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Wim T. Schippers, Going to the dogs, Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, 1986, Courtesy the artist. Photo: André Beekman, Copyright Andre Beekman/Theatre Collection Special Collection UvA

Wim T. Schippers: A Retrospective

Exhibition Opening: Thursday 1 September, 7 pm

Bonner Kunstverein announces a retrospective survey of the work of Wim T. Schippers.

Well known variously as an artist, actor, composer, director and writer Wim T. Schippers’ career spans over 50 years. Associated initially with both Pop Art and Fluxus, he studied at the Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs (now the Gerrit Rietveld Academie), Amsterdam alongside Bas Jan Ader and Ger van Elk before making the seminal exhibition ‘A-dynamische Werken’ with van Elk, at the Museum Fodor, Amsterdam in 1962. He made his debut on television a year later when he compiled the programme, ‘Signalement, kunst na 1960’ (‘Signalement, art after 1960’, with Willem de Ridder, 1963).

Between 1967 and 1975 he variously wrote, produced and presented a series of hugely successful cult television shows for the Dutch national broadcaster, VPRO and between 1984 and 1991 he produced and directed 328 episodes of ‘Ronflonflon’, which became VPRO’s most popular radio programme. He has also written and directed over 40 plays for theatre including, famously, a 46 minute play performed by a cast of six German Shepherd dogs entitled ‘Going to the Dogs’. Since 1976 he has provided the Dutch language voice of Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Guy Smiley and Count von Count on ‘Sesamstraat’ (‘Sesame Street’).

The forthcoming exhibition at Bonner Kunstverein will survey his diverse cultural output with a focus on his work as an artist, presenting significant examples of his sculpture, drawing, film and work for theatre and television. The selection of works includes the seminal, large-scale sculpture ‘Pindakaasvloer’ (‘Peanut Butter Floor’, 1969) and ‘Indian Summer Christmas Tree’ – that will be exhibited for the first time since its original presentation on Leidseplein in Amsterdam in September, 1969.

It will be the first survey of Wim T. Schippers’ work outside the Netherlands and his first retrospective exhibition in 19 years.

The exhibition will include loans from public and private collections across the Netherlands including the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Rotterdam, the Centraal Museum; Utrecht and Stedelijk Museum; Amsterdam. It is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with additional sponsorship from Unilever, Stadtwerke Bonn and Bonnorange.

Wim T. Schippers (b. 1942, Groningen) studied at Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs, Amsterdam from 1959 to 1961. His work was presented in significant surveys of European Pop Art including ‘Nieuwe Realisten’ at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague; ‘Neue Realisten und Pop Art’ at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin (both 1964) and ‘Pop art, Nouveau Réalisme, Etc…’ at the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels (1965). Solo exhibitions of his work include the seminal ‘A-dynamische Werken’ (with Ger van Elk, 1962) at the Museum Fodor, Amsterdam and exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum (with Jeroen Henneman, 1970; 1978 and 1994). His work was exhibited in Bonn in 1990 as part of the exhibition ‘Schräg / Tegendraads. Parodie, humor en spot in hedendaagse Nederlandse kunst’, at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum. In 1997 he was the subject of a large retrospective organised by the Centraal Museum, Utrecht.