News — 25 Jan 2023

Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic, Messengers of the Sun, 2022. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij
Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic, Messengers of the Sun, 2022. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam will purchase eight projects from the current exhibition When Things Are Beings. The exhibition is part of the biennial project Proposals for Municipal Art Acquisitions, which invites designers and artists living and working in the Netherlands to submit work in response to an open call. This edition showcases a selection of works that bridge the material and non-material worlds. From the group presentation, the Stedelijk will acquire work from the following designers and artists: Yinka Buutfeld, Hatutamelen (James Noya), Saskia Noor van Imhoff, Marcos Kueh, Sabine Marcelis, Chequita Nahar, Ana Navas and Antonio Jose Guzman & Iva Jankovic

Rein Wolfs, director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: “Expressing magic and spirituality through art is nothing new. As these works demonstrate, the inner power of objects is still central to the practices of contemporary designers and artists. These acquisitions fill gaps in our collection by adding perspectives from different histories, generations and places. Thanks to the City of Amsterdam’s biannual budget for the Municipal Art Acquisitions project, we can expand our collection with new stories for the future.” 

Touria Meliani, alderwoman of the Municipality of Amsterdam: “Art challenges us and brings beauty to our sometimes chaotic world. The Stedelijk Museum has acquired important works that use design, imagination and spirituality to engage with current issues. Unique, urgent works of art that deserve a place in a museum. That’s why I’m very proud of the selected works, which strengthen Collection Amsterdam through their relevance to the world we live in.

Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak, exhibition curators: “This edition of the Municipal Art Acquisitions focuses on the elusive appeal of both abstract concepts and forms of spirituality that can lie hidden in objects and sculptures. The title refers to what anthropologist Arjun Appadurai calls ‘the relationship between human actions and things’. The selected designers and artists explore extraordinary ways of connecting ideas and objects, spirituality and materiality, or social issues with tangible phenomenon. We’re delighted that this selection is entering the collection and would like to thank all the makers who contributed to this group exhibition.

When Things Are Beings will run until 10 April 2023. Paired with the exhibition is an extensive Public Program with performances, gallery talks and a workshop. For extra-curious visitors, an online publication offers in-depth texts on the 24 projects, an essay by Mira Asriningtyas and an interview with the curators who reflect on the curatorial process. You can download a free digital version of the publication in Dutch and English

This 2022 edition of the Municipal Art Acquisitions attracted over 750 entries from which 24 projects were selected for the presentation. The eight purchases were realized thanks to the financial support of the Municipality of Amsterdam.