Friday, October 12, 2012

Contemporary Art in Amsterdam

The Celebration - modern art by Anne Vis
The local newspaper had a devastating review about the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, which is really a museum of contemporary art and should also display local artists (but doesn't).
All museums in Amsterdam have been closed simultaneously and now once in a while one of them reopens, as the "Stedelijk" last week. If I were traveling from abroad I would at least wait till next summer, because on average the situation is still a mess.
OK, back to the Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam (for some reason they do not bother to translate the name in English on their own website, which seems odd).
If you look at it from the outside it is sitting next to a building resembling a garbage bin and the museum itself looks like a failed bathtub, uglier than ugly. (are you still there?).
On the inside there are works from some famous artists like Kandinsky and Karel Appel, but for some reason they have apparently not been able to buy the real great works of those artists. Every artist has some works that on hindsight may not be their best and this is what they buyers of the museum have put up with. Very disappointing indeed. There was just one work in the entire museum that sparked some interest in me and that was a Mondriaan. In the US called Mondrian (sorry folks, the guy's real name is Mondriaan!) The painting was a square format white on it's side with an asymmetrical black cross. I would not see it as a masterpiece, but at least it was playful, different and creative.
Apparently modern art has been unable to compete with the Dutch masters from earlier centuries. If I were visiting Amsterdam now, I would go for the Rembrandt House (which is also from a historical and architectural viewpoint really interesting) or go to Haarlem, where you can find beautiful smaller gems with Dutch masters like Frans Hals.
And if you like Mondriaan, you may be interested in my personal Mondriaan inspiration line.


Anne Vis said...

Read the review in the New York times here:

Anne Vis said...

It turns out that the Dutch in general have a mixed opinion about the architecture of the museum - 33% says it's horrible - 33% says it is not good, nor bad and the rest really likes it - Read in Dutch: