Museum Folkwang shows major NFT-show: Rafael Rozendaal. Color, Code, Communication from 21 April 2023

Essen, 02.02.2023 – From 21 April to 20 August 2023, Museum Folkwang will bring digital art to the museum in Rafaël Rozendaal’s monographic exhibition. In his NFT works, Rozendaal explores, among other aspects, pioneers and compositional techniques in 20th-century art. Color, Code, Communication is the first monographic NFT exhibition of the New York-based artist in a European museum and will be accompanied by an international symposium on NFT art held on 21–22 April 2023.

Rafaël Rozendaal (*1980) is one of the best-known players in digital art worldwide. As early as the beginning of the 2000s, the artist conceived and distributed works in the form of websites as unique pieces. For a good three years now, Rozendaal has been realising his art as NFTs. Non-fungible tokens are based on a technology that verifies digital art as unique in a forgery-proof list of records (blockchain). Each token has an owner, with the information and the work itself publicly available 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 blockchain. In his artistic work, he develops a visually fascinating visual language, both for digital space and urban contexts. Museum Folkwang presents the range of the artist’s works as immersive installations, site-specific wall works, an artist’s book, in browser windows or social media as well as in public space.

A highlight of the exhibition is the walk-through presentation of 81 Horizons (2021) in the museum’s large exhibition hall. The 81-part NFT series is presented over 1,000 square metres as an immersive video installation, in which our visual experience on screens and in browser windows is juxtaposed with contemplative strolling in an exhibition situation. Rozendaal plays with the art historical topos of the horizon line – for his abstractions, he compresses two monochrome colour fields and a line each into files of around 0.25 KB that are permanently inscribed in the blockchain. The total filesize of the entire exhibition is under 400 KB. By bringing the NFT series into the museum space, the public is able to physically experience it.  

The show is complemented by an extensive mediation programme including live actions such as Bring your own Beamer, guided tours, talks, AR workshops as well as digital formats, inviting visitors to engage with new digital art forms.

At the two-day symposium devoted to "New Landscapes – NFTs and the Museum" (21–22 April 2023), internationally renowned artists, curators, academics and bloggers will discuss the interfaces between the museum world, the digital arts and Web3. They will provide exciting insights into their projects and invite visitors to virtual studio visits.

Supported by the Sparkassen-Kulturfonds des Deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverbandes, Sparkasse Essen and Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland.


Color, Code, Communication
21 April – 20 August 2023
Admission: €8/€5

Press images

Rafaël Rozendaal
Homage 61, 2022
NFT (on-chain .svg animation)
© Rafaël Rozendaal

Rafaël Rozendaal
81 Horizons, 2021
NFTs 81 Screens (on-chain .svg NFT collection)
Render Christina Latina
© Rafaël Rozendaal

RR Polychrome Music #7

Rafaël Rozendaal
Polychrome Musik #7, 2022

Rafaël Rozendaal (in Zusammenarbeit mit Danny Wolfers)
NFT generator (on-chain),animation, sound, duration infinite.
Code by Reinier Feijen
© Rafaël Rozendaal