New acquisitions

8 May 2007

As a part of the presentation of new acquisitions by the Groninger Museum, one exhibition room will be specially devoted to the work of the Rotterdam artist Lidy Jacobs. This is the first time that the installation entitled Virginis Sanctae, which was acquired in 2005, will be on display.

For this installation, Jacobs was inspired by the medieval painting entitled Virgo inter Virgines dating from around 1490, on which Mary is portrayed with the baby Jesus and surrounded by the female saints Barbara, Ursula, Catharine and Cecilia. Jacobs’s response was an ‘altar piece’ with rabbits made of soft, caressable fabric, whose genitals are emphatically represented.

The Museum has shown Jacobs’s ‘soft sculptures’ on a previous occasion – the so-called Willies, enormous penises made of soft material. Her sculptures evoke contradictory feelings. On the one hand, the softness and caressability of the figures is enticing, on the other, the explicit sexuality may have a repelling effect.

Besides the installation, the Museum presents five large collages by Jacobs, all coming from various private collections. Jacobs used pornographic books for these so-called Pornouts. She cut out the images until only the contours remained, and thus formed metres-long collages. In this cutting process, Jacobs attempts to remove the plasticity and the anecdotal elements from the image so that only a universal picture of movement, nakedness and ambience remains.

Lidy Jacobs describes the central theme of her work as the changing attitude with regard to sexuality. She approaches this from her own ‘uncommon’ perspective – she is 134 centimetres tall (4ft 4 in). The work balances between eroticism and childlike innocence, and, with this, Jacobs wishes to encourage the public to think about sexuality, beauty, the malleability of the human body, and normative image-forming in mass culture.

The presentation of new acquisitions also includes work by Marc Quinn, Tord Boontje, Marga Weimans, Maarten Baas, the Swedish design collective Front, Boris van Berkum, Hussein Chalayan, Ettore Sottsass and the photographer duo Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm.

Note for the editor
Curator: Ruud Schenk
For more information, please contact: Josee Selbach,, +31 (0)50-3666555, Roel van Venrooij,,

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