Sonsbeek 2008: Grandeur

14 June – 21 September 2008


Anna Tilroe


The theme of grandeur, or "the human pursuit of greatness," sought to cast art in a different light. The present time, the beginning of the 21st century, according to Anna Tilroe, was characterized 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 sees major differences from the art of the 20th century, in which the superhuman, the unknown, was the main focus. In the present era, a work of art is no longer able to instill 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 desire in the viewer. In a certain sense, Tilroe even considers it their social responsibility, and in doing so she ascribes an important role to art. For the opening of sonsbeek 2008, a procession takes place in which almost a thousand people participate. The works of art (or parts of them) are literally and figuratively carried on hands through the streets of Arnhem by people who have grouped themselves into guilds. The procession is etched in the memory of many an Arnhemmer.  


  • 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


Park Sonsbeek


Procession through downtown Arnhem with about 1,000 participants united in so-called guilds.



Sonsbeek 2008: Grandeur, 2008

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


Facts and numbers

115.000 visitors ⋅ 25.000 bezoekers bij processie . 28 artists . jubileumeditie (10e Sonsbeek) 

Nog te zien in Arnhem

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

Alain Séchas, Lazy King, 2008
Locatie: park Sonsbeek bij de Stadsvilla

Johan Creten, Bakermat, 2008
Locatie: park Sonsbeek 

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

Michel François, Appearance of a Tree, 2008
Locatie: park Sonsbeek, dichtbij de ijskelder