Plan your visit
  • From: 18 january 2019
  • Through: 12 may 2019
  • Location: Museum de Fundatie


Freedom – The Fifty Key Dutch Artworks Since 1968 is an ambitious and somewhat unconventional project will feature the fifty ‘key artworks’, the leading works produced in the Netherlands over the past fifty years. Freedom will be deliberately subjective, intended both as an invitation to debate and as a declaration of love for Dutch art. As such, Freedom will be unmissable for anyone who wants to see all the top art produced in the Netherlands over the past fifty years brought together in one show.

Ferdi (1927-1969), Clementine’s Dream, 1968, foam rubber ‘Borg fabrics’ fake fur, 70 x 90 x 170 cm, Giotta and Ryu Tajiri Collection, Photo: © Egon Notermans.Seymour Likely, The Unexpected Return of Blinky Palermo from the Tropics, 1992, mixed media, 445 x 390 cm, collection Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Photo: Peter Tijhuis.

A declaration of love for Dutch art

Freedom is being curated by art critic and author Hans den Hartog Jager (b. 1968). He has created a number of other exhibitions for Museum de Fundatie: More Light (2010) about the sublime in contemporary art, More Power (2014) about the possibility or impossibility of artists influencing processes in society and Behold the Man (2016), a portrait gallery that presented an overview both of social change and of developments in art over the past hundred years.

Armando (1929-2018), Fahne, 1981, oil on canvas, 240 x 175 cm, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, © Pictoright Amsterdam 2019.

Van Lieshout Studio, The Monument, 2015, bronze, 431 x 220 x 208 cm, on loan from Van Lieshout Studio, Photo: Peter Tijhuis.

In these times of fragmentation, when the meaning of many things that for decades were taken for granted in the Netherlands is being called into question, we want to show the essential power of art: to open up new vistas, to challenge entrenched values, ethical standards and forms, and to reflect and anticipate the spirit of the age. That is why we have opted for ‘freedom’ as the underlying theme. This word has acquired a curious, almost populist political overtone in the Netherlands in recent years. Fifty years ago ‘freedom’ denoted the revolutionary developments that were breaking out of existing patterns, but now it has come to symbolise clinging to ‘authentic Dutch values’. At the same time, it is easy to maintain that a quest for freedom, independence and uniqueness has remained a core value of contemporary art throughout this period.

Marijke van Warmerdam (1959), Lichte Stelle, 2000, 16 mm film loop, 2’53”, collection of the artist.

Guido Geelen (1961), Untitled R.K. 015, 1992, clay, 175 x 230 x 55 cm, De Pont Museum, Tilburg, © Pictoright Amsterdam 2019.

With the deliberate, almost classic choice of fifty ‘crucial’ works, we hope to highlight the main elements that constantly recur in the current debate. Art should unashamedly show what it can contribute to ideas, what a unique role it can play in society, whether it be a matter of the importance of a tradition (artistic or otherwise), the way in which art represents national identity, or the degree to which it reflects changing relationships in society. However, just as important is the fact that the exhibition will set out to show visitors how much fantastic art has been produced in the Netherlands over the past fifty years, from Jan Dibbets’ Perspective Correction (1968) to Ria van Eyks My Woven Diary (1976-77), from René Daniels’ Aux Déon (1985) to Natasja Kensmil’s Self-portrait with Cross (1999) and from Guido van der Werve’s Number Eight: Everything Is Going To Be Alright (2009) to Melanie Bonajo’s Night Soil #1 (2016). For decades, art in the Netherlands has been strong, vibrant and free – and it is time to put it firmly in the spotlight.

By bringing so many ‘key artworks’ of the past few decades together, we hope to re-energise the debate on the role of art in society. Ultimately, however, we hope above all that Freedom will be a celebration of the power of art, with an exhibition and a book designed to bring pleasure, inform and provoke thought, so important in the world today.

A book of the same name will be published by Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep to accompany the exhibition.

 is supported by:

Guido van der Werve (1977), Nummer acht, Everything Is Going To Be Alright, 2007, video loop, 10’10”, collection of the artist and GRIMM, Amsterdam | New York (video still © Ben Geraerts).
Marc Mulders (1958), The Last Judgment, 2006, stained-glass window, Saint John’s Cathedral, ’s-Hertogenbosch.

