Exhibition for Mondriaan Fonds Art Rotterdam 2018

 The Blueprint as Universal language forms the basis of the work of Kees van Leeuwen(1986). In this project he researches the explanation of space as a language which is universally revealed in certain types of buildings.

He explores spaces which have no context without content and in which visitors can project their own ideas. Think of the white cube, the modern museum space which generates expectations that behind every wall and around every corner there will be a work of art which can be viewed in an isolated position. Van Leeuwen plays with this expectation by placing objects and walls and thus manipulating the space and creating suggestions of what the visitor will come across. In consequence of this he is fascinated in nuclear bunkers, actually isolated spaces.


In The Netherlands these bunkers were built during the Cold War, a period in which also the white cube was introduced in the art world. Nuclear bunkers are invisible from the outside, the spaces within are only revealed once you are inside. For Van Leeuwen these are spaces in which time comes to a standstill, in contrary to the white cube where time is determined by the exhibited works of art. At Prospects & Concepts he exhibited three works related to three different ‘noodzetels’ (nuclear bunkers for the government). Of the three blueprints he presented two refer to the works of these nuclear bunkers, one is a blueprint of a Japanese castle in which similar forms are to be discovered. Van Leeuwen sees this similarity as a reference to the universal language of architecture.