The Museum Folkwang is showing digital and analog works by Rafaël Rozendaal in a large-scale exhibition. In his abstract works, Rozendaal often engages with art-historical pictorial forms and with pioneers of 20th-century art. Color, Code, Communication is the first monographic exhibition of the New York-based artist in a European museum and will be accompanied by an international symposium on NFT art.

Much Better Than This .com,
Times Square, NYC 2015
Photo: Michael Wells

Rafaël Rozendaal (*1980) is one of the world's best-known players in digital art. As far as back as 2000s, the artist conceived works in the form of websites as unique pieces. He develops his ideas from drawings and sketches, which find their distribution on various digital distribution channels through programming and coding. With his works, Rozendaal reaches a broad audience worldwide beyond conventional forms of presentation.

Cabinets 25, 2022
NFTs (on-chain .svg)
Code by Reiner Feijen & Alberto Granzotto

Since 2019 he has been realizing his art as NFTs. The "Non Fungible Tokens" are based on a technology that verifies digital art as unique in a forgery-proof list of data records (blockchain). Each token has an ownerit, with the information and the work itself accessible to all at all times on various digital platforms. In his latest NFT projects, Rozendaal combines pictorial motifs and themes from recent art history with current forms of communication and developments in the blockchain. In his artistic work, he develops a visually fascinating visual language, both for digital space and for site-specific and urban contexts. The Museum Folkwang is now showing his works extensively for the first time in immersive installations, site-specific murals, browser windows, artist books, public space and social media.

81 Horizons, 2021
Museum Folkwang, 2023
Render: Christina Latina

A highlight of the exhibition is the presentation of 81 Horizons (2021) in the large exhibition hall. The 81-part NFT series is presented over 1,000 square feet as a walk-through video installation that invites contemplative strolling and transforms the viewing experience on screens and in browser windows into an exhibition situation. Outside the large exhibition hall, Rozendaal presents his works at other locations inside and outside the museum building. In the wide corridors of the Chipperfield building, he places six Cabinets-NFTs (2022) as expansive murals. Rozendaal adapts eleven websites (2000-2018) and NFTs (2019-2022) specifically for the multiscreen in the museum's lobby. In the Filmbox, Rozendaal installs his NFT generator Polychrome Music (2022), which incessantly produces colorful animations and sounds determined by it. In the collection presentation New Worlds, a new NFT from Rozendaal's Homage series (2022) enters into direct dialogue with color field paintings from the museum's collection every day on a large square LED wall. 

The Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop is also presenting two selected Homage variants by Rafaël Rozendaal as a satellite in its collection rooms. At Berliner Platz in Essen, five digital works will be shown on the large NewsWall for the duration of the exhibition, as well as five more on the media staircase in the foyer of the main building of FUNKE Mediengruppe.

Color, Code, Communication invites visitors to engage with new digital art forms and is enhanced by a multifaceted outreach program including live activities such as Bring your own Beamer (BYOB), guided tours, talks, AR workshops, an audio tour, and digital formats such as a hybrid studiovisit at Rozendaal during the New Now Festival.