Our cultural life revolves around experiences in specific situations. Museums, cinemas and theatres are seeing their programmes jeopardised, and a need for different formats has emerged in response to the new regulations. A drive-thru artistic journey is one possible solution. Navigating a 10,000-square-metre hall, a space larger than any museum gallery, is a pioneering experience.
In this exhibition you will discover artworks from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection alongside specially commissioned pieces. Works in a variety of media, spanning more than a hundred years, have been adapted to the magnitude of the space. We are currently forced to look differently at the world around us, and this is echoed in the exhibition. You are immersed in the shadows, protected within the environment of a car, at a safe distance from one another. Looking at art while you are driving, shifting perspective from small- to large-scale artworks and casting shadows that create optical illusions: nothing is as we are used to seeing it.
Drive straight ahead and look forward. Objects in the rear-view mirror may appear closer than they are.
Six contemporary artists, both local and international, have been invited either to create a new artwork or to re-install an existing piece in response to the space. The artists are Bas van Beek, Frank Bruggeman, Cyprien Gaillard, Olaf Nicolai, Bas Princen and Marijke van Warmerdam.
The exhibition also features four artworks – by Paul McCarthy, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Helena van der Kraan and Ted Noten – that Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is exhibiting for the first time. The museum is hoping to acquire McCarthy’s Bunkhouse (2009) after this exhibition.
All the commissions and loans are part of long-term partnerships between the museum and these contemporary artists. More artworks and previous exhibitions by each artist can be found on the collection website.
John Körmeling, Arrow, 2005
The Dutch artist John Körmeling created ‘Arrow’ for the museum in 2005 to direct visitors to the entrance of the exhibition ‘It’s All Dalí’. The exhibition travelled to other museums, but ‘Arrow’ remained in the collection and functioned as a beacon for museum visitors for many years.
Oskar Kokoschka, The Mandrill, 1926
The Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka painted ‘The Mandrill’ at London Zoo, but depicted the animal not in a cage but in the jungle where it belonged. In his many portraits, Kokoschka attempted to express the subject’s state of mind, captured in expressive, rapid brush strokes. When people pose for paintings, they are never completely themselves. For this reason, Kokoschka considered animals to be the ideal models, precisely because they do not pose.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
René Magritte, Le puits de vérité, 1967
‘The Well of Truth’ is one of the few sculptures made by the Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte. The bronze sculpture is based on the painting of the same title (1962-63) in which the detached trouser leg and shoe stand not on a plinth but before an exterior wall. ‘The Well of Truth’ is one of seven sculptures made in collaboration with the Greek gallerist and collector Alexander Iolas.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Jim Shaw, Nose Sculpture Wall Sconce (Wasp II), 2007
‘Nose Sculpture Wall Sconce (Wasp II)’, a human nose with illuminated nostrils, was created by the American artist Jim Shaw. Since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, he has drawn inspiration from elements of American popular culture such as comic books, posters and albums. In addition to sculpture, Shaw’s multifaceted oeuvre also includes paintings and drawings. One of his larger canvases, ‘D’red Dwarf, B’lack Hole’, is featured in this exhibition.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Paul Thek, Meat Cable, 1968
In ‘Meat Cable’, the American artist Paul Thek has hung a wax imitation of a piece of meat on a cable suspended across the space. It is part of a series of ‘Meat Pieces’, earlier versions of which were presented in coloured perspex boxes. The series evokes associations with war and violence, but also with reliquaries: parts of the bodies of saints that are venerated in the Catholic Church.
Melanie Smith, Fordlandia, 2012-2013
‘Fordlandia’ by the British artist Melanie Smith is set in the Amazon in Brazil, where Henry Ford unsuccessfully attempted to establish a rubber plantation in the 1930s. ‘Fordlandia’ is now a forgotten place, where history has come to a standstill, with mankind, animals and the machines existing at the same level. Smith lives and works in Mexico and many of her films and installations examine the relationship between man and nature.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Frank Bruggeman, Essential Plantscape (2020) met Shared Vases (2018)
Rotterdam-based artist Frank Bruggeman has constructed 'Essential Plantscape’ in situ for this exhibition. Two ‘Shared Vases’ from the museum’s permanent collection are also included in this new work. Bruggeman uses the term ‘plantscape’ for installations that are larger than conventional planters but too small to constitute landscaping. All the natural materials in this plantscape have been dead for some time, what remains is the essential beauty, embodied in their shape and texture.
Ugo Rondinone, Breath, Walk, Die, 2014
Before the museum closed for renovations, Ugo Rondinone's rainbow poem was exhibited on the roof above the director’s office. It was part of the Swiss artist’s solo exhibition ‘Vocabulary of Solitude’ in 2016 and was acquired for the collection. Rondinone creates very cheerful, colourful, but surprising installations. He succeeds in giving motifs and images from our everyday environment a poetic dimension by isolating or enlarging them.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Bas Princen & OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen, Model for a Tower, 2019
In 2019, the Dutch artist Bas Princen made a new artwork for an open-air exhibition in Dilbeek, on the outskirts of Brussels. Artists and designers were invited to create new works inspired by the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Princen, who has lived in Rotterdam for many years, immediately chose the work he knew best: ‘The Tower of Babel', c.1560, from our permanent collection. In collaboration with OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, he placed enlarged details of the tower in the natural setting that originally inspired Bruegel. In Dilbeek, ‘Model for a Tower’ was surrounded by nature. In the hall of Rotterdam Ahoy, the highly detailed work takes on a completely different, more mysterious context.
Jeroen Eisinga, Springtime, 2010-2011
In the film ‘Springtime’, we see the Dutch artist Jeroen Eisinga gradually being covered by a swarm of bees. Ultimately, the artist is completely invisible behind 150,000 bees, which stung him a total of thirty times. Eisinga achieved fame in the 1990s with several short films. Many of his works focus on themes such as suffering and voyeurism.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Klaas Kloosterboer, 01106 - Ballast, 2001
Dutch artist Klaas Kloosterboer’s artistic practice often refers to painting. In the film ‘Ballast’ he ridicules painting and its art-historical traditions. Two enormous balls, made from grey plastic, are dragged along behind the artists’ car in a typical Dutch landscape. Kloosterboer seems to take vengeance on his own failed creations, thus referring to the Greek hero Achilles, who dragged the dead Hector behind his chariot.
Bas van Beek, Collectie op Zuid, 2019-2020
For the project ‘Collectie op Zuid’, Bas van Beek has made a series of aquarium sculptures that combine artworks from the museum’s collection. His intention is to investigate whether this collection can be made visible, functional and marketable in the South of Rotterdam, a part of the city where it is virtually unknown. Van Beek believes that his works are best experienced in everyday use, in this case in an aquarium, between the fish. The exhibition also features several wallpaper designs that Van Beek based on artworks from the museum’s collection.
The aquarium sculptures are available exclusively from Pretoria pet shop in the Afrikaanderbuurt.
Atelier van Lieshout, Mercedes with 57mm Cannon, 1998
The Rotterdam-based artist Joep van Lieshout and his company Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) made ‘Mercedes with 57mm Cannon’ for AVL-Ville, an entirely self-sufficient, anarchist, free state, which Van Lieshout founded in 2001. Although it existed for only a year, this spartan utopia needed to be defended, hence this car with a cannon mounted to it. Atelier van Lieshout’s work ‘Operation’ is also displayed in this exhibition.
Anselm Kiefer, Wohin wir uns wenden im Gewitter der Rosen ist die Nacht mit Dornen erhellt, 1998
This monumental painting ‘Wohin wir uns wenden im Gewitter der Rosen ist die Nacht mit Dornen erhellt’ by the German artist Anselm Kiefer is on long-term loan to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen from the Heus-Zomer collection. The three-part work depicts a poppy field and incorporates materials such as sand, metal and plants.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Jim Shaw, D'red Dwarf, B'lack Hole, 2010
‘D’red Dwarf, B’lack Hole’ by the American artist Jim Shaw is painted on an old theatre backdrop of a landscape. Shaw has added a pyramid with the all-seeing eye, an octopus and banyan trees. They are symbols of Oism, Shaw’s self-invented religion that has been a dominant theme in his work since the 1990s. His ‘Nose Sculpture Wall Sconce (Wasp II)’ is also featured in the exhibition.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Trenton Doyle Hancock, Colour Crop, 2019
The American artist Trenton Doyle Hancock has created an entire visual world populated by absurd and comical figures who all have a name. The figures from this world, which is entiteld Moundverse, also appear in his paintings, sculptures and animations According to Hancock, the ‘mound’ symbolises the potential of humanity to collect and store information and objects. In the animation ‘Colour Crop’, we see the artist himself interacting with ‘Mound #1 The Legend’. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen exhibited objects, paintings and wall paintings by Hancock in 2007 and acquired several of his drawings.
