For the exhibition AS LONG AS IT LASTS Witte de With invited nine artists to realize installations in relation to the architecture of its exhibition spaces, taking painting as a starting point. In the confrontation between painting and the architectural space, possibilities for a further development in painting were sought after and questioned.

The artists shown in AS LONG AS IT LASTS were: Rob Birza (1962), Raoul De Keyser (1930), Ludger Gerdes (1954), Fons Haagmans (1948), Henri Jacobs (1957), Marien Schouten (1956), Philippe Van Snick (1946), Jessica Stockholder (1959), and Lawrence Weiner (1942).

With AS LONG AS IT LASTS Witte de With wanted to test painting’s autonomy by making it address the two- and three-dimensional divisions of architectural space. The artists approached this challenge with sometimes far-reaching measures: Stockholder literally broke down parts of walls, while Birza added objects like mattresses and chairs to his wall paintings.

As a result, the exhibition could be seen as contending the further development of painting in a contemporary context that simultaneously preaches both its crisis and revival, but where, in most cases, only the “object value” of painting is emphasized. In contrast to these consecrated objects, the paintings in AS LONG AS IT LASTS were not meant to last; after the exhibition ended, the walls were painted over.

As part of the exhibition AS LONG AS IT LASTS, Lawrence Weiner realized a special work for the Euromast in Rotterdam. His text AS LONG AS IT LASTS painted on the Euromast was one of the largest works Weiner has ever realized. With this project, Witte de With wanted to further contribute to the discussion on the role of art in public spaces.

The film El sol del membrillo (1992), by the Spanish filmmaker Victor Erice (1940), about the making of a painting of a quince tree, was shown in conjunction with the exhibition.