For the first time, the Kröller-Müller realizes and presents all fifteen Shows by Marinus Boezem simultaneously. Marinus Boezem (Leerdam, 1934) – together with Jan Dibbets and Ger van Elk – is regarded as the founding father of conceptual art in the Netherlands in the 1960s. He is known for his innovative ideas about art, his bizarre and often playful happenings and his large-scale works in public spaces.
Already at the start of his career, Boezem bids farewell to the traditional, craft-based views on art and begins creating works that are close to real life. He deliberately uses non-artistic materials and strives to bring visual art outside the walls of the museum. Boezem often sells his works only as an idea on paper, which is only realized later in the exhibition space.
The Shows The Shows, a series of fifteen drawings made between 1964 and 1969, are typical of Boezem’s early period and of the conceptual character of his work. They are design sketches for exhibition projects that can be realized to order. Boezem makes a stencilled version of the Shows in editions of fifty or a hundred copies, which he sends to his contacts in the art world, or sells to people himself by visiting the various institutions with the drawings in a briefcase, as a kind of travelling salesman.
Air and wind For many of the Shows, Boezem uses air and wind as a material: from Luchtplastiek (Air sculpture, Show X, 1967), an inflating hemisphere of black plastic, to the Soft Room (Show XV, 1968) in which fans cause the cloths on the tables to flutter. Many of the Shows take the form of an environment: the visitor walks through the warm and cold air currents of Immateriële ruimte (Immaterial space, Show V, 1965) or enters the Gordijnenkamer (Curtain room, Show IX, 1965) in which the walls of cloth ‘flutter’. Or the visitors are co-creators of the sculpture: they blow air with the aerosols of Picturale illusies (Pictorial illusions, Show III, 1964-1965) or turn the Wentelpaneel (Revolving panel, Show VII, 1965) and thereby move the air in the room.
Some of the fifteen Shows have been fully or partially realized. Now, for the first time, all fifteen are realized simultaneously at the Kröller-Müller.