Rob Voerman

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Ilaria Specos
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About the work of Rob Voerman


In Voerman’s work, architecture plays a major role. The architecture within his work, is often characterized by a mixture of utopia , destruction and decay. The architecture in his work, is often paired with a rich decoration, gecombined with dark aspects of terror and resistance. Often even a direct translation of destruction in a purely aesthetic form . The work is very layered and aesthetics in his work have often various  associations, like with religion, improvised shelters and hippie communities from the 70s with their often highly decorated self-build wooden structures.

Voerman's ouvre is in a sense partially a commentary and reflection on our times, of course from a personal perspective and necessity.

The work suggests there own thoughts  opposite associations and models through sculptures, prints, watercolors, large installations and photographs to enter.

The larger installations often deal with the question how to related to the outside world and how one closes off from it. It is rather recent that Voerman let these installations function as a platform for debate, workshops and congragation where the themes of these activities collide with the content of the installations itself.

Over the past few years, Voerman engaged in his work more directly to the architecture and ideas of Modernism in relation to our present time. By this, he often refers to the architecture Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rietveld , Mies van der Rohe. Although modernism in many ways seems to have failed, Voerman thinks that many of her ideas are still relevant in present times. Grand ideas and views as imagined by the modernists seem nowadays completely gone. The fragmented clear view of the modernists sometimes seems almost literally represented by the large amounts of small colored windows in Voerman's installations.

In recent projects, such as "The Fifth Season", Voerman goes one step further. He creates spaces and partially programmed spaces, which do in fact refer directly to the ideas of Modernism and Bauhaus and in a way tries to restore the spirit of Bauhaus in a small informal setting and gatherings.

A very important part of Voerman’s work are the large installations he creates in recent years.. Earlier installations where just places to contemplate or for drinking.
Newer installations, mainly build on site, often relates to specific issues referring to the context and place of the project. The programme organized in and around these installations are becoming an essential part of the work.  

In recent works, Rob is starting to develope a new utopia in a more literary sence. A world which emphesize on shrinkage, a utopia referring to fundamental issues we are facing right now. A world of high-rise tower-blocks for the dead, new living communities, clear divisions between the digital and analog world and between civilization and empty land.


Rob Voerman, 2016


2014     Finalist Arte Laguna Art Prize, Venice, Italy

2010     Winner Jeanne Oosting Award 2010 (NL)

2007     1st Prize Printmaking Award, Province of Gelderland 2005     1st Prize Euregio Award, 2005 2002     Pépinières Européennes pour Jeunes Artistes, 2002, Paris 2001     The Presse Papier Invitation Award, Québec (CDN)             2nd Prize Kwak & Van Daalen & Ronday Printmaking Award


Publications (selection) 2016     Catalogue/action-book, Sonsbeek16             Artforum, Sonbeek16             NY Times, about Sonsbeek16 2015     Catalogue Bi-City Biennial for Architecture and Urban Planning,             Shenzhen, China (text by Aaron Betsky)             Tubelight, exhibition Park, Tilburg (NL)

2014     Art Forum, Exhibition –review “The Fifth Season” by Huib Haye van der


2013     The Fifth Season, Tekst by Marcel Schumacher, Curator Museum
            Folkwang, Essen, publisher Revolver Verlag and WeltKunstZimmer,    
            Düsseldorf (D)

            “The Stumbling Present: Ruins in Contemporary Art”, The Art, Design &

            Architecture Museum of the University of Santa Barbara (USA) by Elyse A.

            Gonzales, with an essay by Brian Dillon.

