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�Cyril Lixenberg exhibit kicks off Fall Arts Celebration

  • Cyril Lixenberg with
  • "Amaranth" sculpture on Allendale Campus
  • Self Portrait, 1960
  • "Cave Painting," 1961

Posted on September 09, 2013

A unique exhibition at Grand Valley State University will explore and celebrate 81 years of the life and work of the popular contemporary Dutch artist Cyril Lixenberg, from Amsterdam.

The artist will attend the opening reception for the exhibition “Cyril Lixenberg: An Artist’s Journey,” on September 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the Art Gallery, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus. The event kicks off Grand Valley’s popular Fall Arts Celebration.

While the Allendale exhibition is ongoing from August 23 - November 1, concurrent satellite exhibitions will be mounted at sister institutions throughout West Michigan. The artist has a long history of involvement with area communities since the mid-1980s, including Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and Saugatuck.

Lixenberg’s monumental sculptures and colorful screen prints are exhibited throughout Grand Valley’s campuses, including the iconic bright yellow “Amaranth’ sculpture created in 2002 for the Allendale Campus, and the towering “Magela-S,” made for ArtPrize 2010 and exhibited on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Lixenberg is also well known for his 2007 riverfront sculpture “Steel Water,” a major commission that commemorates Grand Rapids as the first city in the world to add fluoride to its water.

Grand Valley has the largest collection of Lixenberg’s works anywhere, due in part to the artist’s generosity and his long-term friendship with Grand Valley’s Director of Galleries and Collections Henry Matthews, who he first met in 1984. In 2001, in memory of his late wife Saskia, the artist contributed to Grand Valley’s collections more than 300 of his own works on paper created over the previous 40 years.

“This initial donation by Cyril triggered the creation of Grand Valley’s Print & Drawing Cabinet, which has attracted other significant gifts,” said Matthews. “Cyril has not only been a generous donor, but he has shared freely of himself by mentoring students, judging art competitions and hosting study abroad students, faculty and staff at his Amsterdam home and studio.”

Grand Valley’s retrospective exhibition will include selections from Lixenberg’s most recent gift of nearly 140 of his early paintings, drawings, prints, monoprints and personal archival materials, to provide an enlightening view of the artist’s evolution to the successful contemporary artist he is today.

Learn more about the artist in a Grand Valley Magazine profile here.

This exhibition program is supported by a generous gift from Larry and Elaine Rutowski Shay (GVSU alumna 2012)  and, in part, by public funds from the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York and a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation.

Fall Arts Celebration at Grand Valley State University, for more than 10 years, has enriched the arts and humanities in West Michigan by featuring many distinguished writers, poets, musicians, dancers, artists and scholars. The tradition continues with this exhibition opening as one of six signature events in 2013. All Fall Arts Celebration events are open to the public with free admission.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, call (616) 331-2185, or visit

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