Monday, 19 March 2012

Martin Visser: collector, designer, free spirit at Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht

Last week Bonnefantenmuseum opened a new exhibition 'Martin Visser: collector, designer, free spirit'.  I was very honored with a guided sneak preview of the exhibition by the museums curator Paula van den Bosch a week before the official opening.
I visited the exhibition again during the annual Tefaf Afterparty that was help at Bonnefantenmuseum 15th of March.
The exhibition shows a very diverse, rich and fascinating life of Martin Visser and guides us through half a century of intense involvement with the avant-garde in the fields of art, furniture design and architecture.

Here is an overview of the exhibition, but it;s best if you go and see it yourself!
The exhibition is open until 17th of June 2012.

Martin Visser (1922 Papendrecht -Bergeijk 2009), renowned furniture designer and driving force behind the Visser collection, purchased his first work from Karel Appel in 1948. Over the course of thirty years, Martin and his first wife Mia and brother Geertjan Visser acquired many works by now established names of the neo-avant-garde, at an early stage of their career, including Piero Manzoni, Christo, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Daniel Buren, Marcel Broodthaers, Hanne Darboven and Panamarenko.

After the death of Mia Visser (1977), Martin Visser and his second wife Joke Visser -van der Heijden focused on key figures of the postmodern era, such as A.R. Penck, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, George Condo, Eugene Leroy and Daan van Golden. Alongside his extremely active role as a collector, Martin Visser was also a renowned furniture designer. He was also active in giving commissions. His house in Bergeijk, which has now been declared a listed building, was constructed in 1955 to a design by Gerrit Rietveld, and considerably extended in 1968 to a design by Aldo van Eyck.

This exhibition has been organized in close cooperation with the Kröller-Müller Museum, which has over 400 works under the name of 'Former Visser collection'. It is the museum's largest loan operation ever, with more than a hundred art works travelling to Maastricht.

Sigmar Polke

A.R. Penck

Karel Appel

Keith Haring

Martial Raysse

Jan Schoonhoven


Richard Long

Richard Long

Bernd Lohaus

Richard Long



Dan Flavin

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman

Carl Andre

Sol LeWitt

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