Must-See Art Tips – the Netherlands - ART FIX
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Must-See Art Tips - the Netherlands

An autumn staycation in the Netherlands? There’s no need to binge watch the Netflix shows you’ve already watched twice this year, because Art Fix has got way better entertainment for you: the best corona-proof art experiences, (yes: social distancing and one way traffic) across the country. From the fascinating art-meets-fashion exhibition in the Hague for fashion-lovers, to the large ceramic dreamcatcher-like sculptures in Leeuwarden for the wanderers, to a naked art tour in Rotterdam, we’ve got something for everyone. We’ll start off in the north and travel to the south.

GRONINGEN

Groninger Museum – What Will the Neighbours Say? 

You may know this building from its colourful facade, a geometric kaleidoscope that dances on water, this building has even more to offer on the inside than its exciting outside. We recommend the exhibition “What will the neighbours say?”, which showcases a wide selection of work from the last 50 years by leading photographers from the Netherlands and elsewhere. The work on view ranges from Diane Arbus’s and Larry Clark’s 1970s documentary photography, through Anton Corbijn’s and Erwin Olaf’s portraits and Inez van Lamsweerde’s fashion work of the 1980s and 1990s, to Ruud van Empel and David LaChapelle’s staged scenes from the past decade. A final tip: make sure you visit the Studio Job Lounge, a showpiece in itself.

And if all your upcoming weekends are booked for the autumn months, plan ahead to visit “The Rolling Stones – Unzipped”. This exhibition is purely devoted to the world famous rock band. Following stints in London, US and Asia, the show will premiere in a revamped form in our very own Groningen on November 14th! Ticket sales for “The Rolling Stones – Unzipped” start on Thursday 1 October at 10am. Tickets will be available online at rollingstonesgroningen.nl.

TIPS:

  • No 25 for the best coffee and a great lunch! All products are fresh, come from Groningen and are homemade with love. The menu differs from month to month, with dishes that suit the season and weather conditions.
  • De Uurwerker is the place to be. From your first cup of coffee to your last beer after a long working day. They bake the most delicious pizzas and the Friday afternoon drinks are famous and infamous throughout Groningen.
  • In 2017 Mister Mofongo was voted “Best Cocktailbar in the Netherlands”. An innovative robotic arm effortlessly taps the right drink for you from the eight-meter-high liqueur cabinet behind the bar. A real eye-catcher, which is filled with more than 50 different homemade liqueurs, unique rums and infused drinks.

LEEUWARDEN

Keramiek Museum Princessehof  – Jennifer Tee: Falling Feathers 

From  Groningen we travel to Leeuwarden, where we recommend checking out the exhibition by Dutch artist Jennifer Tee. The exhibition, “Falling Feathers”, shows various sculptural works, imaginative collages, and two installations made from black and white porcelain feathers. They give us the illusion of dreamcatchers, a protective talisman. Tee’s work is characterised by a combination of power and modesty, with which she invites the viewer to enter a new world. If you’re looking for a distraction from what’s going on in the real world, then this exhibition is for you.

TIP:

  • For a real Dutch Cuisine experience go to Restaurant Wannee, named after the writer of the famous Dutch Cookbook Ms. Cornelia Johanna Wannée. Every month the chefs create a new menu representing the season with the naturally grown vegetables as the focal point, and the meat or fish acting as garnish. For a quick lunch or dinner they have a selected a la carte menu with favorites such as a salad or fried eggs.

LELYSTAD

Antony Gormley: Exposure Public Sculpture

Checked the weather forecast and it’s looking promising? Head over to “Exposure”, an almost 30 metres high sculpture sited on a breakwater dam at Lelystad’s coast. Created from 1,800 metal rods by the famous British artist Antony Gormley, this is a public sculpture made to be enjoyed by viewers from all corners of the country. The crouching man looks out over the Markermeer lake, taking in the wide, expansive view of the landscape.

OTTERLO

Kröller-Müller Museum – Ewerdt Hilgemann: Work in progress

If you’re looking to minimize your travel, then the Kröller-Müller Museum is for you. There are two exciting exhibitions to check out at this museum in Apeldoorn. Firstly, the German artist Ewerdt Hilgemann’s wonderful 60 year retrospective “Work In Progress”. You may recognize Hilgemann from his epic ‘implosion sculptures’, in which he gradually sucked the air out of large stainless steel structures using a pump.

Paint It Black

The second exhibition to visit is “Paint It Black”, named after the famous Rolling Stones tune. At the center of this exhibition lies Armando’s work “Black Water”, a basin filled with water in an almost entirely darkened space. Expect to see other works by artists including Jo Baer, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Louise Nevelson, Francesco Lo Savio and Tony Smith, whose works share the black theme. 

TIP:

  • And if you’re looking for a stroll, check out the Kröller-Müller’s outdoor area. You may not know it, but the museum has one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe, hosting over 160 sculptures by iconic artists, right in the middle of nature — the best combination! 
This is America, Foto: Mike Bink

AMERSFOORT

Kunsthal KAdE – This is America | Art USA Today

The title of this exhibition says it all. On November 3rd, the Americans will go to the polls to elect their new president: either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. A pivotal moment in a politically and socially divided country, that is captured in Kunsthal KAdE’s new exhibition. “This is America” sets out to discover what position artists are adopting in these charged times. The Art Fix episode “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” about social and activism art, will get you to the core of how we protest today through art.

BERGEN NH

Museum Kranenburgh – Air

Catch a breath of salty fresh sea air at Museum Kranenburgh in Bergen. Air: it seems so ordinary, yet we take it for granted. And upon thinking twice: the element may live in the shadow of fire, water, and ice, but it is a fascinating phenomenon! And it’s one entity that – while trapped inside of our homes – we all came to appreciate a lot more in the lockdown climate of 2020. The exhibition plays on this newfound appreciation of this element, showing internationally acclaimed artists such as Ai Weiwei, Roger Hiorns, Marina Abramovic, and Yoko Ono, who question and make the wonder of air seem tangible. 

TIP:

  • Bij Merel (At Merel) you step into the coziest contemporary living room, where you’ll have a healthy lunch, eat a (vegan) cake, and enjoy delicious barista-made coffee.

AMSTERDAM

Museum Het Rembrandthuis – Iriée Zamblé & Timothy Voges

When Rembrandt lived in this house, this address was known as a creative “hothouse”. Often hosting postgraduate pupils, Rembrandt used this location to deliver exclusive postgraduate training. Today, almost 400 years later, the space is used in a similar way. Zamblé & Voges, two young Dutch artists, have been offered the opportunity to show both existing work and new work in the “gallery”, reflecting the themes of the exhibition shown in other areas of the museum: life and time. Iriée Zamblé makes portraits of black people, while Timothy Voges paints motifs on found images and cutouts. Curious to see how these two combine to give an ode to Rembrandt’s masterpieces? Check it out for yourself in the center of Amsterdam.

WASSENAAR

Museum Voorlinden – Rendez Vous

Party time at museum Voorlinden? The cubed mountains of confetti might just fool you. But as with many things that don’t appear to be art at first glance, these cubes are actually an installation by Lara Favaretto of four thousand kilograms of confetti divided into 10 elements. Museum Voorlinden came back from lockdown with a bang, curating a wonderful exhibition around the theme of rendez-vous, centring on the idea “encounters”. These may take place between Voorlinden and its visitors, between the art and viewers, and between the artists and the works themselves. In this set of selected works from the museum’s own collection, works of art come together like lovers, embracing and lending one another strength – and occasionally clashing as well.  An absolute must-experience museum with ever-changing art. 

TIP:

  • Visit the great museum store as they sell the best gifts for your next rendez-vous or covid-proof party! 

DEN HAAG

Kunstmuseum Den Haag – Fashion in Colour!

Kunstmuseum Den Haag has opened this season with a different exhibition on the menu than initially planned. The Dior exhibition has been postponed to autumn 2021, but fashion fans will be able to console themselves with “Fashion in Colour!”. Enjoy the creations of leading Dutch and international designers including Comme des Garçons, Chanel, Alaïa, Dries van Noten, Louis Vuitton, Walter van Beirendonck, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler, Jan Taminiau, Issey Miyake. We noticed that today’s fashion is bursting with colour. Is it a coincidence? “In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous”, Elsa Schiaparelli once said.

