Stanley Donwood at Bonnefanten Museum
The cupola of the Bonnefanten Museum only gets a new artwork once every couple of years, so when one of your favourite contemporary artists turns it into something new, you got to go and experience it!
Of course I’d been familiar with the artwork that Stanley Donwood designed for Radiohead, but I really fell in love with his work back in 2010 when I had the honour of being a tour guide at his exhibition ‘Red Maze’ at Schunck*, a multidisciplinary cultural meeting place that combines an architectural institute, a collection of modern and contemporary art, a public library and a school of music and dance in Heerlen (NL). Seeing so many of Donwood’s artwork in such an overwhelming exhibition, made me appreciate his art even more. When I heard he was going to be the artist to transform the inside of the cupola at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht (NL) into something new, I was curious for the outcome to say the least.
The cupola of the Bonnefanten Museum inspired Donwood to create a wall painting in the form of an optical glade. Optical glades are open spaces in forests that provoke feelings that can best be campared to the sacred feelings you might get when entering a cathedral, mosque or other place that’s considered holy. Invited by the fatboys in the middle of cupola, the almost hallucinating interplay of lines, in combination with the music that Radiohead singer Thom Yorke composed specifically for this artwork, invite you to embrace your inner silence, lets you meditate or in contrary, might arouse a moment of reflection.
Paintings from A Moon Shaped Pool
June 1st ’till September 3rd 2017 – Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht NL
featuring works of Stanley Donwood
At the opening of the transformed cupola, Bonnefanten Museum also hosted an exhibition with work by Stanley Donwood, called ‘Paintings of A Moonshaped Pool’.
Created for and during the recordings of Radiohead’s album ‘A Moonshaped Pool’ at the summer 2015 in France and in England in 2016, the paintings are primarily a work of nature. Pouring enamel paint onto the surface of large artificial ponds, Donwood let the winds, thunderstorms and rains shift the enamel until the forms and patterns were created and captured them on canvas. Although the paintings can be considered to be dream patterns of the sky, the co-operation between the weather and Donwood definitely resulted in beautiful and captivating works of art.
Although the ‘Paintings from A Moon Shaped Pool’ are no longer exhibited at the Bonnefanten Museum, you can still experience Donwood’s ‘Optical Glade’ at the cupola of the museum. For more info about the museum, current exhibitions and opening hours, go to Bonnefanten.nl. For more info about Stanley Donwood, his online shop and current exhibitions, visit his official website slowlydownward.com.