Solo Exhibition

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Untitled © Courtesy of the Artist and De Hallen Haarlem
Untitled,, 2009 Ceramic, Compressor, Foam © Courtesy the artist and Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
Untitled, 2011 Engine, Copper Sulphate, Steel © Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam THE EKARD COLLECTION
Solo Exhibition

Grote Markt 16
December 1st, 2012 - February 24th, 2013
Opening: November 30th, 2012 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Other (outside main areas)
+31 (0)23 511 5775
Tue-Sat 11-5; Sundays and bank holidays 12-5
mixed-media, installation, sculpture


From 1 December De Hallen Haarlem will be presenting English artist Roger Hiorns’s first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands. Hiorns gained wide recognition with his spectacular work Seizure (2008): a titillating transformation of a London working-class house, which was nominated for the Turner Prize. For this monumental work he had the house’s entire interior covered with copper sulphate crystals; the visitor entered a sparkling, fairytale world. From 1 December 2012 until 24 February 2013 De Hallen Haarlem will show the sculptor’s recent and new work. Simultaneously there will be a solo presentation by Joseph Beuys that traces the historical roots of Hiorns’s work. 

Like a contemporary alchemist Roger Hiorns (Birmingham, 1975) works with unexpected natural materials. The use of fickle and uncontrollable materials like copper sulphate, brain matter and fire typifies Hiorns’s practice. For him a sculpture is never a static object, but always in motion – the idea of ‘transformation’ is central to many of his works.

Working method

Hiorns questions the way we cope with things surrounding us. To what extent are we able to really know an object? And how does our understanding of a sculpture change when we know that a cow’s brain has been incorporated? Does a sculpture acquire new meaning when we know that a religious community prays to it from a distance? With Hiorns nothing is like it seems. The copper sulphate crystals, with which the artist has covered not only a house, but car engines and other objects as well, keep on growing on a microscopic level. His works of art do not present a complete story, but they beg the question whether our ratio is capable of fathoming the world.

New work

For the exhibition in De Hallen Haarlem Hiorns has created a large group of new sculptures, that is being supplemented by a selection of his recent works. The new works will show a great variety in materials (aircraft engines, kitchen tables, park benches) and aesthetic approaches, while simultaneously sharing a common denominator. They are all connected by the occasional presence of a naked boy, who ‘activates’ the lifeless sculptures by taking a seat on them. Hiorns will also create subtle connections to symbolic locations in Haarlem outside of the museum. The exhibition will thus invisibly propel itself into the public arena.

In 2009, Hiorns's work was shown in De Hallen Haarlem in the group exhibition The Knight's Tour.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with texts by Xander Karskens and Tom Morton, designed by Felix Weigand. The book is published by De Hallen Haarlem, and distributed by Idea Books. The publication will be presented during a book launch on 24 January, 2013.
The acquisition of two works by Roger Hiorns has been made possible by the generous financial support of Outset. Further thanks go out to Corvi-Mora, London, and Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.

De Hallen Extra
Thursday 24 January 2013: Artist talk & book launch Roger Hiorns, starting 20:00;
Thursday 21 February 2013: Lecture by Louwrien Wijers about Joseph Beuys, starting 20:00.


De Hallen Haarlem presenteert de eerste museale solotentoonstelling van Roger Hiorns in Nederland. Deze Engelse kunstenaar werd bij het grote publiek bekend door zijn spectaculaireSeizure (2008): een zinnenprikkelende transformatie van een Londense arbeiderswoning, waarvoor hij een Turner Prize-nominatie ontving. Voor dit monumentale werk liet hij het volledige interieur van de woning begroeien met blauwe kopersulfaatkristallen, waardoor de bezoeker in een fonkelende, sprookjesachtige wereld terechtkwam. Van 1 december 2012 tot en met 24 februari 2013 toont De Hallen Haarlem bestaand en nieuw werk van deze beeldhouwer. Gelijktijdig is een solopresentatie te zien van Joseph Beuys, waarmee De Hallen de historische wortels traceert van Hiorns’ werk.

Als een hedendaagse alchemist werkt Roger Hiorns (Birmingham, 1975) met onverwachte, natuurlijke materialen. Het gebruik van veranderlijke en onbeheersbare materialen als kopersulfaat, hersenen en vuur is kenmerkend voor Hiorns’ praktijk. Een beeld is bij hem nooit een statisch object, maar is altijd in beweging – het idee van ‘transformatie’ staat in veel van zijn werken centraal.