The exhibition Images of Erasmus takes you on a journey into the world of the famous humanist scholar. You will examine his ideas, arranged into five themes, through the eyes of artists of his time. Krijn de Koning and Tessa van der Waals have joined forces to give form to this exhibition’s complex concept.
The visual artist Krijn de Koning has not only designed the exhibition, but is also presenting a new work of his own. He has long been interested in Erasmus who, as a critical thinker, demonstrated that everything has more than one side. The resulting spatial concept comprises two clearly distinct layers. De Koning presents the art works that elucidate Erasmus’ ideas in a series of galleries. These spaces are white and light; nothing distracts our attention from the sixteenth-century pieces. They are separated by another reality: passages, squares and benches in dark blue focus our attention on the physical space, on the architectural objects and on ourselves. In effect de Koning has created two exhibitions, which can be visited separately but which are linked by various passageways and vistas.
Erasmus was not a visual artist. He expressed his ideas through the written word. Graphic designer Tessa van der Waals has put the focus on his words. Five quotes from Erasmus’ works, linked to the exhibition’s five themes, run through the exhibition in the form of a 140-meter ribbon of associations. They meander through the space in harmony with Krijn de Koning’s spatial concept. On the outside of the exhibition the phrases are placed at eye level so that we can follow them like a guide. In the centre of the exhibition, between the galleries, there are fragments of quotes at knee height. Stripped of their informative function, Erasmus’ words become art works in themselves.