Rob Scholte (1958), Nostalgia, 1988, acrylic on canvas, 155 x 250 cm, Bischofberger Collection, Männedorf-Zurich, Switzerland, © Pictoright Amsterdam 2019.

Natasja Kensmil (1973), Self-portrait with Cross, 1999, oil on canvas, 124 x 144 cm, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, © Pictoright Amsterdam 2019.

Viviane Sassen (1972), D.N.A., 2007, Photo, 45 x 35 cm, collection of the artist.

Photo header: Erik Andriesse (1957-1993), Amaryllis, 1988, acrylic on canvas, 280 x 380 cm,  Erik Andriesse Foundation, on loan to the Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch; Henk Visch (1950), Untitled (Bridge), 1980, wood, steel and paint, 206 x 515 x 77 cm, collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, © Pictoright Amsterdam 2019; Ria van Eyk (1938), My Woven Diary, 1976-1977, woven wool, 320 x 880 cm, collection Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Photo: Peter Tijhuis.


Ferdi Clementine’s Dream (1968)
Jan Dibbets Perspective Correction (1968)
Carel Visser Folded Cube (1970)
Ger van Elk La Pièce (1971)
Hans Eijkelboom With My Family (1973)
Rob van Koningsbruggen Untitled (1975)
Bas Jan Ader In Search of the Miraculous (1975)
Ria van Eyk My Woven Diary 01-09-1976 – 31-05-1977 (1976-1977)
Henk Visch Untitled (1980)
Armando Fahne (1981)
Gerrit van Bakel Tarim Machine (1982)
Kees de Goede Roundabout A (1982)
Emo Verkerk Portrait of Georges Simenon (1984)
René Daniëls Aux Déon (1985)
Erik Andriesse Amaryllis (1988)
Rob Scholte Nostalgia (1988)
Rob Birza Mickey of the Blind (Sea of Lights) (1989-1990)
Seymour Likely The Unexpected Return of Blinky Palermo from the Tropics (1992)
Mark Manders Fox/Mouse/Belt (1992)
Guido Geelen Untitled R.K. 015 (1992)
Rineke Dijkstra New Mothers (1994)
Moniek Toebosch Angels (1994)
Maria Roosen Bed (1994)
Marlene Dumas Naomi (1995)
Roy Villevoye Kó (Showing Primary Colors in Kombai) (1995)
Suchan Kinoshita Hok I (1996)
Daan van Golden Youth is an Art (1997)
Natasja Kensmil Self-portrait with Cross (1999)
Michael Raedecker kismet (1999)
Marijke van Warmerdam Lichte Stelle (2000)
Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij Bantar Gebang (2000)
Erik van Lieshout Lariam (2001)
Hans van Houwelingen Lely’s Column (2002-2004)
Michael Tedja Out One Big King (2002-2012)
Job Koelewijn Jump (2006)
Viviane Sassen Lexicon (2005-2011)
Marcel van Eeden K.M. Wiegand, Life and Work (2006)
Aernout Mik Raw Footage (2006)
Marc Mulders The Last Judgment (2007)
Guido van der Werve Nummer acht, Everything Is Going To Be Alright (2007)
Tjebbe Beekman Illya’s Birthroom (2008)
Renzo Martens Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008)
Lieshout Studio The Monument (2015)
Gert Jan Kocken Paul Tibbets, Pilot, B 29 Enola Gay, Hiroshima, 6 August 1945 (2010)
Jeroen Eisinga Springtime (2010-2011)
Folkert de Jong Actus Tragicus (2013)
Melanie Bonajo Night Soil I – Fake Paradise (2014)
Fiona Tan Linnaeus’ Flower Clock (1998)
Robert Zandvliet Stage of Being IV (2017)
Navid Nuur Firezeal (2014-2018)

  • From: 18 Jan 2019
  • Through: 12 May 2019
  • Location: Museum de Fundatie

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