on figurative work by Dalí and Magritte, the rehang focuses on Surrealist experiments with form. The Frenchman Yves Tanguy was not alone in painting amorphous shapes in his landscapes; amorphous figures appeared in paintings by the Dutch artists Joop Moesman and Piet Ouborg at around the same time. The new acquisition, a ‘word painting’ by Magritte, will be shown with works by Unica Zürn and Francis Picabia.

The last three galleries displaying the collection trace relevant developments in post-war art. In the early 1960s Boijmans purchased abstract works, chiefly by European artists, including Lucio Fontana and Antoni Tàpies. Their work will be combined with an unusual relief by the American artist Lee Bontecou.

The second room is devoted to experiments with image and representation. In the 1960s artists in the United States and Europe looked at the pictorial language and symbolism of contemporary popular culture. Some parodied the consumer society with its relentless tide of new products and trends. Others, like Andy Warhol, went about it more subtly. In his work he refers to the image carrier (photography in newspapers and magazines) and to the effect of the mass production of images.

In the last and largest gallery the focus is on American and European representatives of Minimal Art and the Dutch Nul Group. A new visual language centred on structures was developed in reaction to abstract Expressionism. Artists cut out all non-essential components from their art and concentrated on basic elements like surface, scale and colour. They used industrial materials and techniques to rid their work of emotion and distance themselves from any form of irksome subjectivity. With so much to see, plan a visit soon!