'Het gaat om heel eenvoudige dingen' - Launch of the biography of Jean Leering by Paul Kempers

Portret Jean Leering
Tentoonstelling: Joseph Beuys: Voglie vedere i miei montagne. Foto: Peter Cox
Tentoonstelling: Kompas 4: Westkust U.S.A. Foto: Van den Bichelaer
Tentoonstelling De Straat: Vorm van samenleven. Foto: van den Bichelaer

'Het gaat om heel eenvoudige dingen' Launch of the biography of Jean Leering by Paul Kempers


NB: This event is in Dutch

The launch of “It’s about very simple things”, a biography of Jean Leering written by Paul Kempers, will take place in the Van Abbemuseum on 9 September. Leering was the director of the Van Abbemuseum (1964-1973), the Tropical Museum (1963-1975) and was also involved in several international exhibitions and on a number of boards. Leering’s time as director was characterized above all by an innovative and experimental exhibition policy. He was an important figure in the Dutch art world during the 1960s and 70s, but a whole new generation of curators and museum directors have been inspired by his progressive ideas up to the present day. Leering’s contribution to the discussion about the role of the museum and the importance of contemporary art for society are still extremely significant.


The launching of the book takes place at 9 September in the auditorium of the museum. Curator Diana Franssen welcomes you at 3 p.m. Then, museum director Charles Esche talks with author Paul Kempers about his book. The event takes place until 4.30 p.m. and is free of charge.

 “It’s about very simple things”

The author Paul Kempers has meticulously described Leering’s career, the world of his ideas and the sources which inspired him in an accessible and often humorous way. On the basis of archive materials, interviews and many photographs he has outlined an intriguing portrait of this inspired and innovative cultural icon, presenting a fascinating picture of the artistic, intellectual and social climate in the Netherlands during the 1960s and 70s. The biography can be purchased in our bookshop, as well as other places.


Paul Kempers is an author, freelance researcher and journalist. He has written, inter alia for De Groene Amsterdammer and Vrij Nederland and was the house philosopher in the Utrecht Central Museum. He is the author of monographs about the Amsterdam illustrator Oey Tjeng Sit, the celebrated theatre group Alex d’Electrique, and of the book “Binnen was buiten. De Sandbergvleugel” (Valiz 2010). 

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