Monday, 26 November 2012

In Amsterdam: 1 - Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam recently re-opened after a major refurbishment. It's all very nice, if a little bit predictable - white walls, wood floors, hanging walls and ceilings, translucent white blinds on sandblasted windows, contemporary minimal restaurant, lots of visitors wearing the mandatory black clothing, and so on. I thought a bit joyless, but to be fair one Dutch friend says its more fun when they have events there.

One day soon someone will open a landmark contemporary art museum that manages to escape from the orthodox aesthetic of monochrome minimalism. I look forward to that day!
Mandatory Richard Serra sculpture outside, without which no museum of contemporary art is complete.

People in dark clothes being drawn towards the light of a Dan Flavin installation
A long chat in front of Barnet Newman - they were still there 15 minutes later.
Perhaps they are an installation.

Some German girls enjoying Martin Kippenburger
A tour group being told what to think about Henri Matisse
Man trying to photograph the green bit of an Ellsworth Kelly
 All the usual suspects on display.  I thought that the post war art was mostly better than the pre war art - the Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Braque etc not the maybe best examples, but some very good and notable Yves Klein, Barnet Newman and others.

A piece that particularly caught my attention was this:

Green Egg, Kenneth Price, 1962 (USA)

 I'd not heard of Kenneth Price before - his hand trying to claw its way out of an egg was particularly engrossing.

Altogether a good place for a visit.  The website is here

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