Having graced the walls of Vera, many a home in the city and enjoying international acclaim, poster designer and printer Willem Kolvoort is getting a retrospective exhibition looking back on 30 years of his Vera posters at the Groninger Museum.
Translated by Thomas Ansell
On the occasion of printing his 500thposter for an upcoming performance by New Zealand band The Beths, Kolvoort’s work will be celebrated at an exhibition timed to coincide with next year’s Eurosonic music festival. After this, the accompanying book will be released, and will be available across the country.
As reported in the Groninger Internet Ccourant, the poster designer and printer for Vera will have his work exhibited at the Groninger Museum in January. Kolvoort will also have a book of his work celebrating 30 years of Vera posters published by Uitgeverij Passage.
Located on the Oosterstraat in the city of Groningen, Vera has become world-renowned as a podium for up and coming music talent, especially in the ‘80s and ‘90s. U2 (October 1980), Joy Division (1980), Sonic Youth (1983, 1985, 1986-7), Nirvana (1989), Soundgarden (1989), and Weezer (1995) have all graced the stage of the music venue.
Kolvoort’s posters are characterised by their irreverent, fantastical and humorous style. His work distils the essence of what he sees on the stage at Vera and depicts it in a fantasy world populated by beguiling animal-like figures. Whilst other music clubs in Europe make use of self-printed and designed posters for their promotions, the Vera posters are held in especially high regard for their artistic quality, especially Kolvoort’s quirky designs.
The artist has been working for Vera for close to 30 years, and in 2015, Kolvoort gathered various artists together to create the LP “Where the Candybeetle dwells…”, combining music and art into a custom-designed book/record combination. The Vera Art Division has previously published a book of his work, but the new book “30 years of Vera posters” will be a complete retrospective of all of his work for Vera over the decades. Pop journalist Peter van der Heide and writer Bill Mensema will be writing the accompanying test.