John Bock, Pozellan Isoschizo Küchentat des neurodermitischen Brockenfalls im Kaffeestrude und das alles ganz teuer, 2001
The video work ‘Pozellan Iso-Schizo-Küchentat des neurodermitischen Brockenfalls im Kaffeestrudel und das alles ganz teuer' by the German artist John Bock records his activities in the kitchen. In rapidly moving footage, we see kitchen utensils, vegetables, ravioli, eggs, liverwurst, carrot juice and milk. Bock, who earned a reputation in the 1990s for his experimental performances in Berlin, has worked with film and video in recent years.
Cyprien Gaillard, The Lake Arches, 2007
In ‘The Lake Arches’, French artist Cyprien Gaillard captures an idyllic scene of a summer dip that ends in a painful disillusionment. The lake appears to be part of an artificial environment, the shallow water merely a backdrop for a postmodern concrete landscape. The exhibition also includes a recent work by Gaillard entitled ‘The Angel of the Hearth’.
Helena van der Kraan, Pioneers. Children of Hoofddorp, 1993
The four photographs of children by the Czech-born Dutch artist Helena van der Kraan, who died in June 2020, were made for the project ‘Children of Hoofddorp’. They were hung outside an apartment building and printed on polyester canvas. The works suffered somewhat from being exposed to the elements, but are ‘beautifully weathered’ in the artist’s opinion. They were given to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen by her partner, Axel van der Kraan. The exhibition also features ‘Horse’, which Axel and Helena made together.
Olaf Nicolai, Green Bags, 1999-2000
For this exhibition, Nicolai has enlarged three images from his two-year-long project ‘Green Bags’: photographs of native plants growing in plastic bags from locally operating multinational oil companies. As a project '‘Green Bags’ ran for three years. These photographs were taken in Venezuela in 1999 and are presented as a classic triptych in Boijmans Ahoy drive-thru museum. You might know Olaf Nicolai from his artwork ‘Apollo’, also known as the football cage, which stood in the museum’s courtyard.
Marino Marini, Il cavaliere, 1947
The Italian artist Marino Marini is known for his equestrian statiues, of which ‘Il Cavaliere’ is one example. In Marini's first horseman sculptures man was still always the centre and measure of things. Although man and horse are still recognizable in this statue, they had little in common with the classical equestrian statues of Roman times and the Renaissance or the horseman in Etruscan painting, with which Marini feels a great affinity.
Martin Kippenberger, Ohne Titel, 1993-1994
This untitled artwork by the German artist Martin Kippenberger is part of a series of sculptures depicting Santa Claus. This Santa wears the classic red and white costume and hat, but has a lantern for a head. Kippenberger wasn’t interested in the modernist pursuit of originality and innovation, but created a parody of life with his paintings, sculptures and installations.
Vincent Pieter Semeyn Esser, Monument for the flood in Zeeland (February 1953), 1957
Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Sylvie Zijlmans & Hewald Jongenelis, The Tolerator, 2012Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Ted Noten, Uzi Mon Amour, 2009
‘Uzi mon amour’ is the final piece in Ted Noten’s series of ‘Gun Bags’. The Dutch artist gilded the entire weapon including the silencer and also attached a gilded handle to the acrylic block. It is engraved with a haiku, a short verse that traditionally has an erotic, vulgar or poetic charge. By presenting an aggressive object in an attractive package, Noten plays with the contradictions between beauty and corruption, love and hate, and value and worthlessness, after all the weapon has been disabled in this setting.
