The Peanut-Butter Platform by Wim T. Schippers
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen acquired the concept for the ‘Peanut-Butter Platform’ (1962) by Wim T. Schippers in December 2010. From March 5th until 29 May 2011, this floor sculpture was on view in a presentation that included other Schippers works from the museum collection, such as the floating stone ‘Het Is Me Wat / And Now What’s Up’ (1999) and ‘Eggs’ (1966), a white carpet of interwoven swabs that is strewn with green eggs.
Wim T. Schippers is best known among the general public as a producer of television, radio and theatre, as a writer and as a visual artist. Schippers has produced many controversial works of art, including a long period when food played a major part in his oeuvre. In 1962 Museum Fodor exhibited a pink pudding which was so big that visitors could not walk through the gallery to the garden. For the museum’s garden room Schippers created a presentation of objets trouvés, including a child’s mattress, a slab of chocolate (from the Van Houten factory, where his father worked as an accountant), a packet of ice-cream cones, a container of money and a plasticised lump of coal. The Museum Fodor presentation included two floor sculptures – one gallery was completely covered in salt while another was filled with broken pieces of sheet glass – and it was here that the concept for the ‘Peanut-Butter Platform’ originated. Schippers conceived a floor of cooked spinach for an exhibition at Felix Valk’s Gallery ’20 (the later Galerie Jaki Kornblitt), but the gallery owner did not think this was such a good idea, whereupon Schippers proposed using endives instead.
Other works that employed food include a chair which Schippers ‘upholstered’ with chow mein noodles in 1965. The noodle chair and a table with garden peas were created during the ‘Modern Evenings’ that he organised at various locations throughout the Netherlands. Schippers also conceived ‘food groupings’ for these events, following the example of Daniel Spoerri, who was famous for his ‘eat-art’.
A platform in the museum
The ‘Peanut-Butter Platform’ was first realised in 1969 at Gallery Mickery in Loenersloot, the Netherlands, and was later included in a Wim T. Schippers retrospective at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. From March 5th the ‘Peanut-Butter Platform’ is on view at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Schippers’ peanut butter installation is a work which can be realised in different ways, and at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, in contrast to other realisations, the floor sculpture is not perfectly square, and is 4 x 12 meters in size. Visitors are able to ask Wim T. Schippers questions via an interactive video link (called: Peanut-Butter Post) and he responds to a selection via webcam. The presentation includes a video that shows how the ‘Peanut-Butter Platform’ was realised, and interviews with the artist and the art collector Harry Ruhé, in which they shed light on the work’s creation and significance, are also screened in the gallery. These videos will be posted on the museum’s ARTtube video channel.
Video's about the Peanut-Butter Platform
Would you like to know what Wim T. Schippers has said about about his artwork the floating stone 'Het Is Me Wat / And Now What's Up'? Check out the episode about gravity on Boijmans TV:
The ‘Peanut-Butter Platform’ was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mondriaan Foundation and Unilever.