Art Fix Tips for Northern Europe - ART FIX
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Art Fix Tips for Northern Europe

When planning a summer trip filled with art, Northern Europe may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But think again; we’ve curated a list of some cool tips (no pun intended) to tempt you to travel off the beaten path. We’ll start off in Scandinavia, travel through Germany, carry on down through the Netherlands, and finish in Belgium and Switzerland. Here's what you can’t miss in Northern Europe.

NORWAY

Kistefos

About an hour’s drive from Oslo, you’ll find an incredibly unique contemporary art museum and sculpture park located in an old mill. Designed by the world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels, the park is adorned with sculptures by Jeppe Hein, Anish Kapoor, Marc Quinn, Elmgreen & Dragset, Olafur Eliasson, Mark Manders, Giuseppe Penone, Yayoi Kusama and many more. All these artistic gems belong to the collection of financier Christen Sveaas, grandson of the mill’s founder.

SWEDEN

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League With the Night – Moderna Museet

Missed the exhibition of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at the Tate Britain last year? Well if you’re in Sweden, you’ve got a special opportunity to see the artist’s work once again. If you’re curious to learn more about the exhibition, check out this story written by one of our team members.

Art Fix Tip: Spend a night at the hip Ellery Beach House, Stockholm’s newest getaway and only beach resort. Ellery is located on the tip of Lidingö, where urban life feels far away in the rural surroundings. With its own private jetty, this welcoming beach house is a spot where serenity meets adventure. Add this one to your list if you’re in the mood for nature, sea, beaches, padel, pools, cabanas, people, music, design and arts.

DENMARK

Farshad Farzankia: If I Stand – Arken Museum 

  • Until 27 February 2022
  • Skovvej 100, Ishøj
  • uk.arken.dk

Only 25 minutes away from Copenhagen’s Central Station, Arken Museum is home to a set of works by Farshad Farzankia. Step into the world of this Iranian artist and discover his wild and colourful painted poetry. 

When Farshad paints, he lifts his chosen subjects out of their usual framework, injects them with new life and sets them free.

Mama Andersson – Louisiana

  • Until 10 October 2021
  • Gl Strandvej 13, Humlebæk
  • louisiana.dk

Mama Andersson ranks as one of the most important painters of her generation. With a sharp sense of mood, colour, and materiality, she’s developed a very distinct interpretation of the classical genres of painting. Still lifes, interiors, and landscapes lie at the centre of her work, executed with powerful colours and a distinctive rawness that situates her work in the present and makes it feel very contemporary.

‘Dr. Metabolistys meets Cornelius Coot’ – Louisiana

  • Until 10 October 2021
  • Gl Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk,
  • louisiana.dk

‘Dr. Metabolistys meets Cornelius Coot’ is totally in line with our sixth episode on humor in art, featuring works by artists like Erwin Wurm and Hans Peter Feldmann. Things are all topsy-turvy and merry-go-round in this presentation of works from the museum’s collection. The absurdity demonstrated by the artists here is hilarious, but also serious in some sense. 

GERMANY

Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne: Assuming You Look Like Me – Gnyp Gallery

Raphael, the star of our episode “The Art of Collecting”, has done it again. After he blew us away in Antwerp, he surprises us with another strong exhibition in Berlin at the vibrant Gnyp Gallery. Communication and encounter are the starting point, drive and goal of each of Mayne’s works. This is especially true when it comes to the children he portrays. During his visits home to Ghana, he tries to engage with them, asking about their interests and encouraging them to follow his example and find their passion. He then captures these shared moments with a photo, in order to process it later in his studio.

Yayoi Kusma: A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe – Gropius Bau

It takes only one look to recognise the fantastic work of Yayoi Kusama. Her famous polka dots are now in Berlin as part of a major retrospective that shows her 70-year career in one show. 

The huge installation of wiggling tentacles in the atrium of Gropius Bau was made especially by Kusama for this exhibition. The show spans works on paper, accumulative sculptures, happenings, infinity rooms and recent work.

The curation is stunning and Gropius Bau has reduced the number of entries, so you do not have to queue or wait. This is definitely the most impressive survey of Kusama’s work the Art Fix team has ever seen. Go go go!

Yael Bartana: Redemption Now – Jüdisches Museum 

  • Until 10 October 2021
  • Lindenstraße 9–14, Berlin
  • jmberlin.de

For more than twenty years, Yael Bartana has been exploring the visual languages of identity and memory politics, nations, and social movements.

This large-scale solo exhibition brings together more than fifty early and more recent works, including video installations, photographs, and neon works.

James Turrell: Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof

  • Check website for opening hours
  • Chausseestr. 126, Berlin (Mitte)
  • evfbs.de

Looking for a hidden gem? Go to the Dorotheenstädtischer Graveyard for the most divine light you’ve ever seen. James Turrell completed here a project in a small chapel. During the hour before sunset, visitors are able to wander into the chapel and experience the changing cycle of colored light. The hour-long presentation is hypnotic and incredibly beautiful.

