Dutch artist, broadcaster and enfant terrible Wim T Schippers gets a retrospective in Bonn
The pop art movement of the 1960s could be characterised as having brought everyday iconography into the museum. The concurrent Fluxus movement sought to do the opposite – flooding the outside world with artistic interventions. In the 60s, Wim T Schippers was associated with both movements but was so successful in his use of both strategies that he is now recognised as almost anything but an artist. To some he is a TV presenter (of the notorious Hoepla, banned in 1967) to others he is a radio presenter (he hosted the most popular Dutch show from 1984 to 1991), or he is the scourge of Dutch theatre after writing a play for a cast of German Shepherd dogs (performed to a sell-out audiences at Amsterdam’s Stadsschouwburg in 1986). To many more he is the prevailing voice of Ernie from the Dutch-language version of Sesame Street.
The exhibition at Bonner Kunstverein is the first survey of his work for almost 20 years and his first solo exhibition outside the Netherlands (although he did ignore an invitation to exhibit at the Guggenheim, New York in 1969). It surveys his entire career, incorporating early drawings, pop- and Dada-influenced collages and reliefs, kinetic sculpture, short films and television sketches, records, comic books and documentation of his plays, performances and public artworks. The exhibition, however, is dominated by a 50 sq m slab of peanut butter, spread over the gallery floor – his legendary Pindakaasvloer, first conceived in 1962.