Paul McCarthy, Bunkhouse, 2008
The American artist Paul McCarthy’s ‘Bunkhouse’ refers to a wooden hut that provided temporary accommodation for cowboys on ranches during the high season in America. McCarthy satirises the cliché macho idea of the cowboy in this provocative and humorous scene. Much of his work is antagonistic, sexually explicit and politically charged. The work is currently owned by a private collector, but Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is eager to acquire it.
Cyprien Gaillard, L'Ange du foyer (Vierte Fassung), 2019
This holographic sculpture by French artist Cyprien Gaillard brings to life ‘The Angel of the Hearth’, which Max Ernst painted in 1937 in response to the Spanish Civil War at a time of global political unrest. In Gaillard’s interpretation from 2019, we see the monster (or angel) moving. It is no longer in a landscape but in the exhibition space. This exhibition also features Gaillard’s film ‘The Lake Arches’.
Bruce Nauman, Thighing (Blue), 1967
In this short video work by the American artist Bruce Nauman, we see the artist kneading and pinching the flesh of one of his thighs. Originally a painter, since 1965 Nauman has focused on making sculptures, performance works and videos. Like many of his contemporaries, Nauman often assumes the lead role, performing a single action in his studio.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Richard Serra, Hand Catching Lead, 1968
In this film, the American artist Richard Serra attempts to catch thin pieces of lead that fall in a regular rhythm from above. This short film, showing only his hand and pieces of lead, is very different to the monumental steel sculptures for which the artist is better known. The work is part of a series of films in which Serra works in his studio with various industrial materials.
Vito Acconci, Blindfolded Catching Piece, 1970
In 1970, the American artist Vito Acconci filmed a series of performances with the title ‘Adaptation Studies’. In this first part of the film, we see the artist wearing a blindfold and attempting to catch rubber balls thrown at him by a person off-screen. We see his hesitant and defensive reactions to the objects coming in his direction, over which he has no control.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Bas Jan Ader, Fall I, Los Angeles, 1970
In 1970 Bas Jan Ader made the ﬁrst of a series of ﬁlms using gravity as a medium. Fall 1 shows him seated on a chair on the roof of his home in Claremont, California. He topples the chair, causing himself to fall to the ground. He loses a shoe on the way down, the chair comes to rest on the edge of the roof, and Ader disappears into the bushes around the house.
Bas Jan Ader, Broken Fall (Organic) Amsterdamse Bos, Holland, 1971Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Helena & Axel van der Kraan, Horse, 1986
This metal sculpture of a horse was made by the Dutch artist duo Axel and Helena van der Kraan. They are also known for their motorised wooden sculptures of people carrying out everyday actions. Helena, who died in June 2020, was also a photographer. This exhibition also features her photographic work.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Panamarenko, Hymenoptera, 1974
Olphaert den Otter, Tondo Mondo, 2015
‘Tondo Mondo’ made by Rotterdam-based artist Olphaert den Otter is a circular painting of the earth with a diameter of two metres. It was made specially for the exhibition ‘Snapshot of a Larger Order’, organised in 2016 by De Ketelfactory in Schiedam. The painting is executed in the classical technique of egg tempera on canvas. The ‘tondo’ – a circular painting – was used in the Renaissance to achieve a harmonic composition. In 2016, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen bought work for the City Collection, to supplement the ten works on paper the museum already owned.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Marijke van Warmerdam, Bear, 1997
The Dutch artist Marijke van Warmerdam has built up a highly personal oeuvre, consisting of films, photographs, paintings and sculptures. The work ‘Bear’ is inspired by the Dutch word ‘ijsberen’ (literally ‘to polar bear’), which means to pace back and forth, and the idea of being stuck in your own thoughts. She is best-known for her installations with non-narrative film loops. Many of her works are humorous and show the everyday world from an unexpected angle.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Guido van der Werve, Number eight. Everything is going to be alright, Finland 2007, 2007
In this work, we see Dutch artist and composer Guido van der Werve calmly walking towards us on an ice sheet in Finland, seemingly oblivious to the huge ship breaking through the ice directly behind him. This extraordinary image creates an uneasy feeling, as if the artist is being chased by a predator.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Walter de Maria, Hard Core, 1969
In 1969, the American artist and composer Walter De Maria was invited to make a work for television. He filmed ‘Hard Core’ in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, which is now best known for the Burning Man festival. De Maria was inspired by Hollywood Westerns, capturing the changing light of the desert.
