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 and 1966. A bigger challenge, compared to the previous editions, was the ambition to present a more convincing overview of contemporary developments in sculpture. This turned out to be a complex task, because all kinds of new trends were appearing in the 1960s.
Examples included movements such as Pop Art, Neo-Dada, and Zero. What the artists had in common was their desire to take art out of “its lofty isolation”, as Prof. Jaffé phrased it in the introduction to the catalogue. The boundary between viewer and artwork was blurred both literally (the pedestals disappeared) and figuratively. This gave artists more freedom to experiment with new techniques and materials. In line with these developments, Sonsbeek '66 exhibited a greater variety of sculptures.