Fotomuseum Den Haag – Being Human

All Dog lovers pay attention! What is an artist without a muse? For the American artist William Wegman, his muses have been generations of the Weimaraner breed. The inspiration came in 1970 when his first dog, Man Ray—named after Wegman’s favourite artist—sat himself in front of the camera. It turned into a long and fruitful collaboration. Wegman was already a well-known artist, but it is his numerous, human-like portraits of his ever-expanding cast of Weimaraners that have brought him worldwide fame. Fotomuseum Den Haag presents a major survey of no fewer than four decades of Wegman’s wide-ranging collaboration with Man Ray, Fay Wray, Candy and their descendants. 

ROTTERDAM

Kunsthal – Extra Large

This large-scale retrospective of imposing tapestries based on designs by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Le Corbusier, Miro, Vasarely and Louise Bourgeois are totally on-trend with the contemporary crafts hype. This very impressive exhibition brings a new positive injection into the idea of “Extra Large”, when size does matter! 

Do you dare to bare? On Saturday 7th of November you can join the Naked Tour Extra Large, starting at 18:30.

TIP:

  • New Rotterdam Café, popularly called NRC, is a household name in the popular Witte de Withstraat. This Metropole Café transforms every weekend from a café/restaurant into a club. At NRC you eat burgers, vegan, small bites, sushi, or good salads. The cake display case is famous, as is the wine list and the cocktails.
Kiki van Eijck Foto: Floor Knaapen

TILBURG

Textiel Museum – Imaginings: Dutch Design by Kiki van Eijk

If you happen to be venturing in the southern part of the country, you’d be a fool to miss the Textiel Museum. Here you can find the magnificent works by Dutch designer, Kiki van Eijk. Famous for her fantastical designs, such as her wall hangings for Google and majestic window displays for Hermes, Van Eijk puts on a wonderful display at the Tilburg Museum which tickles all the senses!

De Pont Museum

  • Permanent Collection
  • Wilhelminapark 1
  • depont.nl

There really is no better feeling than being greeted at the door by beautiful art. And that is exactly what you’ll get if you visit De Pont Museum: the iconic Tilburg museum which will welcome you with the first outdoor art project of Anish Kapoor in the Netherlands. Sky Mirror (for Hendrik) is reason enough to visit Tilburg, we can tell you that. Over the years, Museum De Pont has bought several works by Anish Kapoor. While some are made by materials like pigments or wax, others take on harder forms like  polyester and stone. Check out our other Art Fix Kapoor fave, ‘Vertigo’, made of highly polished steel and is on permanent display at the museum.

John Kormeling – Rotating House

  • Permanent
  • Hasseltrotonde

An average Dutch house located in the middle of a round-about on the outskirts of Tilburg? That doesn’t sound exciting, until you notice it is spinning around all day and night. Not a boring home, but a piece of art instead! Running on rails, it completes one circuit every 20 hours so that its position on the roundabout is different for each morning rush hour. It is the creation of artist-architect John Körmeling, and definitely worth a visit. But don’t stay too long, as you never know who you’ll meet: in 2009, the artwork was taken over by “Keesje Kraak”, an activist seeking attention for the low-income communities in the city.

TIP:

  • Pig & Rye This bakery-plus scores points with their sourdough bread (according to many the best in the country) and because of the exciting pork dishes, far too often an unloved ingredient.

MAASTRICHT

Bonnefanten Museum – Say It Loud

“Say It Loud” is an international group exhibition by artists whose work explores subjects related to diversity and the colonial past, and their representation or interpretation. The artists look back, often from a personal perspective, on how colonial history has formed them and the world around them. They link their personal experiences to bigger events and processes, such as slavery, institutional racism and sexism, and representation.

TIPS:

  • The Dominican Bookstore is not to be missed. This bookshop is located in the more than 700 year old Dominican Church and has been named by the Guardian “The fairest bookshop of the world, a bookshop made in heaven”.
  • SoDelicious is our favorite all in-one-place in town. Choose your moment or moments during the day. Coffee and cake, an extensive lunch or a drink with bites to celebrate the day, and a pleasant evening in their restaurant. Delicious all day, that’s our idea.

All museums and galleries have extra safety measures in place to ensure a fun and relaxed visit. Please book your tickets online ahead of your trip.