Claes Oldenburg, Screwarch, 1982
Claes Oldenburg became impressed with the Dutch landscape, the harbour city of Rotterdam and the bridge during a stay in the Netherlands. Rotterdam's plans for the construction of a bridge over the New Maas were the inspiration for this sculpture. For the New Maas he imagined a bridge in the shape of a gigantic screw. The museum director at the time - Wim Beeren - reached an agreement with Oldenburg and his wife Coosje van Bruggen in 1978 that they would turn this idea into a model, an etching and a large sculpture for the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The screw sculpture would not turn out to be as large as a bridge over the New Maas, but it was made to a size that would precisely fit in the museum.
Studio Wieki Somers, Bathboat, 2005
Rotterdam-based Studio Wieki Somers was founded by Wieki Somers and Dylan van den Berg. Their product designs have a narrative dimension and set out to make ordinary things extraordinary. ‘Bath Boat’ turns a small boat inside out, creating a bath in which you can float away.
John Körmeling, The Square Car, 2010
John Körmeling is an artist, architect and inventor. He designed the imaginative and festive Dutch pavilion, Happy Street, at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. He has also devised a rigorous solution for the Netherlands’ traffic problem in the form of extremely wide roads. An extension to this project is this prototype square car, an environmentally friendly means of transport that is also easy to park. His work ‘Arrow’ is displayed at the entrance to this exhibition.Read more on Boijmans Collection Online
Terms and Conditions for Visitors
All general traffic rules and visitor conditions apply in the drive-thru. Everyone who visits the exhibition agrees to observe them. Bags/ backpacks and cars can be checked by the organization at all time.Read the Terms and Conditions for Visitors here
Boijmans Ahoy drive-thru Museum is a partnership between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Rotterdam Ahoy. The exhibition has been created at a time when our freedom of movement has been limited by COVID-19 and human contact has been reduced to a minimum.
This exhibition could not have been realised without the contributions of our main sponsor, the BankGiro Lottery and all its participants, Fonds 21, the Mondriaan Fund and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. Our thanks to Breeman BMW & MINI for providing the electric cars, to Boijmans Business Club for its years of loyal support, and to Riwal Hoogwerkers B.V., Geo Hazards, Dienst Stadsbeheer Rotterdam and Rotterdam Make it Happen.
Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Lara Almarcequi, Karin Arink, Bas van Beek, Alexandra Bircken, John Bock, Marinus Boezem, Sander Breure en Witte van Hulzen, Frank Bruggeman, Hendrik Chabot, Charles Despiau, Jeroen Eisinga, Vincent Pieter Semeyn Esser, Cyprien Gaillard, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Ad de Jong, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger, Klaas Kloosterboer, Oskar Kokoschka, John Körmerling, Axel & Helena van der Kraan, Atelier Van Lieshout, René Magritte, Walter De Maria, Dwight Marica, Marino Marini, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Olaf Nicolai, Ted Noten, Claes Oldenburg, Olphaert den Otter, Panamarenko, Bas Princen & OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen, Auguste Renoir, Ugo Rondinone, Richard Serra, Jim Shaw, Melanie Smith, Studio Wieki Somers, Paul Thek, Marijke van Warmerdam, Guido van der Werve and Sylvie Zijlmans & Hewald Jongenelis.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen hopes to acquire Paul McCarthy’s installation ‘Bunkhouse’ for the collection. This is the first time the museum has presented this work.
Tomáš de Paauw
With thanks to our lenders
Philip van den Hurk
James Cohan Gallery, NY
Collectie De Heus-Zomer
Stichting Fonds van Rede
Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Team Boijmans Van Beuningen met dank aan Ted Noten
Team Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam Ahoy, JMR Event Makers
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in samenwerking met West8