The Rijksmuseum Twenthe gallery in the Netherlands is currently hosting the Abstract USA Exhibition, which runs until February. The show features works by artists such as Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland and Larry Poons – however, to the untrained eye it may just seem like a lot of coloured triangles and squares.
With this in mind one extra painting has been subtly added to the collection, a big red rectangle canvas courtesy of Nestle chocolate brand Kit Kat.
The piece, which hangs centrally in the gallery and looks like a part of the overall event, is designed to offer a welcome respite from the swathes of modern art and layers of deeper meaning on show throughout the main exhibition. The concept here is that Kit Kat’s offering is a “painting that has no meaning whatsoever”. Naturally the accompanying text beside the artwork is equally minimal, simply sporting the brand’s tag line ‘Take a break, have a Kit Kat’.
It’s a relatively simple campaign but one that – unlike Kit Kat’s suggestion – does have deeper meaning. It could be viewed as a somewhat negative statement on the other works in the gallery (which begs the question as to how involved the other artists were with signing off on its inclusion). There is also the possibility of a negative reaction from viewers who may feel the brand’s inclusion is intrusive to the overall experience.
However, in reality it’s light-hearted enough to bypass these negative associations and it cleverly turns what could have become a standard sponsorship logo by the entrance into a more organic and creative representation of the brand’s involvement with the art scene.