Art on Sunday

I went to see the wonderful “Coded Nature” exhibition from StudioDrift at the Stedelijk Museum. The image above is one of their ShyLights. They dance above your head and as they float down they open up like a flower, the movement is gentle and mesmerising. The perfect thing to do on a Sunday afternoon

Here’s what the room full of ShyLights looks like. Everyone stays in this room for ages, watching the lights glow and dance, their faces filled with wonder. Everyone gives into the temptation to lie on the floor and watch the lights from below, and it’s amazing – until the vigilant museum stuff come in and ask you to move. Apparently the light on the floor is part of the exhibition and by lying on the floor we are ruining it for others. IMHO the one ruining it for others was the grumpy museum guy.

The title of the exhibition is Coded Nature and there’s one piece that seems to be a commentary on our destruction of the earth, it’s a long film showing floating concrete blocks drifting through the air forming large structures until nature is obliterated. And in the next room is one of the concrete blocks – a drifter – floating, un-suspended  in a huge room.

I’ve followed Studio Drift’s Instagram account for a long time, and I’ve been fascinated by the “fragile futures” sculptures. So it was really cool to see an installation of fragile futures, be able to walk around it and get up close to the tiny dandelion lights that make up the sculpture.

The exhibition filled me with wonder, it’s that intersection of art and science, it’s beautiful and kinetic and well worth visiting. I might be back next weekend.

The exhibition is on until the 26 August, and it’s free for museum card holders, or €17.50.


Rijksmuseum Summer Garden

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).


Bad Thoughts at the Stedelijk Museum

Minds out of the gutter – it’s an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum.

It’s a selection of works from the personal collection of Martijn and Jeannette Sanders, who started collecting in the 70’s. Because it’s a personal connection, built on personal appreciation of works rather than curated to an imposed standard, it’s rather quirky. They discuss their collection in a short interview taken in their own home.

The exhibition includes paintings, mixed media, installations, video, sculpture and photography. It’s some of the “new greats” in art, and worth seeing. The exhibition is on until 9 November 2014, you can buy tickets on the museum’s website.

Old and New; The Stedelijk Museum re-opens

The Stedelijk Museum opened its doors this weekend, it was officially opened by Queen Beatrix. The museum has been under renovation for years, while a new wing was built. The new wing is very modern in style and is already being called the “bathtub”.

The museum’s website is in English, but appears to be translated by amateurs who leave the Dutch words in the sentence if they don’t know what they mean. On the English site it states that the Queen opened with the blikopeners the new Stedelijk Museum. A ‘blikopener’ is a can opener according to Van Dale, I suppose it’s possible but I find it a bit hard to imagine that’s really what the Queen used in the opening ceremony.

According to reports on twitter, more than 4500 people visited the museum on opening day – I wasn’t one of them, I will visit it next week, I’m very curious to see the bathtub from the inside.

Meanwhile the doors of the Van Gogh museum have closed for a renovation. They’re due to re-open on the 25th of April 2013. From next weekend the collection will be temporarily displayed at the Hermitage Museum.


The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam’s premier modern art is undergoing a big renovation. According to their website it will reopen at the end of 2009.

It’s already been in the temporary location near central station for about two years. The full collection is not on display, but you can still see rotating exhibitions – such as “The Best Designed Books” which is on until the end of September.

Apparently serious work – putting in piles on the museumplein side will begin after summer – but they’ve just blocked off the footpath in preparation for construction. It’s the first visible sign of the renovations.