The Painted Bird: Dreams and Nightmares of Europe


This book chronicles the creation of The Painted Bird, a colossal, collaborative mural painting in Marres, House for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht, (NL). Made by 19 artists, under direction of Gijs Frieling, the painting covers the entire interior of the monumental Marres villa, with beautiful and frightening impressions of Europe including a high tech supermarket, the last remnant of a natural forest, a virtual detention room, a spider portrait corridor, and a new life festival in the year 2050.

Combining letters written by Gijs Frieling, the artists, and curator Valentijn Byvanck with stunning photography capturing the work in progress as well as the finished work, the book serves as a monument for this collaborative art work in which the future of Europe is contemplated and engineered by means of brushstrokes, paint, sound waves, and stories. At the same time, it constitutes a passionate appeal to view Europe as the site of a new collective imagination.

Participating artists: Marie Aly, Cian-Yu Bai, Kim David Bots, Bonno van Doorn, Gijs Frieling, Natasja Kensmil, Klaas Kloosterboer, Mirthe Klück, Frank Koolen, Fiona Lutjenhuis, Jan van de Pavert, Tanja Ritterbex, Sam Samiee, Charlotte Schleiffert, Derk Thijs, Sarah Verbeek, Helen Verhoeven, Evi Vingerling and Job Wouters

Designed by Studio Kalle Mattson (Charlott Markus and Kalle Mattsson)

Published by Valiz, 2017

Hardcover, 240 pages, full color, 6.75 × 9 inches

ISBN: 978-94-92095-36-7