For more divine light go to our story section. Accompanying our episode on light art, Art Fix has curated a list of the most magnificent chapels designed by artists that use light as a medium to create unique spaces for contemplation and introspection.

Art Fix Tips: Our favorite restaurants in Berlin right now are Katz Orange, Cafeé Oliv, and Ora. If you feel like going on an unusual shopping spree, you can’t miss the amazing Voo Store, a creatively driven concept space located in an old locksmith’s shop, where you’ll find fashion, books, homeware and a café. Don’t forget to pick up a pastry to fuel your day of art at SOFI!

Julian Schnabel: On the Day Cy Died – Böhm Chapel

  • Until December 2021
  • Hans-Böckler-Straße 170, Hürth Kalscheuren
  • boehmchapel.com

Head to the Bohm Chapel to view Julian Schnabel’s five monumental paintings in memory of his long-term friend and great American painter Cy Twombly, who died ten years ago in Rome. “Apart from Picasso I feel I am pictorially related to Cy Twombly and Joseph Beuys. When I look at a work by Cy Twombly it pleases me, I want to have it on the wall of my house, to look at it and enjoy it. I feel that whatever the artist didn’t have the chance to do, I would be able to do. We both have the same needs,” explains the artist. The works can be found in the town of Hürth, bordering Cologne, inside the beautiful Böhm Chapel. 

Antony Gormley: Learning to Be – Schauwerk

If you enjoyed learning about sculptor Antony Gormley in our second episode “Can I Touch It?”, this exhibition in Sindelfingen is for you. The exhibition at Schauwerk Sindelfingen, close to Stuttgart, is the most significant survey of the artist’s work ever to take place in Germany.

The presentation comprises 30 works from the artist’s studio and the Schaufler collection, and some are on view to the public for the first time.

THE NETHERLANDS

Force Times Distance on Labour and Its Sonic Ecologies – Sonsbeek

The Sonsbeek 20-24 exhibition in Park Sonsbeek in Arnhem is the twelfth edition of this 16-kilometer sculpture exhibition. Centered around themes of labour and sound, the exhibition is curated by artistic director Bonaventure Soh Ndikung and aims to connect stories from Arnhem with those from all over the world. Visitors can walk various art routes from the center of Arnhem, via the city parks Sonsbeek, Zypendaal and Schaarsbergen to the Hoge Veluwe National Park and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.

Leon Keer: Forced Perspective – Wanrooij Gallery

If you want to take your children to a gallery, head to Amsterdam for “Forced Perspective” by the Dutch mixed media artist Leon Keer, the master of optical illusion. Here you’ll find giant Matchbox cars, huge dolls and other optical illusions decorating the walls of the gallery. To top it off, you might get trapped inside a giant Gumball Machine in the basement… is it real or is it just an illusion?

Royal Award for Modern Painting 2021 & Trailblazers – Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam

This is your chance to visit a royal palace. There are two presentations on show. The first is the “Royal Award for Modern Painting 2021”. His Majesty the King presented the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2021 in July to three talented young painters: Rinella Alfonso, Philipp Gufler en Hend Samir. The exhibition not only shows the winners but also the nominees.

The second presentation is “Trailblazers”. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Award for Modern Painting with a special exhibition in the galleries and rooms of the palace. The curators have invited seventeen former participants in the Award (1980–2020) to exhibit their work. They are trailblazers, who interrogate, stretch, disrupt and reconstruct the boundaries of painting. Look out for Hadassah Emmerich, Iris and Natasja Kensmil, Kim van Norren, Ina van Zijl and Suzan Drummen. Their artworks challenge you to see the palace with fresh eyes.

Art Fix Tip: Going from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, take a short detour to the coolest ice cream shop you’ve ever seen. The 17 year old Bella just opened Bella’s Ice & Candy Store in Kijkduin. You will not only be blown away by the taste explosions, you will also be overwhelmed by the interior of Studio Job, and your children will love it!

Florentijn Hofman: Stads Cocon – Sint Janskerk

Artist Florentijn Hofman has created an immense inflatable work of art and, for the first time, it finds itself indoors. Sited between the columns of Sint Janskerk in Schiedam, you can find a certain unique peace inside the work.

“Stadscocon” is 26 meters in length and almost 10 meters tall. You may know the artist from Instagram. In Hong Kong, his rubber duck attracted eight million visitors in one month, and many more enormous animal installations have followed.

We are Animals – Kunsthal 

  • Until 24 October 2021
  • Museumpark, Rotterdam
  • kunsthal.nl

Looking for an exhibition to take your kids to this summer? Look no further than the animal kingdom of art at the Kunsthal. ‘We Are Animals’ brings together a great variety of extraordinary animal creations by over thirty contemporary artists.

Works by artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Candida Höfer, Paul McCarthy, and David Shrigley show the relationship between human beings and animals.

Art Fix tip. Listen to the Petcast here.

