Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, is proud to present the major solo exhibition of Billy Apple®, comprising two parts, A History of the Brand (31 May – 13 September) and Revealed/Concealed (26 June – 13 September). In addition to this major survey, Witte de With will present a new commission in public space by the artist, and a monographic publication titled Billy Apple® as part of Witte de With Publishers’ ongoing Sourcebook series.

A History of the Brand: 1962-2009
Occupying the 3rd floor of Witte de With, this exhibition will present works from Billy Apple®’s inception through to today, tracing a practice that has remained ahead of its time in analysing and incorporating the marketing of art.

Long before the likes of Gilbert & George began their life-long intertwining of art and life, and before Andy Warhol’s self-appointment as the icon of Pop Art, Billy Apple® embarked upon an artistic project that has shaped his practice for five decades. As Christina Barton writes, he has “spent much of his career creating and refining his ‘brand’ as an artistic manoeuvre geared to test the boundaries of art, examine the mechanisms that construct the artist as subject, and expose the value systems in which he and his works are mired”. The culmination of Billy Apple®’s gradual transformation from an individual artist into a brand occurred in 2008, when he succeeded in registering his name as a trademark.


Saturday 30 May 2009
5 – 8 p.m.: Opening A History of the Brand
5 p.m.: Panel discussion “The Artist Has to Live Like Everybody Else” with Billy Apple®, Jan Mot (gallerist, Brussels), Olav Velthuis (writer, Amsterdam), moderated by Nicolaus Schafhausen (curator, director of Witte de With).

Thursday 25 June
5- 8 p.m.: Opening Revealed/Concealed
5 p.m.: Guided tour of the exhibition by Christina Barton (Director of Adam Art Gallery, Wellington) and Wystan Curnow (Professor, University of Auckland)
7 p.m.: Billy Apple® in conversation with David Elliott (artistic director, 17th Sydney Biennial)

Event for and by young people

It’s a new brand world
11-13 September 2009


The exhibitions will be accompanied by a Source Book, titled Billy Apple®, published by Witte de With Publishers. This English-language monograph will include texts by Christina Barton (Senior Lecturer in Art History, and Director of Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington) and Bénédicte Ramade (art critic, L’Oeil, Les Inrocktupibles, Paris), Michelle Menzies (American Field Scholar, PhD candidate at the University of Chicago) and William Wood (Assistant Professor, Art History Faculty, University of British Columbia, Vancouver). Released: September 2009.
Price: 10 euro.
ISBN: 978-90-73362-89-5

Work in public space

The two-part exhibition extends into public space with a billboard commission, created in collaboration with Sculpture International Rotterdam. These two billboards will see Billy Apple®’s designs installed on a large scale, inserting themselves into the visual fabric of the city.

Titles and locations:
The Artist Has To Live Like Everybody Else (c)
Billy Apple®, 1985
location: Opposite Centraal Station Rotterdam, on the corner of Weena and Kruisplein

From the Sculpture International Rotterdam Collection
Billy Apple®, 2009
location: On the corner of Schiedamse Vest and Schilderstraat, on the Herenplaats/MEE Rotterdam building

Click here for map (jpg).

—With Thanks To:

New Zealand Embassy, The Hague
Toost op een betere wereld

—Supported by

Laan Irodjojo
Maarsen Groep
Mee Rotterdam
Joost ten Bruggencate and Jeroen Everaert from Mothership
Sculpture International Rotterdam
Creative New Zealand