The catalogue Negen (Nine) was published in conjunction with the exhibition Negen (Nine) that took place at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (9 March – 14 April 1991).

With the exhibition Negen (Nine), Witte de With aimed to show the qualities of contemporary art in The Netherlands. In general, Dutch art at the time had little to offer in the way of exalted visions. That means that there was ⎼ back then ⎼ no question of movements as such that could have provided a serious contribution to cultural or social enrichment.

Instead of a pessimistic lament which would pass sentence without foundation, or an exaggeratedly optimistic view which would pose reality as tautology, an appraisal was made in Witte de With: the choice of artists and works of art, which one encountered in the specific exhibition brought lines, relationships and revisions into the landscape of Dutch contemporary art. With Negen (Nine), Witte de With’s primary intention had been to present a selection of works, and not of artists.No rhetoric of inventory underlay this exhibition, nor any mysterious story, but rather a confrontation between forms and ideas, which transcended vague notions as regionalism and nationalism.

Nine artists, whom one might view as independent and generous thinkers, were chosen for Negen (Nine). Witte de With had sought out artists who, until the time of the selection, had been working independently of changing schools and tendencies and who had each formed and expanded on their own personal position. Each of the artists represented had an independent stance within the panorama of Dutch art of the time. Many studios were visited throughout The Netherlands and many artists were approached. Although the chosen artists had worked and lodged in differing rooms and they had exhibited in differing halls until the time of the exhibition, together they constructed a sound and solid edifice.

Featuring works by Philip Akkerman, Rob Birza, Paul Cox, Guido Geelen, Joep van Lieshout, Willem Oorebeek, Charly van Rest, Han Schuil, Roos Theuws.