Groninger Museum to stage Netherland's biggest-ever Rodin exhibition

10 February 2016

After a successful start to the year with David Bowie is and Joris Laarman Lab, the Groninger Museum looks ahead to several more exciting exhibitions in 2016; the highlight is a show of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s work opening in autumn. Featuring more than 120 sculptures and 20 works on paper, it will be the largest Rodin exhibition ever to take place in the Netherlands. First, though, this spring will see the opening of twin exhibitions respectively devoted to 20th-century German expressionism and neo-expressionism: The Wild at Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle and The New Wild at the Groninger Museum.

Rodin: Genius at Work: 19 November 2016–30 April 2017
Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) is the greatest and most influential sculptor of the modern era. His works do not simply represent idealised forms of the human body, but also bear traces of the creative process. Rodin: Genius at Work features plaster and bronze sculptures, including famous works like “The Thinker” and “Balzac”, as well as marble figures, ceramics, and never-before-exhibited photographs, illustrating the breadth of the artist’s creativity. The show also reveals the unique working process behind several of his most famous works, such as “The Kiss”. The Rodin exhibition is curated by the Musée Rodin in Paris and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada.

The New Wild: 30 April–23 October 2016
The exhibition The New Wild offers a wide-ranging overview of the figurative painting style that flourished in West Germany in the early 1980s. The paintings display a raw aggression, often appear badly executed, and are sometimes deliberately kitschy but are almost invariably humorous and thought-provoking. The Groninger Museum was one of the first museums in the Netherlands that collected this kind of art on a large scale. The New Wild features work by artists including Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Walter Dahn, Salomé and Ida Barfuss. It was originally curated by the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. On view at the Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle in tandem with The New Wild is The Wild, a show of early-20th-century expressionist art.

Esther de Graaf: 11 June–2 October 2016
The work of Esther de Graaf (b. 1984, Wouterswoude) goes on view at Coop Himmelb(l)au in June. The winner of the Young Grunn Artist II talent search, held by the art organisation NP3 (a platform for investigative and experimental contemporary art) and the Groninger Museum, De Graaf makes room-sized installations out of cheap everyday materials like cardboard, wire, tape and cellophane. The exhibition shows her talent for creating extraordinary constructions using simple means.

Joost van den Toorn: 11 June 2016–8 January 2017
In the Capita Selecta exhibition series, the museum shows a broad range of works from its collection of modern and contemporary art, fashion and design. This time, the spotlight shines on the work of the sculptor Joost van den Toorn (b. 1954, Amsterdam). In his own individualistic way, Van den Toorn tackles weighty subjects like violence, sex and religion with humour and irony – and a melancholy, romantic undertone.

The Friends of Mesdag: 11 June–11 September 2016
In 1881, the Groningen artist H.W. Mesdag and his wife received a 29-page album of watercolours and drawings as a silver wedding anniversary gift from the members of the Hollandsche Teeken Maatschappij (Dutch Drawing Society). Mesdag took out and framed a single page: a work by his famous distant cousin Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema. The watercolour was sold in 1919 and subsequently lost. The Groninger Museum acquired the album in 1931 as a gift. Now, more than 80 years later, the museum has succeeded in buying back the long-lost page. To mark its return to the album, the Groninger Museum is exhibiting all 29 pages.

Current exhibitions
The David Bowie show has been extended through Sunday 10 April 2016. David Bowie is features more than 300 objects from the musician’s personal archive: handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photographs, album cover designs and other rarities spanning the past 50 years.
The exhibition Joris Laarman Lab on designer, inventor and artist Joris Laarman, is open until 10 April 2016.
The facade decorations of the Groningen ceramicist Anno Smith are on view through 5 June 2016.

The exhibition Fragile Goods: An Homage to Minke A. de Visser (1898–1966) has been extended to 11 December 2016.


Note to the editor

For more information and visual materials, please contact the Communication, PR and Marketing Department of the Groninger Museum:

Regina Zwaagstra,, +31 (0)50 3 666 510.

Karina Smrkovsky,, + 31 (0)50 3 666 512.