News — 11 Aug 2022

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam acquires important work by DRIFT from the Materialism series, with the support of the Rembrandt Association. DRIFT also donates two other works from the series to the Stedelijk.

DRIFT, Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018), from the Materialism series. As on display at It's Our F***ing Backyard. Designing Material Futures.
DRIFT, Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018), from the Materialism series. As on display at It's Our F***ing Backyard - Designing Material Futures. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, acquired with support of the Rembrandt Association. Photo: Ronald Smits

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is proud to announce its collection has been expanded with three more works by DRIFT – all from the Materialism series. With the support of the Rembrandt Association, the museum was able to acquire the work Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018), which is currently on display in the exhibition It's Our F***ing Backyard. Designing Material Futures. DRIFT is also donating two smaller works from the same series to the museum: Materialism Lightbulb (2018) and Materialism LED (2018).

DRIFT (Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta) makes installations focusing on the relationship between nature, people and technology – a subject only gaining in relevancy and urgency given the state of the Earth and the continued expansion of (digital) technology. Starting in 2018, the series Materialism is an ongoing research project wherein DRIFT poetically draws attention to the human impact on our environment. The works can be regarded as 3D infographics about the use of materials in the production of everyday objects, such as a vacuum cleaner, a Volkswagen Beetle, a pencil and PET bottles. Reduced to their raw materials, the size of each resulting block indicates the amount of material used. In this way, the work invites reflection on how we use the raw materials we have at our disposal.

The Stedelijk has been following DRIFT's work since its foundation fifteen years ago. In 2015, the museum purchased Fragile Future Chandelier 3.5 (2012), a light installation incorporating dandelion seeds. In 2018, the Stedelijk organized the very successful and well-attended first solo exhibition of DRIFT, which attracted over 280,000 visitors in four months. The newly acquired installation Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018), which was developed and displayed for the first time for this exhibition, is an important addition to the other DRIFT works already in the Stedelijk collection.

Film still from video 'Materialism', made by Xinix Films

Donation

With the purchase of Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018), DRIFT is also donating two smaller works from the same series to the museum: Materialism Lightbulb (2018) and Materialism LED (2018). Smaller in scale, these pieces can more easily show the enormous influence of how new materials and techniques are applied in everyday objects.

DRIFT, Lightbulb (2018), glass / vitrite / aluminum / steel / copper / tungsten / tin/ RVS (47 x 26 x 24 mm). DRIFT, LED (2018), aluminum / epoxy / phosphor / gallium nitride / gold (7 x 14 x 6 mm). Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photos: Ronald Smits
DRIFT, Lightbulb (2018), glass / vitrite / aluminum / steel / copper / tungsten / tin/ RVS (47 x 26 x 24 mm). DRIFT, LED (2018), aluminum / epoxy / phosphor / gallium nitride / gold (7 x 14 x 6 mm). Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photos: Ronald Smits

Ingeborg de Roode, Curator of Industrial Design: “The Volkswagen Beetle 1980 from 2018 is the key piece that started the Materialism series and therefore an important addition to the Stedelijk's collection. The work moves at the interface between autonomous and applied work, which gives it an interesting position in the Stedelijk’s broad collection. It’s important that such an important work ends up in the collection of a Dutch museum – now it can be shared with many future generations.”  

On display

The Volkswagen Beetle 1980 is currently on display in the exhibition It's our F***ing Backyard. Designing Material Futures. Running until 4 September 2022, the exhibition spotlights the greatest challenge of our time: the climate crisis. It shows how designers can have significant impact: through innovative experiments or by drawing on ‘forgotten’ knowledge, they invite us to look at materials in a radically new way and offer us design that is both responsible, aesthetic and accessible.

Director Rein Wolfs:

We are very pleased we were able to purchase this important work by contemporary artists with the support of the Rembrandt Association. Materialism communicates a subject and a call to awareness about something that concerns everyone. This work is a good example of the engagement artists and designers feel towards contemporary problems, such as climate change in this case. It’s a continuation of creating awareness on sustainability and represents a deepening of a still relatively young oeuvre – from artists the museum still has high expectations for.


Note for editors:
For more information and images you may contact the Press Office of the Stedelijk Museum, pressoffice@stedelijk.nl

DRIFT, Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018)
DRIFT, Volkswagen Beetle 1980 (2018), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Acquired with support of the Rembrandt Association. Photo: Stella Ojala