Sonsbeek 2008: Grandeur

01 juni 2008

In 2008, the art critic and curator Anna Tilroe was in charge as the artistic director of the tenth edition of Sonsbeek. The premise this time was not “a focus on the location through the eyes of the art”, the motto of Sonsbeek 9, but instead it was about the position of art in modern Western societies. According to Tilroe, a kind of depression had been taking place. With the theme of grandeur, or “human ...

Sonsbeek 9: LocusFocus

01 juni 2001

Like his predecessors, the artistic director of Sonsbeek 9, the Belgian curator Jan Hoet, took a look at previous Sonsbeek editions. In his introduction to the catalogue, Hoet stressed the importance of continuity and tradition. He referred in particular to Wim Beeren (who had died in 2000), who 30 years beforehand had been the protagonist of Sonsbeek ’71: Sonsbeek beyond the boundaries. Whereas Beeren and Valery Smith had opted to spread out the artworks, Hoet ...

Sonsbeek 1993

01 juni 1993

In the preparations for each new Sonsbeek exhibition, the question arises of how the art should be placed in the park. Much like her predecessor Saskia Bos, the American curator Valery Smith developed her own strategy for Sonsbeek 93. First of all, she chose to involve the city centre as well as areas on the outskirts of Arnhem, in addition to the park itself. These three rings are depicted in the logo of Sonsbeek 93 ...

Sonsbeek 1986

01 juni 1986

Fifteen years after the controversial Sonsbeek beyond the boundaries, the International sculpture exhibition Sonsbeek ’86 was considerably smaller. This time, most of the sculptures were placed in Park Sonsbeek, and about half of them were made specifically for the exhibition. Another part of the exhibition was located in the Gemeentemuseum Arnhem. The artistic director of Sonsbeek '86 was the curator Saskia Bos. While the artworks in the park in Sonsbeek '71 were made for a ...

Sonsbeek 1971: Sonsbeek beyond the boundaries

01 juni 1971

Sonsbeek 1971: Sonsbeek beyond the boundaries was a radical departure from the tradition of its predecessors. Instead of sculpture, this time the focus was on international developments in the visual arts over the previous five years. It was also the first time that the exhibition had an overarching theme, in this case spatial relationships. Also for the first time, the artists had been invited to create an artwork based on their visit to Sonsbeek. Almost ...

Sonsbeek 1966

01 juni 1966

The fifth Sonsbeek was in some respects different than the previous triennial editions. Firstly, the working committee, which is responsible for selecting the works of art, was for the first time comprised half of people from art institutes, and half of sculptors. And in the run-up to the exhibition, they were facing new challenges.

For example, in the selection of artworks, they had to take into account the competition from the Venice Biennales of 1964 ...

Sonsbeek 1958

01 juni 1958

With artworks from ten different European countries, and 337 artworks in all, Sonsbeek '58 again gave an overview of European sculpture. This time there was still an emphasis on French sculpture, which was then consistently still seen as the starting point of innovation. But this edition also had a new focus on more recent developments in other European countries.

Thanks to the 80 sculptures made by Italian artists, for example, visitors got an idea of ...

Sonsbeek 1955

01 juni 1955

Internationale beeldententoonstelling in de open lucht: Sonsbeek ’55 (International sculpture exhibition in open air) built upon Sonsbeek '49 and Sonsbeek '52. The lawns around the white villa in Sonsbeek were once again flooded by bronze and stone statues made by the French Neo-classicists, as well as their Dutch, Belgian, and Danish followers. “Another fascinating overview of artistic sculpture since the second half of the last century”, as the catalogue described it at the time.

Yet ...

Sonsbeek 1952

01 juni 1952

In terms of its organization and ambition, Sonsbeek '52 can be considered a repetition of the first, well-attended Sonsbeek exhibition. Unlike the first Sonsbeek, where three-quarters of the sculptures were made by Dutch artists, Sonsbeek '52 paid more attention to the work of the French masters Auguste Rodin, Artistide Maillol, Charles Despiau, and Antoine Bourdelle.

As a result, the emphasis came to be placed on Neoclassicism, which also confirmed the hegemony of these sculptors. But ...

Sonsbeek 1949

01 juni 1950

During Sonsbeek '49: Europese Beeldhouwkunst in de Open Lucht (European Sculpture in the Open Air), the memories of the horrors of the Second World War were still very fresh in people’s minds. The physical traces of the war were also still present in Arnhem’s urban landscape, which had been badly damaged by the bombings. Sonsbeek '49 was primarily intended for the mental recovery of Arnhem’s residents. The exhibition exceeded all expectations, and ...