News — 29 Jun 2010

While work continues on the renovation and expansion of the Stedelijk Museum, the museum is poised to host a unique and compelling program of exhibitions, education programs and special events called The Temporary Stedelijk at the Stedelijk Museum. Conceived by Stedelijk Museum director Ann Goldstein, this special interim program is inspired by the singular opportunity to utilize the unfinished historic building in this period prior to the museum’s grand reopening.

The Temporary Stedelijk will offer a preview of the stunning renovation of the historical building by Benthem Crouwel Architects, as the galleries serve as a stage for various temporary exhibitions before they are ultimately devoted to the ongoing presentation of the museum’s renowned collection of modern and contemporary art and design. The Temporary Stedelijk will bring art, artists and the public back into the museum with two major exhibition projects: Taking Place, where specifically selected works of contemporary art are presented in spaces throughout the building, and Monumentalism—History and National Identity in Contemporary Art Proposal for Municipal Art Acquisitions 2010, as well as a dynamic schedule of educational initiatives, screenings, performances and special events.

Taking Place

Taking Place reintroduces the Stedelijk Museum by addressing its history, the spatial and temporal conditions of the unfinished building and how artists use, occupy and animate museum spaces. The historical, functional and architectural conditions of the museum are both subject and material for this special presentation of works by local, national and international contemporary artists, who range from well-known and established figures to emerging artists. Renovated gallery spaces on the ground and upper floors of the building ultimately designated for the presentation works from of the museum’s collection of 19th to 21st century painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper and applied industrial and graphic design will for this occasion be used in an innovative and experimental way that takes advantage of their current state. Through newly commissioned site-specific works, historical reconstructions, video projections, audio work, architectural interventions, performances and graphic design, Taking Place addresses the distinctive conditions of the building at this moment in time.

Another feature of The Temporary Stedelijk is an opportunity to directly experience the luminous, gracefully proportioned gallery spaces themselves, some of which will remain empty in strategic intervals between these room-size installations.The Stedelijk Museum’s historic building is also home to two permanent works of art by Karel Appel: interior of the Appel Bar (1951) and the artist’s 1956 mural in the former museum restaurant. (Though the room is now a gallery, it will be used as the café space for The Temporary Stedelijk.) Following extensive restoration, these works, too, will be on display. On the wall opposite Appel’s 1956 painting, a stunning, specially commissioned work by American artist Lawrence Weiner (b. New York, 1942) will be featured. The work is a recent gift to the museum made by the Association of Friends of the Stedelijk Museum.

This recent acquisition joins 79 works by Weiner in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum (among them 58 artist’s books), including AN OBJECT MADE TO RESEMBLE ANOTHER BY THE ADDITION OF A SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF EXTERNAL QUALITIES (1988) on a bronze plaque on the façade of the museum building.

Monumentalism—History and National Identity in Contemporary Art Proposal for Municipal Art Acquisitions 2010

Another highlight of The Temporary Stedelijk is the exhibition Monumentalism—History and National Identity in Contemporary Art: Proposal for Municipal Art Acquisitions 2010, which will occupy one half of the ground floor galleries. The 2010 presentation of this highly anticipated annual exhibition of works by artists living and/or working in The Netherlands will address the concepts of history and national identity. The exceptionally large number of diverse submissions this year—359 in all— demonstrates the particular significance and relevance of the theme. Curated by Jelle Bouwhuis, head of the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, the exhibition will feature the work of 19 artists, including Yael Bartana, Hala Elkoussy, Iris Kensmil, Job Koelewijn, Gert Jan Kocken, Renzo Martens, and Barbara Visser. Some works will be presented at the Stedelijk Museum for the first time. As is traditional with this exhibition, acquisitions for the collection are selected by the Stedelijk Museum’s director, and during the course of the exhibition, Ann Goldstein will announce which of the works are to be acquired.

Public Programs

The Temporary Stedelijk will be further distinguished by a dynamic public program offering our visitors a warm welcome and introduction to the Stedelijk Museum and its extraordinary resources as one of the most significant museums devoted to modern and contemporary art and design in the world. The Temporary Stedelijk will offer a full program of events for visitors of all ages. One gallery will be devoted to the plans for the new building: the presentation will include the architect’s model, technical drawings and other impressions of the new Stedelijk Museum. In addition, two ground floor galleries will be used for workshops and other activities for school classes and families, and the former auditorium space, now a gallery, will be used for a wide range of public events, including lectures, screenings, performances, symposia and other special events.