Rafaël Rozendaal: Color, Code, Communication – e-flux Agenda

Rafaël Rozendaal
Color, Code, Communication
April 21–August 20, 2023

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Opening: April 20, 7–10pm

Symposium: April 21–22, New Landscapes-NFTs & the Museum, YouTube link below

Museum Folkwang

Museumsplatz 1

45128 Essen

Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Thursday–Friday 10am–8pm

An extensive exhibition of works by NFT artist Rafaël Rozendaal, including both digital and analogue forms, will be on view at the Museum Folkwang from April 21 to August 20, 2023. In his abstract works, Rozendaal often deals with art historical subjects and pioneers of 20th-century art. Color, Code, Communication is the first monographic exhibition of the New York-based artist in a European museum and will be accompanied by an international symposium on NFT art (April 21–22, 2023).

Rafaël Rozendaal (born 1980) is one of the best-known players in digital art worldwide. As early as the beginning of the 2000s, the artist conceived works in the form of websites as unique pieces. He develops his ideas from drawings and sketches, which are the distributed on various digital distribution channels through programming and coding. With his works, Rozendaal reaches a broad audience worldwide beyond conventional forms of presentation.

For a good three years now, he has been realising his art as NFTs. Non-fungible tokens are based on a technology that verifies digital art as unique in a forgery-proof list of data records (blockchain). Each token has an owner, with the information and the work itself accessible to all on various digital platforms at all times. In his latest NFT projects, Rozendaal combines pictorial motifs and themes from recent art history with current forms of communication and developments in blockchain. In his artistic work, he develops a visually fascinating visual language, both for digital space and for site-specific and urban contexts. Museum Folkwang is now showing the artist’s works extensively for the first time in immersive installations, site-specific murals, browser windows, artist books, public space and social media.

A highlight of the exhibition is the presentation of 81 Horizons (2021) in the museum’s large exhibition hall. The 81-part NFT series is presented across 1,000 square metres as a walk-in video installation that invites contemplative strolling and transforms the viewing experience on screens and in browser windows into an exhibition situation. In it, Rozendaal plays with the art historical topos of the horizon line and, for each of his abstractions, compresses two monochrome colour fields into files only 0.3 KB in size. By transferring and scaling the NFT series to screens in the museum space, it becomes a physical experience for the audience.

At the two-day symposium devoted to New Landscapes—NFTs and the Museum (April 21 / April 22), internationally renowned artists, curators, scholars and bloggers will discuss the interfaces between the museum world, digital arts and Web3. They will provide exciting insights into their projects and invite visitors to virtual studio visits.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the artist’s book 81 Horizons. Rafaël Rozendaal published by Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König (64 EUR).

Supported by Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland, Sparkasse Essen, and Savings Banks Cultural Fund of the German Savings Banks Association.

With the help of the Mondriaan Fund.

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