Monday, May 07, 2007

Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum - Modern Art

The Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam is temporarily housed in a nondescript old office building near the Central Station. Inside only temporary shows can be seen, while the new expansion is being built and the old building renovated. There is a great secret though - a lovely restaurant/cafe situated on the 11th floor (hence named 11) which becomes a club in the wee hours of the evening. From the very high ceiling hang 4 huge Algues curtains, giving it a unique note.

The collections when I visited where very interesting, some of the works even design related like the above rotating metal/light installation called Counter Composition by artist Germaine Kruip. "a mirrored mobile that takes its form from the construction of a painting by Theo Van Doesburg. This mobile changes the composition of Van Doesburg into a reflection, which perpetually projects through the gallery. Activated by an artificial light, its reflections move through the space in the opposite direction of the natural light and shadows directed from the windows. Based on the principals of De Stijl, the original painting attempted to find forms through which universal truth could be grasped. Here that 'universal truth' is animated not as a contained truth but as a constant movement that is nothing but a reflection of its own surroundings." This one was part of the Just in Time – Proposal for Municipal Art Acquisitions Exhibition, which was asking the question: who defines what is acceptable as art for a museum to buy? See below how it looked after a while:

There was also a weird chandelier by Cerith Wyn Evans. "The so-called 'chandelier' pieces that are a perfect example of Wyn Evans Trojan Horse strategy in which he disguises radical content by way of tremendous elegance. Altogether the chandeliers form a personal canon of literature from the last century including poems, letters, short stories, philosophy, etc. The texts are transmitted through Morse-code pulsing though the light bulbs of the chandeliers".

The artwork above was part of the Vincent Awards exhibition. Andrei Monastyrski was another artist shown there. This work was a bit interactive, in the sense that you could walk inside the installation, on the flour covered floor, and your steps on it became part of the artwork.

This work below is probably from Monastyrski but I cannot remember. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

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