5 tips for looking at art

1. In the basement of the Stedelijk

“Anne Imhof’s inescapable art offers no consolation,” wrote NRC about the exhibition of this German artist, who was awarded the Golden Lion for the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017. The exhibition in the Paris Palais de Tokyo was rated with 5 balls. Imhof is in demand: since the first solo in Frankfurt in 2013, prestigious museums in Berlin, London and New York have been eager to produce and show her performances. So does the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam from 1 October: Imhof gets the 1,100 square meter basement space in the Stedelijk to shape it to his own taste. Those who missed the exhibition in Paris can now visit the Stedelijk for Anne Imhof’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

Anne Imhof, Youth. 1/10 to 29/1, Stedelijk, Amsterdam.

2. The Painter of Flesh

“There is no painter who could express in oil paint how a muscle moves under pale skin like Lucian Freud. No painter could so well capture how a double chin bulges over a collar, or how the fur of a greyhound glistens in the light. The painter of flesh, that is how Freud will go down in history. He was the greatest of the realist painters of the twentieth century,” Sandra Smallenburg wrote about Freud’s death in 2011 in NRC. Seven decades of his paintings are collected in London’s National Gallery , where you can clearly see how he was always renewed, emphasizing both the small work at the beginning of his career and his well-known portraits and nudes, which he painted with a ruthless look and sometimes with a touch of compassion .

Lucian Freud: New Perspectives. 1/10 to 22/1, National Gallery, London.

3. Bronze trees

‘It will continue to grow except at this time’; it is the name of a work by Giuseppe Penone. It is typical of the Italian arte-povera artist, who in his work gives our own twist to our connection with nature. This is how he peels at work Repeat il bosco (1968) remove the growth rings of a tree to reveal the origin of the tree, allowing the viewer to see the growth process of a tree which normally remains invisible. Penone also makes bronze trees that are so real you have to tap them to feel they are works of art. This autumn, Museum Voorlinden presents a retrospective of Penone’s sculptures.

Giuseppe Penone. 8/10 to 29/1, Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar.

4. The restless twenties

A hundred years ago, the cultural crisis was seen by some cultural pessimists as worse than any previous cultural crisis. Reason: a further denial and obfuscation of ethical standards. That may be, but the 1920s were also the time of Laurel & Hardy, Josephine Baker, Duke Ellington and Cabaret Voltaire, De Stijl and avant-garde art. In Museum Kranenburgh they connect the 1920s with today: ‘troubled times through the eyes of artists, fashion designers and designers’. The exhibition Roaring twenties wants to see what parallels there are between then and now and how artists portray the zeitgeist when looking at things like technological progress, social engagement and gender and liberation. “Although the 2020s have only just begun, we already know that ‘our’ twenties will also go down in the books as a period of change; a time of global pandemic, climate change, political unrest and social rebalancing. Now, in 2021, society seems to yearn for liberation just as it did a hundred years ago,” according to the museum’s website.

The roaring twenties. 17/10 to 3/4, Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen NH.

5. Couple of exhibitions

Linking old masters or objects to modern art: the ‘dialogue between times’ has been conducted countless times, but this autumn two interesting ones are on the way. Teylers Museum connects works by David Hockney (1937) to paintings and drawings by, among others, Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) and Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665) and to scientific objects (such as the perspective window, a convex mirror and a camera obscura). . The overall theme is ‘the eyeball‘, i.e. perspective and Hockney’s use of optical aids, such as lenses and mirrors. Since the 1980s, Hockney has sought to free ‘us’ from the ‘hell’ of central perspective (the perspective with one vanishing point on the horizon) that has imprisoned Western painting for more than five hundred years.

Centraal Museum connects works by old masters such as Roeland Savery and Jan van Scorel to video installations by, for example, Bill Viola, Marina Abramovic, Bruce Nauman and Steve McQueen. Here it is not about the eye, but about the soul.

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