Voorwerk 3 was the third exhibition in the yearly recurrent series ‘Voorwerk’, meaning preliminary work, Witte de With’s annual exhibition of younger artists. As a series, it seeks to provide the first substantial presentation of works by relatively unknown artists. Voorwerk 3, the third in this series, presented works by Dutch artist W.J.M. Kok (1959), Swiss artist Roman Signer (1939), German artist Pia Stadtbäumer (1959), and Belgian artist Koen Theys (1963).

W.J.M. Kok investigates the way meaning is constructed. He presented a series of paintings in which he used a simple yet surprising way of working: he reproduced designs from a children’s coloring book in black acrylic paint on white canvas. The results were a series of extremely stylized and analytical paintings, representing the world in simplified images, reminiscent of childhood.

Roman Signer works with natural elements: earth, water, wind and fire. In numerous actions, video and film performances, and installations he has engaged himself with representing catastrophical natural forces like fire and explosions. In his installation at Witte de With, Signer addressed these themes by ironically referring to the formalist dogma of Minimalist sculpture. He presented a forest of white sticks, through which an iron drum had forcefully cleared a path.

Pia Stadtbäumer investigates the difference between the representation of the human figure and of the human body, concentrating on the depiction of children and adolescents. She brought together bodies made from treated plaster and negative impressions of human figures in domestic architectonic elements such as mantelpieces, creating small configurations that interacted with the architecture of Witte de With.

Koen Theys presented a series of provocative sculptures of such banal or offensive subjects as excrement and raised middle fingers. Cast from classical materials, like bronze and steel, but also from unusual materials like polyurethane and latex rubber, the sculptures were alienating as well as ironical.