Van Abbemuseum
12 May–23 September 2012

Guest curator: Roland Groenenboom / Curator Van Abbemuseum:Christiane Berndes

René Daniëls (Eindhoven, 1950) is probably the most widely appreciated Dutch artist of his generation. His show at the Van Abbemuseum, René Daniëls - An Exhibition is Always Part of a Greater Whole, casts new light on his versatile oeuvre—one that still exerts a profound influence on younger artists. The presentation offers an extensive selection of paintings, drawings, and gouaches from 1976–1987. 1987 was the year when Daniëls had a cerebral haemorrhage that made it impossible for him for a long time to continue his work.

However, since 2006 Daniëls has started to produce actively again and these new works are included in the exhibition. The form has changed, partly because the artist now struggles with physical limitations and has to work with his left hand, which means he had to develop new imagery to express himself. The influences in the work come more from his direct environment—the living room, television, books, and magazines—but the works continue to be enigmatic and multi-layered. Additionally, Daniëls will make a wall drawing specifically for the Van Abbemuseum.

A unique part of the exhibition will be a first opportunity to see a vast number of sketches and notes from his artistic archive—fragments and visual thoughts that provide insight into the genesis of his work.

In the centre of the show, you will find photos, posters, Super 8-films, and sound elements in a presentation entitled Eindhoven niet Eindhoven. René Daniëls, Art and Counterculture. This sets his early work in the context of the underground culture of the 1970s and 1980s when punk, new wave, and no wave music were a source of inspiration for him.

The accompanying publication The Words Are Not in Their Proper Place provides a unique retrospective of the multifaceted nature of the work of Daniëls, against the backdrop of the art scene and underground culture of the 1970s and 1980s. This richly illustrated book presents a chronological retrospective of his paintings, watercolours, drawings, sketches, as well as his personal history, supplemented by three unique interviews from 1983, and essays written especially for this publication that cast new light on his work.
The exhibition is organised in cooperation with Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. The exhibition is made possible with the support of BankGiro Loterij.

Van Abbemuseum
Bilderdijklaan 10
The Netherlands

T +31 (0)40 238 1000

Image Credits: René Daniëls, Alzumeazume, 1984, Huile sur toile, 190 x 240cm © KunstmuseumWolfsburg.

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