New acquisition Boijmans van Beuningen with support H+F Patronage: Apollo by Olaf Nicolai
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has purchased a 'football cage' with the support of Han Nefkens’ H+F Patronage. The art work entitled ‘Apollo’ by the German artist Olaf Nicolai has been sited in the museum’s central courtyard since 2008. To celebrate the acquisition, the museum is publishing a book on the work entitled ‘Olaf Nicolai, Apollo’.

Football cage
‘Apollo’ is better known to the museum’s visitors as the ‘football cage’. Everyone who visits the museum may kick a ball around in this object, which was made specially for the courtyard. The players’ movements are reflected in the mirrors, generating a stroboscopic effect. The design practice Thonik, which is responsible for the museum’s house style, designed a floor painting for the courtyard in consultation with Olaf Nicolai. The floor painting amplifies the work’s interplay of lines and reflections.

Olaf Nicolai
Olaf Nicolai (1962) lives and works in Berlin. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world since the early 1990s including Documenta X (1997) and the Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2005.
Olaf Nicolai has dealt with similar questions and themes in earlier ‘football works’. Examples include his camouflage-painted goalposts featured in the well-known ZDF classic ‘das aktuelle Sportstudio’ (2001) and the edition ‘Ballack’ (2004-2006), a collection of press photos of the German football icon, in which his facial details were greatly magnified.

Apollo was initiated and funded by H+F Patronage.

H+F Patronage
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

Olaf Nicolai, Apollo, 2008
Photo: Bob Goedewaagen

New acquisition Boijmans van Beuningen with support H+F Patronage: Apollo by Olaf Nicolai  

The ArtAids foundation was set up in 2006 at Han Nefkens’ initiative. ArtAids fights AIDS with the power of art as its most important weapon. ArtAids invites leading artists to produce work that is inspired by AIDS and related problems. These works of art are used to raise the public’s consciousness and to encourage their involvement.

Fundació Han Nefkens

The Han Nefkens Foundation is a private non-profit organisation that was set up in Barcelona in 2009 with the aim of promoting the production of contemporary artworks. The mission is to stimulate artistic creation in Barcelona by offering international artists an opportunity to create artworks and interventions in the city, and to promote other fields of contemporary creation.


Han Nefkens started to collect art in 2000. The H+F Collection, named after himself and his partner Felipe, is in long-term loan to various museums in The Netherlands and abroad. Nowadays Han Nefkens is not only active as a collector but also as an initiator of international art projects, often in collaboration with museums and other art institutions.