Sonsbeek 2008: Grandeur

14 June - 21 September 2008


Anna Tilroe


The theme of Grandeur, or 'the human pursuit of greatness', aimed to show art in a different light. According to Anna Tilroe, the current era, the beginning of the 21st century, was marked by global shifts in politics, economics, as well as climate and communication. As humans today, we are primarily consumers. Art has changed along with it and is increasingly influenced by the market. Tilroe detects major differences with 20th-century art, in which the superhuman, the unknown, was the main focus. In the present day, a work of art is no longer able to instil fear.
Despite diminished optimism - or idealism - the desire for greatness remains present in human beings who are always trying to rise above themselves. It is up to artists to ignite this deepest longing in the viewer. In a way, Tilroe even considers it their social responsibility, and in doing so, she attributes an important role to art. For the opening of sonsbeek 2008, a procession took place in which almost a thousand people participated. The works of art (or parts of them) were literally and figuratively carried on hands through the streets of Arnhem by people who had grouped themselves into guilds. The procession is etched in the memory of many Arnhem residents.  


  • Marijke van Warmerdam
  • Michel François
  • Johan Creten
  • Stephen Wilks
  • Ana Maria Tavares
  • Jörg Steiner & Gerda Lenzlinger
  • Yasue Maetake
  • Mella Jaarsma & Nindityo Adipurnomo
  • Rona Pondick
  • Matthew Monahan
  • Johan Simons
  • Willem Boshoff
  • Alain Séchas
  • Eylem Aladogan
  • Brody Condon
  • Serge Onnen
  • Fernando Sánchez Castillo
  • Hans van Houwelingen
  • Thom Houseago
  • Lara Schnitger
  • Charlie Roberts
  • Rini Hurkmans
  • El Anatsui
  • Joseph Sumégné
  • Tomás Saraceno
  • Jean-Michel Othoniel


Sonsbeek park


Procession in the city center with approximately 1000 participants, united in so-called 'guilds'.



Sonsbeek 2008: Grandeur, 2008

Design: Cornel Bierens & Peter van Klingeren / Criterium
Publisher: Thieme Art


Facts and Figures

⋅  115.000 visitors ⋅ 25.000 visitors at the procession  28 artists  anniversary edition (10th Sonsbeek) 

Still visible in Arnhem

Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Spitting Leaders, 2008
Location: Presikhaaf park

Alain Séchas, Lazy King, 2008
Location: Sonsbeek park near the Stadsvilla

Johan Creten, Bakermat, 2008
Location: Sonsbeek park 

Hans van Houwelingen, Update, 2008
Location: Sonsbeek park, Lorentz monument

Michel François, Appearance of a Tree, 2008
Location: Sonsbeek park, close to the 'ijskelder' (ice cellar)