I was playing tour guide on Sunday and we wandered up Rokin, the area between Muntplein and the Dam, this area is being redeveloped and is full of restaurants with terraces where people were eating lunch in the sun. At the top of Rokin, just before you get to the Dam is this wonderful sculpture/fountain.
It features two heads facing in opposite directions and water seeps from the top of the heads down their shoulders, across the plinth and spills onto the ground. It was 24 degrees (75F) so it had a pleasant cooling effect, it might be less fun on subzero winter days!
It’s a stunning work of art and the courtyard around it is a peaceful oasis despite being right on a tram route.
The sculpture is by Mark Manders, a Dutch/Belgian sculptor and it was installed on the 31 July 2017.So brand new.
You can see a short movie about the installation from Gemeente Amsterdam (Amsterdam City Council) sorry it’s only in Dutch but the pictures are cool.
Every summer the Rijksmuseum garden turns into a sculpture exhibit. This year the works are by Jean Dubuffet and from the Stedelijk Museum’s collection. The sculptures are bold, colourful, playful perfect for summer. Here are my two favourites from the gardens this year.
Arbre Biplan (version III)
“Tree Biplane”, this is the first large scale sculpture he made and he was still experimenting with the epoxy materials to find ways to make large scale sculpture. I walked around this several times, because there’s no symmetry the view changes, I love the contrast of the random shape of the sculpture against the formal architecture of the museum.
Le Deviseur I (The Chatterer)
He looks like he’s ready to chat, but there’s also something throne like about his chair. This is a sculpture I would love to have – in the fantasy garden of my fantasy mansion.
The exhibition is in the gardens until the 1 October 2017. There are also daily workshops for kids in a marquee in the garden (probably in Dutch, but hey it’s a craft project kids can figure out instructions). If you want to see more Dubuffet Stedelijk Museum is also exhibiting paintings from its collection (until 24 Sept).
The Amsterdam lights festival starts tomorrow and some of the exhibits are already set up, I spotted two on my cycle ride along Herengracht today.
When I saw this in the distance I thought it was swim lanes which changed colour, even though it’s a little chilly for swimming. The colours change every few seconds and go through the colours of the rainbow. When I got closer I could see that it was rows of floating water lilies.
In fact it’s called Flower Strip, and on a calm night the reflections will be fabulous.
This is Bridge of the Rainbow, I guess there’ll be a full rainbow by tomorrow night, but once again the reflections on this are great.
The location of all the artworks is listed on the Amsterdam Light Festival website, they’re all outside so you can wander (or cycle) the route for free. Alternatively there are boat cruises which are worth doing, as a lot of the artworks are oriented for viewing from a boat. There’s also a free walking route in the Hortus Botanicus area and guided tours. It’s one of the cool things in the city – I like finding the sculptures “accidentally”. It’s the perfect way to take advantage of the long winter nights.
The gardens of the Rijksmuseum have their own exhibition in summer, this year the sculptures are by Giuseppe Penone, who uses natural elements in unexpected ways – rocks land in trees, gold glints from within a tree, and marble reveals veins.
it’s it’s free to enter and wander around. I arrived before 10 and the garden was fairly empty, there’s a small espresso bar in the old summerhouse if you need some caffeine before going into the museum. Here are my highlights from the garden sculptures. (Scroll down for video).
“Ideas of Stone”, love that it forms a question mark.
Hide and See(k) Water Sculpture, you can walk into the sculpture
“Tra” or “Between”, a sculpture by Giuseppe Penone
Who put that there?
Stone and shadow in a sculpture
Golden light in the tree
Anatomy by Giuseppe Penone
The water sculpture is called “Hide and See(k)” and it’s by Jeppe Hein, it’s a series of water jets arrayed in a square within a circle and programmed to release water in a sequence. At times you can walk through it, so I did, and took this 360 degree view from within.
Big Pumpkin; Erwin Wurm
Two Miracles; Marc Bijl
Wellness Skull; Joep van Lieshout
Artzuid is on again this year, 70 sculptures have been placed along Apollolaan, Minervalaan, Zuidas, Vondelpark and Museumplein and they’ll stay there until the 22 September.
There’s more information on the Artzuid site, along with information about some of the artworks from previous years. This year there’s also an app – but only for iphone.
If we end up with another sunny weekend it’d be fun to spend an afternoon wandering between the artworks.