2012     Bomb Magazine, article by Tabitha Piseno

 Art Tomorrow, article by Paul eachus

            Year-Report Mondriaanfoundation (NL)
2011     "Standpunt", Art and Design County Gelderland (text Marlies Hummelen)
2010     "Aftermath, Installations, Sculptures, Works on Paper", with            
            contributions from Sabine Folie, David van der Leer and Tim Nolet,        
            Published by Valiz Publishers (
2009     Robert Klanten and Lukas Feireiss (eds.), Spacecraft 2:
            More Fleeting Architecture and Hideouts, Berlin: Gestalten Verlag
            Robert Klanten and Lukas Feireiss (eds.) Beyond Architecture:
            Imaginative Buildings and Fictional Cities, Berlin: Gestalten Verlag
            Modernism as a Ruin, An Archaeology  of the Present, Sabine Folie
            (eds.) Generali Foundation, Vienna
            Hammer Projects: 1999-2009, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles,
            Un-Folded, Paper in Design, Art, Architecture and Industry, Birkhäuser
            Verlag, Luzia Kälin and Mareike Gast (eds.)
            Double Dutch, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporay Art, Peekskill, NY
            Stressed Spaces, KW14, Den Bosch (NL)
2007     Rob Voerman: Grafiek/Installaties, Harderwijk: Flevodruk Harderwijk,    
            text by Gretchen Wagner
            Rob Voerman: Tarnung/Camouflage, Bregenz: Bregenzer Kunstverein;
            Magazin 4, texts by Max Hollein and Sabine Folie
            Robert Klanten and Lukas Feireiss (eds.), Spacecraft 1: Fleeting
            Architecture and Hideouts, Berlin: Gestalten Verlag
2006     Rob Voerman: A Vernacular of Life, London: AA Publications, text by
            Anselm Franke
            MERZ, Bregenz: Bregenzer Kunstverein; Magazin 4
2004     UCLA Hammer Museum "Hammer Projects", Los Angeles,
            text by Aaron Betsky

I work with

  • Concrete
  • Bronze
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Installation
  • Plastics
  • Light
  • Metal
  • Mixed media
  • Paper
  • Public Art
  • Others

Solo Exhibitions

2017     Galerie Artoxin, Münich, Germany

            Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)

2015     The Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh, USA
            Motel Spatie, Arnhem (NL) Large temporary site-specific work in
            shoppingcentre Presikhaaf (cuated by Claudia Schouten)

2014     Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)
            Cellen #6, Klooster Tiel (NL)
2013     Hans Peter Zimmer Stiftung, Düsseldorf (D)
2012     Coda Museum, Apeldoorn (NL)
2011     "After the Goldrush", Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam
2010     Cobra Museum, Amstelveen (NL)
            Museum Henriette Polak(Jeanne Oosting Award 2010), Zutphen,
            duo-exhibition with Emo Verkerk (NL)
2008     Art Brussels (stand Upstream Gallery)
2007     Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam
           “Tarnung,” Bregenzer Kunstverein/Magazin 4, Bregenz (A)
           “Rob Voerman. Grafiek/Installation,” Flevodruk, Harderwijk (NL)
2006    “Rob Voerman: Bad Buildings, Good Spaces,” Architectural Association,
            London (including presentation of installation on Bedford Square)           

2005     Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam 2004    “Building Backwards”, Rhodes+Mann, London                   UCLA Hammer Museum, “Hammer Projects”, Los Angeles

Group Exhibitions

2017       "Utopia/Dystopia", MAAT (Museum for Art, Architecture and Technology),  

             Lisbon, Portugal (curated by Pedro Gadanho)

2016       Sonsbeek 2016, Arnhem (NL) (curated by Ruangrupa)                

              “(In)constancy of space”, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam (NL) (curated by                  

              Neva Lukic)   


              Grafiek 2016, Van Abbehuis, Eindhoven (NL)

              'Maelström, de kracht van het ongrijpbare' in Arti et Amicitiae,

              Kuub, Utrecht

2015       Shenzhen Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Shenzhen,
              China.(curated by Aaron Betsky)
              Amsterdam Art Fair, Booth Upstream Gallery
              Kunstpodium T, Master-Apprentice Project, Tilburg (NL)
              Sculpturegarden Anningahof, Zwolle (NL)

2014       Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE (curated by Peter Lewis
              en Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi)
              1st.Kinshasa Biennial (Yango Biennial), Democratic Republic of Congo
              (curator Sitabile Mlotshwa)
              Printmaking-exhibition, Pulchri, The Hague (NL)

              “Inconstancy of space””, Mestrovic Pavilion, Zagreb, Croatia (curated by
              Neva Lukic)

              “Coming Soon”, NAI/Bureau Europa, Maastricht (curator Saskia van Stein)

              Royal Acadeny Summer exhibition, London, UK

              “City of Ash”, Artspace g39, Cardiff, United Kingdom (curator Sam Perry)

              Art Rotterdam (through Upstream Gallery) (NL)

