New acquisition: football cage

photo: Bob Goedewaagen
photo: Bob Goedewaagen

New acquisition and publication:
Apollo by Olaf Nicolai

Press Release, 8 April 2010

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has purchased a football cage. The art work entitled ‘Apollo’ by the German artist Olaf Nicolai has been sited in the museum’s central courtyard since 2008. The museum has acquired this ‘football cage’ with the support of Han Nefkens’ H+F Patronage. To celebrate the acquisition, the museum is publishing a book on the work entitled ‘Olaf Nicolai, Apollo’.

Football cage
‘Apollo’ is better known to the museum’s visitors as the ‘football cage’. Everyone who visits the museum may kick a ball around in this object, which was made specially for the courtyard. The players’ movements are reflected in the mirrors, generating a stroboscopic effect. The design practice Thonik, which is responsible for the museum’s house style, designed a floor painting for the courtyard in consultation with Olaf Nicolai. The floor painting amplifies the work’s interplay of lines and reflections. 

Publication: Olaf Nicolai, Apollo
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen regularly publishes exhibition catalogues and books about the collection. The publication ‘Olaf Nicolai, Apollo’ explores the background to this art work in an essay entitled ‘The Harmony of Pen, Sword, Football and Laptop’ by Dieter Roelstraete. The extraordinary design and illustrations have been provided by Till Gathmann. The publication is in Dutch and English and is available from the museum shop for €14.50. It is distributed internationally by Idea Books. (ISBN 978-90-6918-244-5)

Olaf Nicolai
Olaf Nicolai (1962) lives and works in Berlin. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world since the early 1990s including Documenta X (1997) and the Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2005.
Olaf Nicolai has dealt with similar questions and themes in earlier ‘football works’. Examples include his camouflage-painted goalposts featured in the well-known ZDF classic ‘das aktuelle Sportstudio’ (2001) and the edition ‘Ballack’ (2004-2006), a collection of press photos of the German football icon, in which his facial details were greatly magnified.

Apollo was initiated and funded by H+F Patronage.