Beating Around the Bush is an exhibition programme in which the Bonnefanten presents its collection in an explorative way. In different episodes, both the fixed values and the ‘quiet reserve’ of the collection are brought into dialogue with interventions from outside, which function as mirrors that offer new content-related insights and perspectives.


False Flat forms a new step in the train of thought behind Beating Around the Bush, with everything revolving around painting this time. With regard to both form and content, painting can assume many different guises. False Flat celebrates this multivocality by spotlighting various painterly approaches, whereby we do not restrict ourselves to art on a flat surface, but also pay attention to more experimental and cross-disciplinary practices, presenting formalist examples alongside engaged and even activist works.

There is a special focus on four exceptional artists, who are participating in small solo presentations: Hadassah Emmerich, Fons Haagmans, Rik Meijers and Marleen Rothaus, each of whom take their own approach to painting and show the breadth of the spectrum of the medium. Their work enters into dialogue with the work of artists in the collection who play with the concept of painting, whether stretching it or getting to its essence from a different angle. These artists search for the link between word and image, explore the materials that can make up a painting or demonstrate that a painting is not necessarily just a single static picture.

Dynamic version

The Bonnefanten’s collection includes numerous examples that show this multivocality of painting. There are too many to exhibit in a single, static collection presentation. So for this edition, we have opted for a dynamic approach, alternating the ‘chorus’ of voices from the collection a few times over the space of a year, so that the four ‘soloists’ are shown in a different light each time. This changes the nature of the exhibition every couple of months, thus displaying the wealth and diversity of the collection in the most dynamic version of Beating Around the Bush to date.