Sonsbeek '86

2 juli – 29 augustus 1986


Saskia Bos


Fifteen years after the high-profile Sonsbeek beyond the pale, Sonsbeek '86 is smaller in scale. This time, in fact, most of the sculptures have been placed in Sonsbeek park, about half of which were made especially for the exhibition. Curator Saskia Bos relates to the previous Sonsbeek '71 when creating a framework for the exhibition. While during Sonsbeek '71, the artworks in the park were made for a particular outdoor spot, now many works are impossible to show outside. Most of the artworks are housed in one of the three glass pavilions, which deliberately look like greenhouses. Bos writes about this in the introduction: "More than ever, today's artworks are artificial products [sic] that do not adapt to nature, let alone merge with it." The pavilions isolate most of the artworks from the park. Because of their isolation, these works are not only more static and perhaps more art-like, but also more autonomous. The viewer's attention is drawn to the works themselves. In doing so, Bos has focused on artworks that may cause confusion because of their striking skin and material qualities. Yet other sculptures, however, are much less mysterious.

In short, Sonsbeek '86 shows diverse developments in contemporary sculpture. Some artworks can be characterised as 'museum art', while others actually 'blend in' with Sonsbeek park.


  • Siah Armajani
  • Richard Artschwager
  • Michael Asher
  • Marco Bagnoli
  • Bazilebustamant
  • Joseph Beuys
  • Marcel Broodthaers
  • James Casebere
  • John Chamberlain
  • Tony Cragg
  • Richard Deacon
  • Jiří Georg Dokoupil
  • Lili Dujourie
  • Ger van Elk
  • Luciano Fabro
  • Weiss/Fischli
  • Barry Flanagan
  • O’Brien/Fortuyn
  • Katherina Fritsch
  • Dan Graham
  • Jenny Holzer
  • Rebecca Horn
  • Shirazeh Houshiary
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Niek Kemps
  • Harald Klingelhöller
  • Bertrand Lavier
  • Mario Merz
  • Marisa Merz
  • Reinhard Mucha
  • Hidetoshi Nagasawa
  • Bruce Nauman
  • Claes Oldenburg
  • Tom Otterness
  • Panamarenko
  • Guilio Paolini
  • Giuseppe Penone
  • Thomas Schütte
  • Jeroen Snijders
  • Ettore Spalletti
  • Rosemarie Trockel
  • Peer Veneman
  • Jan Vercruysse
  • Henk Visch
  • Carel Visser
  • Isolde Wawrin
  • Franz West
  • Heimo Zobernig


Sonsbeek park


Sonsbeek '86 did not include public programme.



Sonsbeek ’86 (twee delen), 1986

Design: Anton Beeke
Publisher: Veen-Reflex

Facts and Figures

48 artists 45 artworks ⋅ 3 glass pavilions designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects and Wiek Röling  78.000 paying visitors

Still visible in Arnhem

Fortuyn/O’Brien, The Owl and the Pussycat went to see, 1986
Location: sculpture garden Museum Arnhem

Rebecca Horn, Venustrechter, 1986
Location: sculpture garden Museum Arnhem

Jenny Holzer, Under a Rock1986
Location: sculpture garden Museum Arnhem