2013      "EinDruck Ausstellung - Internationale Zeitgenössische Druckgrafik",
              Halle 14, Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Baumwollspinnerei,
              Leipzig, Germany (D)
             "The glorious rise and fall...", K14, Den Bosch (NL)            

             "Vision vs. Confrontation", Mondriaanhouse, Amersfoort (NL)
             Sculpturepark Anningahof, public sculpture and groupshow, Zwolle (NL)
             Artfair Pusan (South-Korea) through Art Amalgamated

2012      "Kaleidoscope", C24-Gallery, NewYork  (curator Kristen Johnston)
             The Armoryshow, New York (through Upstream Gallery)
             University Art Museum (curator Elyse Gonzales), Santa Barbara (USA)
             Kunstenlab, Deventer (NL) Two-persons-exhibition with Miyuki Okuyama
             "Going to the Etsch", Pictura, Dordrecht (NL)

             "Going to the Etsch", Kruithuis, den Bosch (NL)
2011     "Märklin-perpective", KaDe, Amersfoort (NL)
            "Architektur Sommer Rhein-Main 2011"  Site specific installation in the  
             city of Offenbach (D) (curators Marcel Schumacher and Britt Bauman)
            "De Stad 3D", Museum Hilversum (NL)
             Robert Miller Gallery, New York (hvcca-benefit-auction)
            "What if.." Rondeel Architectural Institute, Deventer (NL)
            "Graphosbiennale", Den Bosch (NL)
            "Urban Expressionism", Nest, Den Haag
2010     "Buiten", BBKC, Tilburg (NL)
            “Brachen-Siedlung”, Nijmegen (NL), Duisburg (D) and Arnhem (NL)
            “BeeldHalWerk”, Amsterdam
            “Light Art Biennial 2010”, Linz, Austria
            “Plan 10”, Cologne, Germany
            "Habitat".Antwerp, Belgium. Site-specific project in Luchtbal
            (curator: Bruno Herzeele)
2009     “Modernism as a Ruin,” Generali Foundation, Vienna (curator: Sabine
             Folie,with Dan Graham, Isa Genzken, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert 
             Smithson a.o.)
            “Modernism as a Ruin,” Kunst Museum Liechtenstein, Vaduz
            “Double Dutch,” Hudson Valley Center for Contemp. Art, Peekskill, NY
            “Different Places — Different Stories” (presentation temporary/
             public sculpture),Roermond (NL)
            “Stressed Spaces,” KW14, Den Bosch (NL)
            “Open Source,” Amsterdam Bijlmer (curator: Helga Lasschuijt,
             with Thomas Hirschorn, Allora & Calzadilla, a.o.)
2008     “Apocalyptic Landscapes,” Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam
             Biennale “Art Grandeur Nature,” Paris (presentation of public sculpture,
             curator: Olivier Marboeuf))
             Bodhi Berlin, Halle am Wasser, Berlin (curator: Shaheen Merali)
2007      NADA Art fair, Miami (stand Upstream Gallery)
            “Sculpture Now!,” Herrmann & Wagner, Berlin
            “Shelter,” Museum De Fundatie/’t Nijenhuis, Heino (NL)
            (with Berlinde de Bruyckere, Maria Roosen, a.o.)
            “Rainer Neumaier/Rob Voerman,” Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne
2006      Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (new acquisitions)
             NADA Art Fair, Miami (stand Upstream Gallery)
            “Kunst werkt. Biënnale Gelderland”, Museum Valkhof, Nijmegen (NL)
            “Merz”, Kunstverein Bregenz Bregenz, Austria (A) (curator: Peter Lewis)
            “Bild — Skulpur,” Galerie Jette Rudolph, Berlin
            “The Square Root of Drawing, ” Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin
             Coda Museum, Apeldoorn (NL)
2005      NADA Art Fair, Miami (stand Upstream Gallery)
             Euregio Kunstpreis, Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg (D)
            “Situaties/Laboratorium Flevoland,” Museum De Paviljoens, Almere (NL)
             Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem (NL)
             Museum Braenderigaarden, Viborg (DK)
2004      Taiwan Museum of Modern Art, Taipei
             “The Beginning of the World,” Cell Project Space, London
2003      Kunstverein Kohlenhof, Nürnberg (D)
              International Print Center, New York

Rob Voerman

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