Gavin Turk: L’Âge D’Or – Wilhelminapier

After a nice lunch at Hotel New York, get your art fix by heading to the Wilhelminapier. On the Maas, directly opposite the future FENIX Movers Museum, you’ll find a 3.5 meter bronze door titled ‘L’Age d’Or’ by the British visual artist Gavin Turk. This larger-than-life door offers a view of the Maas and beckons across the North Sea to the Atlantic crossing.

Groupshow: Fake Me Hard – AVL Mundo

On the cutting-edge of art and technology, “Fake Me Hard”  explores the complex reality of the 21st century with futuristic installations from over 40 artists, performances, and debates. Visitors await an uncanny ‘fake’ landscape that they can safely enter, with music-making robots setting the tone playfully and with humor.

A low hanging light haze leads the way. Do algorithms determine what is fact or fiction? Sounds like our episode on new media, right!

Art Fix Tips: For the best coffee in Rotterdam go to Mecca. Ready for a culinary highlight in a tropical ambiance? Lunch at Aji, where South America and Asia meet. The Buffel serves our favorite wood oven pizzas. Looking for the fastest and most fun way to to go around in Rotterdam? Take the water taxi! For instance to the pop-up summer terrace: A La Plancha on the Noordereiland and if you want to go all the way out, go to Goud, the amazing restaurant of our favorite Rotterdam chef Herman den Blijker.

BELGIUM

Shilpa Gupta: Today Will End – M HKA

  • Until 12 September 2021
  • Leuvenstraat 32, Antwerp
  • muhka.be

The Indian artist Shilpa Gupta creates artworks that are often interactive and examine human relations, subjectivity and perception through themes such as desire, conflict, security, technology, borders and censorship. Though her works could be interpreted as referring to the social or political situation of specific cultural or national contexts, Gupta keeps them decidedly open, allowing their themes to be interpreted differently whenever and wherever they are exhibited.

Beaufort 21

The Flemish coastline, which is 67 kilometers long, is the beautiful backdrop for the Triennale Beaufort. Interesting works of art inspired by the sea appear along the dikes, beaches and dunes. For the 7th edition of this Triennial Beaufort, 21 contemporary (inter)national artists created an artwork along the Flemish coastline. 

The central theme in this edition of the festival focuses on how humans are subject to the will of nature. The artworks are inspired by local stories, both from natural and human history. The Beaufort triennial aims to build a permanent Beaufort sculpture park, where 30 works of art from previous editions can be permanently admired. 

Art Fix Tip: This unique art route can be easily explored with the tram, which runs along the entire coast.

Ethan Cook: Papers – De Brock Gallery

New York-based artist Ethan Cook follows Opie’s works with 6 paper works showing at the gallery. Using paper as a material to be worked with instead of on, the works are made by dipping a mold into a vat of pigmented pulp which is then pulled out, pressed, and dried out.

Art Fix Tips: Cwart is an amazing place on the outskirts of Knokke. The old farm house is beautifully restored into a gallery where Cwart organizes 4 exhibitions of upcoming artists per year. The restaurant serves delicious traditional dishes that are supplemented with contemporary and seasonal products.

And don’t forget to check out this hidden gem: La Sapinière. During the summer months you can dine on the terrace or in the garden. Still not convinced? There’s even room to dance!

SWITZERLAND

Kara Walker: A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be – Kunstmuseum

If you’re passing through Basel, you can’t miss the famous Kunstmuseum. 

The museum is currently showing the works of one of the stars of our ninth episode on Black female artists, the American Kara Walker. 

Art Fix Tip: Just before you enter the Gotthard Tunnel take the gondola up to The Japanese at the Chedi hotel. This is Switzerland’s highest-altitude Japanese restaurant. The menu is accordingly sophisticated, with the finest Japanese dishes like shidashi bentō, omakase, kaiseki, sushi and tempura prepared for you fresh at 2300m above sea-level. Please note that the gondola to the Gütsch is only operating weather permitting. 

Michelangelo Pistoletto: La Verità – Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna 

“The Truth of Michelangelo Pistoletto. From the Mirror to the Third Paradise” is a comprehensive exhibition of The Maestro’s career. The exhibition shows more than 40 works including paintings, mirror paintings, installations, videos and rare archive images, all dating from 1958 to 2021.

Gideon Rubin: Swing – Karsten Greve

Going to the Swiss Alps? Gideon Rubin, the artist of our latest limited edition print, hosts an amazing show in St Moritz of beautiful faceless portraits. In addition to his characteristic portraits, he adds landscapes to the repertoire. Made in reaction to the confinement and limitations of lockdown, many of the most recent works in the exhibition have an element of escapism and a strong focus on the outdoors. 

Nicolas Party: Rovine – Masi Lac

  • Until 9 January 2022
  • Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano
  • masilugano.ch

The Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana presents “Rovine” (Ruins), the first major monographic exhibition of Nicolas Party (Lausanne, 1980) ever to be displayed in a museum in Europe. This immersive project allows the artist to give life to a rather uncanny universe, complete with bold contrasts of colour, enveloping architectural forms, and startling trompe l’oeil decorations. Against this backdrop, his magnetic artworks are staged: large site-specific murals, intriguing polychrome sculptures and luminous pastel paintings.