Ronald Cornelissen - The Horseman's Kitchenette (When Demons Cook)

Ronald Cornelissen, The Great Wave (model), 2010
Ronald Cornelissen, The Great Wave (model), 2010

Ronald Cornelissen The Horseman’s Kitchenette (When Demons Cook)
18 September 2010 – 23 January 2011

Press release

From 18 September, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is showing four new sculptures by Ronald Cornelissen (1960). Cornelissen is best known for his idiosyncratic drawing style. He also makes installations and sculptures from everyday materials such as blockboard, papier-mâché and cardboard. The sculptures in the exhibition refer to motifs in his drawings.

‘The Horseman’s Kitchenette (When Demons Cook)’ comprises four new sculptures and five collages and drawings. Each of the four large sculptures – ‘Limbo’, ‘The Great Wave’, ‘Gangrene’ and ‘For the God of Love’ – refers to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the principal protagonists in chapter six of the Book of Revelation.

Everyday heroics
In the New Testament, the horsemen – the heralds of doom – have a mythical character. Cornelissen’s sculptures have the opposite effect: the use of everyday materials and their disproportionate scale gives them a tragicomic character. The references to politics, religion and fascism in the drawings and photo-collages also take on a banal character. Cornelissen says that the works satirise “the absurd form the discussion around the so-called ‘Decline of the West’ has taken in the Netherlands”. This is a reference to the book by the cultural historian Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), whose pessimistic view of Western culture seems just as relevant today.

Cornelissen’s drawings and sculptures take their references from diverse sources such as comics, cartoons, graffiti, vulgar poetry, music, art and architecture. For example, the sculpture ‘The Great Wave’ refers indirectly to a famous woodcut by the Japanese artist Hokusai, and the work ‘For the God of Love’ refers to the diamond encrusted skull by the British artist Damien Hirst.

Ronald Cornelissen lives and works in Rotterdam and Paris. Since 2000 he has published the magazine ‘Wormhole’, which focuses on contemporary drawings. His work has been exhibited at De Hallen in Haarlem (2006) and in the group exhibition ‘Drawing Typologies’ at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2007). Cornelissen’s drawings are in private collections in the Netherlands and Switzerland and, in the City Collection administered by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. His drawings will be on show at Galerie Diana Stigter in Amsterdam from 4 September.

The exhibition has been organised by the curator of the City Collection, whose exhibitions and projects focus in the visuals arts in Rotterdam. The City Collection includes six drawings by Cornelissen, which were recently shown in a presentation of new acquisitions of contemporary drawings. In November a book on Cornelissen’s drawings entitled ‘TOOSH’ will be published with essays by Tom Morton and Peter Nijenhuis. It will be available in the museum shop.

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