Stuff Matters

This summer, Centraal Museum is in the hands of Jessica Stockholder (1959). Let her exuberant sculptures and installations surprise and inspire you. Art historian Miwon Kwon has aptly described her work as “messy and funky, almost out of control”.

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We are showing special loan pieces, new sculptures and an installation that Stockholder created specifically for this exhibition.

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We also invited Stockholder to incorporate pieces from our huge museum collection. As Stockholder explains: "I have selected items from the collection that resonate with my own work. In a certain sense I treated the collection as one of my materials, and have investigated how the meaning of each work changes depending on the context."

Stockholder selected over 60 items from more than 45 makers. By combining these works in unexpected ways, new and intriguing relationships emerge between artists, artisans and designers, regardless of historical era and discipline.

Thus, 17th-century works amicably rub shoulders with contemporary still lifes.

The exhibition displays Stockholder’s selection of works from the Centraal Museum treasure trove. One of the most exciting treasures she found is Gustave Courbet’s The Wave.

About Courbet’s work, Stockholder says: “I love colour. It is a physical phenomenon that also elicits sensual and emotive experiences. In this exhibition we decided to use colour on the walls to frame each section of the show. I referred to the various green tints in the wave, and the orange-pink that shines through in the sky – as a jumping off point for my colour choices.”


This collaboration with Jessica Stockholder is a unique opportunity for Centraal Museum to present its collection – the DNA of the museum – in a light-hearted and wide-ranging way. This DNA derives from makers from Utrecht, from the Netherlands, and from around the world. Stockholder deftly weaves these different strands together to form a harmonious whole. From Bart van der Leck to Iris van Herpen and from Gustave Courbet to Gerrit Rietveld: in Stuff Matters they are all equally at home.

Practical information

Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters

The artist Jessica Stockholder will change your perspective on what's worthwhile and worthless

This summer, Centraal Museum presents Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters. Jessica Stockholder (USA 1959) came to fame in the early 1990s with colourful and picturesque as well as monumental installations. In her work, Stockholder combines all sorts of everyday items – ranging from umbrellas and cushions to furniture and lamps – to form an overwhelming composition. Through her playful manipulation of form and colour, she is able to transform the entire room.

With her open-minded approach to the world, Stockholder aims to disrupt our usual view of the items and materials that surround us daily, and to subvert our notions regarding what’s worthwhile and worthless.

In this exhibition, Jessica Stockholder acts as both artist and curator. In addition to a retrospective of her oeuvre, she applies her unique perspective to select objects from the museum’s various collections. The exhibition Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters will run from 19 April to 1 September 2019.