The best visual art of 2022 and the best tips for 2023

The best visual art of 2022 according to our culture editors. With tips for the new year.

Gitte Brugmans 3

1. Petrit Halilaj combines archaeology, the history of his war-torn country Kosovo and art in his installations at the Fries Museum. The result is exciting, telling and impressive. On display until March 5. He will be there himself on January 21.

2. Living in the countryside

Between 1939 and 1975 various artists were active around Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, who worked in St Ives on the Cornish coast. The harsh landscape was reflected in their work in various ways, as can be seen in the Museum Belvédère in Heerenveen.

3. Sun in our eyes

40 years ago, Paulien Ploeger and Her Comis opened their Slingerhaan Atelier on Oudebildtdijk. Painter friend Ted Hamlyn showed his colorful work there this summer, amidst the subdued and almost meditative work of both potters. Level craftsmanship.


Two beautiful exhibitions in the Princessehof Keramikmuseum in Leeuwarden can still be seen for a large part of the coming year. Party! where twelve celebrations are discussed at length. And Handle with care around the hand and gestures in ceramics.

Susan van den Berg’s 3

1. ‘Jeanne’s summer’ (all over the country)

Wonderfully rich tribute to Jeanne Bieruma Oosting, in different places and from different angles. Together with the biography of Jolande Withuis, it resulted in a reassessment of her work and a new interpretation of her oeuvre.

2. Fré Cohen in Museum Het Schip, Amsterdam

Fascinating exhibition of Cohen’s compact oeuvre, where social ideals and Amsterdam School aesthetics came together in a unique way.

3. Johanna van Eijbergen in Drents Museum, Assen

Small but fine presentation about the only female designer of decorative metal art in the Netherlands around 1900. Now rightfully included in the canon of Eisenloeffel, Zwollo, Begeer and Stoffel.


Women’s palette in Kunsthal, Rotterdam

For those who missed it in Deurne and/or Drachten: a beautiful palette of surprising names and special work by artists from the artistic vanguard, for whom there is finally more time, attention and museum space!

The 3 by Joep van Ruiten

1. Folly Art Norway

The fourth edition of the festival of strange structures also turned out to be a good initiative: well organized with well-made (art) works that constantly raise the question of what exactly a folly is and should be.

2. Proposal – Arjen Boerstra in Artphy, Wessinghuizen

Retrospective exhibition with self-built – mostly site-specific – installations made of wood and (video) projects reminiscent of experiments by explorers and inventors in the 1800s.

3. The city’s DNA – Lu Xinjian in Campis, Assen

Opening exhibition of a promising new art platform. Ten large works with abstract maps – made up of dashes and semicircles – of world cities such as Los Angeles, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam and, yes, Assen.


Van Gogh in Drenthe (September)

Dirk van Ginkel’s 3

Have seen a lot of good work at small exhibitions this year. Such as the paintings by Paul Andringa and Wia Bouma (Terpkerk, Raard); the paintings and – rarely previously exhibited – drawings and etchings by Wim van der Veer (Galerie Jan Reinder Adema); and the work of ceramicist Henk Wolvers and painter Han Klinkhamer (Kunstkamer Franeker). Also enjoyed major exhibitions such as Like campaign in the Frisian Museum and Women’s palette at Museum Dr8888. With top 3:

1. Vierspanning in Obe, Leeuwarden – with Anne Feddema, Henk Krist, Horst Dijkstra and Eddy Sikma.

2. Big on graphics at the Nobilis Foundation in Fochteloo – a retrospective exhibition of Herman Curtain’s graphic work.

3. Thought and lived at Kunstlokaal No.8 in Jubbega – with Guus Koenraads and Fred Geven.


Already started this year, but will continue until 5 March in the new year: Suze Robertson (1855-1922) in Museum Panorama Mesdag. With robust, expressive and above all innovative work by a gifted and idiosyncratic artist.

Gitte Brugmans 3


As far as photography is concerned, the offer in Friesland is sometimes modest. Despite the efforts of Fotofabryk, Fryslân Photo or Het Fotolokaal in Tjerkwerd. This year, these three stood out to me:

1. Helen Haijtema was allowed to react to the work of Sneker skûtsje photographer Ger Dij (1925-1991). Her special associations – with Dijs’ historical work – were exhibited this summer in the Frisian Maritime Museum and outside the railway station in Sneek.

2. Welcome to Hechterp . Dineke Kaal, Ton Groot Haar, Elske Riemersma and Menno de Boer portrayed the Heechterp district in Leeuwarden in their own way. It led to a beautiful book, an exhibition in the Historical Center Leeuwarden, but especially to exhibitions in all the squares between the apartment buildings that will be demolished in the coming years. Welcome to Heechterp was a fine example of a social, documentary photo project that lived up to its subtitle – The richest district in the Netherlands.

3. Ellen Mandemaker from Slappeterp studied the potato for four years. After her exhibition at Fries Landbrugsmuseum in 2021, she sometimes makes a selection from her collection for her own magazine Spud . For example, Couples happy about their new bathroom on a primarily pink poster, folded in a special way like the first copy. In October, images from The Spud 2 were exhibited at Phlox in Húns.


On display until January 22 Ukraine: the road to freedom in Akerk in Groningen.

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