The Martijn and
Jeannette Sanders Collection
July 20—November 9, 2014
With work by David Claerbout,
Thomas Demand, Gilbert & George,
Anton Henning, Anselm Kiefer,
Cindy Sherman, and many others
Amsterdam, May 19, 2014 —
This summer, the Stedelijk Museum
presents BAD THOUGHTS, a unique,
large-scale survey of the works assembled
by Amsterdam collectors Martijn and
Jeannette Sanders, one of the most
important private collections in the
Netherlands. During their 42 years of
collecting art, the Sanders have never before
exhibited their collection on this scale.
The Sanders Collection contains a diverse
array of several hundred paintings, sculptures,
assemblages, photos, drawings, text-based
artworks, films, videos, and installations by
over 350 mostly European and American
artists. The Stedelijk Museum has now made
a choice from this collection for the exhibition.
The title of the exhibition, BAD THOUGHTS,
is derived from a photo work by Gilbert &
George. It’s a light-hearted comment on the
adventure of private art collecting, as well as
the interest in the darker side of the human
psyche, evident in many of the works in the
Sanders Collection.
Martijn and Jeannette Sanders began
collecting art in the 1970s. Unlike many private
collections, the Sanders Collection is notable
for featuring a significant group of “core
artists” whose work is represented in great
depth, including Ger van Elk, Gilbert &
George, Anselm Kiefer, Cindy Sherman,
David Claerbout, Thomas Demand, and
Anton Henning. The collection also holds
a substantial body of conceptual art and
“narrative art” of the 1970s, work by the
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is being supported by:
Principal sponsor
Gilbert & George, Bad Thoughts (no.9), 1975, 4 photos,
120 x 100 cm. Sanders Collection, Amsterdam
Italian “trans-avant-garde” (Cucchi, Chia,
Clemente), and German painting of the 1970s
and 1980s (Lüpertz, Penck, and Baselitz).
Recent acquisitions by the Sanders include
works by Johan Grimonprez, Harun Farocki,
and Hito Steyerl.
When the Sanders began collecting, there
were only a few Dutch collectors of
contemporary art. Those days, the gallery
world was also far more delineated. In
Amsterdam, Adriaan van Ravesteijn and
Geert van Beijeren (Art & Project) and
Riekje Swart ran galleries with a progressive
international program focusing on minimal,
concrete, systematic and conceptual art.
The exhibition BAD THOUGHTS is dedicated
to Adriaan van Ravesteijn and Geert van
Beijeren of Art & Project (1968-2001), with
whom the Sanders developed a long term
friendship. “Almost from the beginning, we
embarked on what became both a literal and
metaphorical odyssey with Art & Project,” says
Jeannette Sanders. “We couldn’t have asked
for better guides.”
For the Sanders, collecting art is both a
personal matter and an intuitive process. It is
their way of life, and their collection reads as
a journal. “It is truly a private collection in the
sense that we collect for our own pleasure –
we have lived with these artworks,” says
Martijn Sanders. “But it was never our ambition
to build a collection of museum quality. The
fact that it will soon hang in a museum is an
incredible honor. At the same time, I hope
visitors will sense the collection’s private
chair of the Holland Festival and the
Vereniging Rembrandt. Jeannette Sanders
worked for many years in social psychiatry.
A small number of pieces from Martijn and
Jeannette Sanders’ collection was first
presented at the Stedelijk Museum in 1985.
Wim Beeren invited them to show a selection
of their works in the exhibition Wat Amsterdam
Betreft (As Far as Amsterdam Goes), his first
presentation as director of the Stedelijk. At
the time, Beeren voiced his hope of one day
presenting a broader selection of work from
the Sanders Collection. Now, in 2014, that
time has come. “We greatly value our
relationship with the Stedelijk,” says Jeannette
Sanders. “That’s why we’re so delighted to
have the opportunity to present our collection
here now.”
History has shown the importance of private
collections in building art institutions. Many
museums, including the Stedelijk, were
founded by collectors. In the wake of World
War II, the role of private collectors diminished
as the state began to dominate cultural policy.
It wasn’t until recently that this dynamic has
shifted. Now, museums once again have
become more receptive to partnering with
private collectors.
The presentation will occupy the spacious
lower-level gallery in the new wing, in a
special architectural configuration designed
by Florian Idenburg of SO-IL architects (New
York), who has been shortlisted for the Prix
de Rome Architecture 2014.
Gilbert & George and Anton Henning will
be closely involved in installing their spaces.
Henning will even create an installation
expressly for the exhibition.
A number of galleries will be re-hung in
Martijn Sanders was the director of the
Concertgebouw for over 24 years, prior
to which he led a national chain of movie
theaters. Still actively involved in arts
administration, his current positions include
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is being supported by:
Principal sponsor
The relationship between the Stedelijk and
the Sanders family stretches back many
decades, and is expressed in the form of
recommendations, presentations, and gifts,
among other things.
The publication Bad Thoughts – Collection
Martijn and Jeannette Sanders accompanies
the exhibition. Available in Dutch and English,
it will be approximately 70 pages in length. It
includes a foreword written by Beatrix Ruf, and
an introduction by Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen,
who also interviewed Martijn and Jeannette
Sanders. It also features six statements, from
Armando, Frank Van den Broeck, Gilbert &
George, Anton Henning, Anselm Kiefer, and
Adriaan van Ravesteijn.
The exhibition is curated by Martijn van
Artists in BAD THOUGHTS:
Mac Adams
Douglas Huebler
John Ahearn
Peter Hutchinson
Anselm Kiefer
David Askevold
Martin Kippenberger
Georg Baselitz
Jan Knap
Bill Beckley
Guillermo Kuitca
Rita McBride
Alexandra Leykauf
Frank Van den Broeck Robert Longo
Sandro Chia
Markus Lüpertz
David Claerbout
Gordon Matta-Clark
Francesco Clemente Juan Munoz
Allan McCollum
Gabriel Orozco
George Condo
Marc Quinn
Enzo Cucchi
Gregory Crewdson
Robert Cumming
Walter Robinson
Thomas Demand
Allen Ruppersberg
Jiři Georg Dokupil
A.R. Penck
Ger van Elk
Marc Quinn
Ed van der Elsken
Ed Ruscha
Jean le Gac
John Fernie
Thomas Schütte
Giulio Galan
Andres Serrano
Gilbert & George
Cindy Sherman
Johan Grimonprez
Haim Steinbach
Douglas Gordon
Hito Steyerl
Keith Haring
Peter Struycken
Anton Henning
William Wegman
Teresa Hubbard /
Maja Weyermann
Alexander Birchler
Christopher Wool
Note for editors:
The exhibition opening will be held on
Saturday, July 19.
In week 28, Anton Henning will install the
works in his space. Gilbert & George will be
present as of July 18.
For more information and visual material,
contact Marie-José Raven and Annematt
Ruseler of the Stedelijk Museum Press Office
on: tel. +31 (0)20 – 573 26 56 / 60 or at
[email protected]
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is being supported by:
Principal sponsor