Sonsbeek 1993

2 July - 29 August 1993


Valery Smith


Like her predecessor Saskia Bos, American curator Valery Smith develops her own strategy for Sonsbeek 93. First, she chooses to include the city centre and areas on the outskirts of Arnhem in addition to the park. These three rings are depicted in Sonsbeek 93's logo. Smith's ideas can be summarised with the words identity, publicness and process. Seventy-three artists from around the world are commissioned to create site-specific artworks. Smith wants them to critically examine the identity of a place, possibly in relation to its inhabitants. Questions at the centre are: how are public places designed; how do they function; and by whom are they used?

Sonsbeek 93 could be considered a process. Many artworks were not about the final product, but about the process that preceded it, or the reactions that were provoked. This idea is represented by the catalogue, which only recounts the collaborative process between Smith and the artists. Images of the final artworks are largely absent. The media is critical of Smith's concept. Retrospectively, however, Sonsbeek 93 is considered an important exhibition in the development towards a more social art practice. In 2014, Jens Hoffman even counted Sonsbeek 93 among the fifty most influential exhibitions of the past twenty-five years.


  • George Adé
  • Mario Airó
  • Juan Vicente Aliaga
  • Pawel Althamer
  • Fareed Armaly
  • Art Orienté objet
  • Michael Asher
  • Christine Assman
  • Yves Aupetitallot
  • Miroslaw Balka
  • Geert Bekaert
  • Cornel Bierens
  • Blue Funk
  • Michel Barthassat
  • Alighiero e Boetti
  • Jean-Baptiste Bruant
  • Tom Burr
  • Maurizio Cattelan
  • Thierry de Cordier
  • Patrick Corillon
  • Jef Cornelis
  • Dorothy Cross
  • Stephan Dillemuth
  • Mark Dion
  • Gilles Dusein
  • Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler
  • Pepe Espaliù
  • Anna Gudjónsdóttir & Till Krause
  • Kenn Hardy
  • Ann Hamilton
  • Damien Hirst
  • Irene and Christine Hohenbüchler 
  • Zuzanna Janin
  • Elfriede Jelinek
  • Kamagurka
  • Mike Kelley
  • John Körmeling
  • Inez van Lamsweerde
  • Liz Larner & Susan Narduli
  • Yuri Leiderman
  • Mark Manders
  • Paul McCarthy
  • Thomas McEvilley
  • Misha Mengelberg
  • Eva Meyer
  • Annette Messager
  • Stuart Morgan
  • Jos de Mul
  • Juan Muňoz
  • Christian Philipp Müller
  • Max Neuhaus
  • Jan van de Pavert
  • Vong Phaophanit
  • Keith Piper
  • Mark Quinn
  • Allen Ruppersberg
  • Eran Schaerf
  • Wim T. Schippers
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Andreas Siekmann
  • Valerie Smith
  • subREAL
  • Filip Turek
  • Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken
  • Bart Verschaffel
  • Dirk van Weelden
  • Lawrence Weiner
  • Ruud van de Wint
  • Rémy Zaugg


  • Sonsbeek park
  • Arnhem city center
  • Museum Arnhem (Mike Kelly, The Uncanny)
  • Meijnerswijk (south of Arnhem)
  • Koepelgevangenis, Arnhem


Sonsbeek '93 did not include public programme. 



Sonsbeek ’93, 1993

Design: Wigger Bierma
Publisher: Snoeck

Mike Kelley: The Uncanny, 1993

Design: Wigger Bierma
Publisher: Gemeentemuseum

Facts and Figures

⋅ 73 artists  12.000 visitors

Still visible in Arnhem

Rémy Zaugg, Brücken von Arnheim, 1993
Location: Nelson Mandela bridge

Christina Assmann, Plafondschilderingen in wachthuisjes, 1993
Location: guard houses at the bridge crossing the Cattepoelseweg (Apeldoorneweg)

Marc Quinn, 12,5% Proof, 1993
Location: sculpture garden Museum Arnhem

Alighiero e Boetti, Autoritratto, 1993
Location: sculpture garden Museum Arnhem