"The Gentle Chaos"

Projekt Rollende Galerie
Stuttgart 1992

Splashdown of Bus Painting in Stuttgart

Splashdown, Schlossplatz of Stuttgart
June 1992


Thirty years ago Project Rolling Gallery was completed in the Schlossplatz of Stuttgart. Events moved rapidly for me afterward, particularly with the arrival of the Internet as we know it the following year and my immediate embrace of it. Consequently A fully displayed presentation of the project was never created. Until now. -- Lowell Boileau June 2022


Projekt Rollende Galerie [Project Rolling Gallery] was originated by Thomas Koch of Stuttgart Amerikahaus with the idea of taking art beyond the gallery walls by having Detroit artist Lowell Boileau create a MicroPointillist painting on a Stuttgart city bus using only the three primary colors of yellow, red, and blue.

The project was supported by an Arts America grant, Amerikahaus Stuttgart, SSB [Stuttgart Strassenbahn], Daimler-Benz, and Academie Schloss Solitude.




The 25 x .6 meter (82 x 2 feet) painting was created during May and June 1992 at the SSB streetcar restoration facility in Vaihingen.

The first color, yellow, is applied by successively masking with a water-soluble mask and spraying yellow paint on a white base. The painting first appears in shades of yellow, plus any white that was masked before the first spray of yellow. Hosing the painting with water dissolves the masks and reveals a yellow layered painting.

Below: SSB employees assisting in dissolving vestiges of the masks on Panel 6.

Below: Panel 5 on the rear of the bus appears in shades of yellow.

The same procedure occurs with the application of red. The painting is again successively masked and sprayed, this time with red. Spraying the paint atomizes the color which, when viewed with a microscope, appear as tiny points of color. Hence the name MicroPointillism. Those tiny dots of primary color will be unconsciously blended by the eyes of the observers to create the full spectrum of colors.

The masks on Panel 6 are dissolved while SSB Supervisor Stecher observes. Huge thanks is deserved by Herr Stecher who with his team kindly and efficiently assisted throughout this project.

Red Phase at Stuttgart Strassenbahn

Above: Red stage masking and spraying continues on Panel 7. In the foreground is a test painting created to test the durability of using artist acrylics on a painted metal base and as a guide to help gauge the degrees of intensity needed for the three primary colors. The painting is a part of the SSB Museum collection.

The painting also served to inform the media of the direction toward which the complicated MicroPointillist painting was evolving.

Below: The test painting appears in an early media report. CLICK / TAP this image for a larger views if reading is difficult. User browser back button to return here.

Above: Panels 6 and 7 after red masks have been dissolved. Below: Panel 3. The painting is now in shades of yellows, reds, oranges. White is merely the absence of paint, a hole in the painting revealing the white undercoating.

The masking and spraying process is repeated for creating the layers of blue. The painting descends into a dark-colored morass from which the full color painting will explode in full vibrancy.

Completed and ready for final "Splashdown" the painting reveals little of what is to appear once the blue masks are dissolved. SSB Supervisor Stecher and Artist Lowell Boileau pause for a completion handshake. The bus will head to Stuttgart's central plaza, the Schlossplatz, for the Splashdown and its birth as a full color painting.




The splashdown occurred at the Schlossplatz of Stuttgart on June 5, 1992. The public was invited to participate.

Above: Dr. Höfflinger, Director of SSB, begins the splashdown on Panel 1 dissolving the blue phase water soluble masks to begin revealing the finished painting.

Above: SSB's Supervisor Stecher [left] and Artist Lowell Boileau [center] dissolve remaining vestiges of masking solution on Panel 1. The addition of the final primary color blue has combined with the layers of yellow and red to create the full spectrum of colors.

Below: Project originator Thomas Koch of Amerikahaus Stuttgart begins splashdown of Panel 5 on the back of the bus.

Below: Thomas' wife Raffaela finishes the revealing.

Above: The completed Panel 5. If a car has to wait for the bus then why not a little art for the driver?

Entitled "The Gentle Chaos" [Sanftes Chaos], the seven panels of the painting comprise a Chinese scroll-style painting. Read from right to left, starting from the front door, it displays an allegory of the life of automobiles into which a herd of cows have wandered and stalled traffic creating a gentle chaos. At one end birthing cars disgorge from a robotized factory. At the other end a 1950 Buick peacefully rusts away in a pasture while a lines of cars wind into the sunset. Why deal with this when you can ride the bus car and care free?


Click / Tap image^ for LARGE VIEW of the Passenger Side

Click / Tap image^ for LARGE VIEW of the Driver Side



The following is a sampling of print media coverage of the Splashdown.

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"Inbound / Outbound Detroit"
DETROIT 2020 »

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to view the entire creation process

"The Gentle Chaos"

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to view the entire creation process

DETROIT 1987 »

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to view images of the mural


Inbound/Outbound Detroit
Feb. 4 - Mar. 4, 2020
Mural Commission at
Detroit's TCF Center

“Celebrating A Detroit Internet Pioneer Who Started People Talking About The Motor City"
Feb. 16, 2020
Deadline Detroit

View Full List of Events
Vew Complete Resume

Crain's Detroit Business
Emerging and Established
Detroit Artists to Watch


Hour Magazine
Best Detroit Artists
to Collect List:
Lowell Boileau

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