News — 7 Jul 2021

The Stedelijk is going to redesign the display of its collection to reflect a new, more thematic focus. The presentation of the entire holdings will be renewed in three phases, beginning with the most contemporary works. On 10 July we kick off with the presentation of art and design from 1980 to the present. Tomorrow is a Different Day spotlights works by international artists and designers who are helping to shape the changes of today and tomorrow. They challenge the status quo and offer alternative perspectives.

El Anatsui, In the World But Don’t Know the World, 2009, collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Kunstmuseum Bern.
El Anatsui, In the World But Don’t Know the World, 2009, collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Kunstmuseum Bern.

The decades since the 1980s have been marked by dramatic global transformations—globalisation, migration, decolonisation, digitisation, the expansion of the primary and secondary markets, and the acknowledgement of various diasporas in art and society. These global and social shifts have not gone unnoticed by artists and designers, as the work in Tomorrow is a Different Day reveals. Ever-more responsive to the world we live in, artists use their work as a force for change. By voicing resistance, by challenging conventions, and by sharing narratives of hope and longing, they tell meaningful stories that resonate in our lives today.

Some artists in the new collection presentation had, for a long time, been less visible in the museum. For Tomorrow is a Different Day, the curators sought out untold narratives, to be displayed alongside more famous names. The Stedelijk also made a point of purchasing several new works by artists including Martine Syms, El Anatsui, Marcel Pinas and Anna Tereshkina, to deepen the collection. On the basis of themes such as urban activism, ecology, digitisation and migration, this refreshed collection presentation presents a multiplicity of histories, showcasing works by familiar and lesser-known names such as Steve McQueen, Rineke Dijkstra, Wolfgang Tillmans, Marlene Dumas, Sheila Hicks, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Harvey Bouterse, Remy Jungerman, and Danielle Dean.

Esiri Erheriene-Essi, Barricade, 2014, oil, ink on canvas. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Esiri Erheriene-Essi, Barricade, 2014, oil, ink on canvas. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Jeff Koons, Ushering in Banality, 1988. © Jeff Koons, 2007. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Jeff Koons, Ushering in Banality, 1988. © Jeff Koons, 2007. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

In contrast to the previous installation, this new concept is built on theme rather than chronology, and confronts us with a changing world. On the one hand, it wants to seduce the visitor, but also to make them think. Aesthetic questions often contain ethical questions as well. With her installation In Pursuit of Bling, for example, Otobong Nkanga draws attention to the exploitation of the earth, and in particular the way in which raw materials are mined in one place, to be traded and used in another. Her work makes you look differently at everyday objects such as make-up and smartphones, which hide a world of inequality and exploitation. Esiri Erheriene-Essi’s paintings depicting ordinary life also disrupt your readings of the world, offering a counter-narrative to the ever-dominant media images. El Anatsui’s monumental wall sculpture made from bottle caps, has enormous presence and grandeur. By repurposing waste materials, he tells stories about trade, slavery, consumerism and the environment.

The new collection presentation includes both visual art and design. Designers offer solutions to the world’s evolving challenges and developments, particularly the looming climate crisis that is changing our environment at a breakneck pace. Belén gives you a chance to see our living environment in a different way by investigating the power of natural resources. The Another Throw blankets are woven with yarns dyed with vegetable pigments that, through their specific properties, create unique colours and hues. In his project Medulla, Don Yaw Kwaning explores new uses for pitrus, or soft rush, a grass-like plant that is considered a weed in the Netherlands. By separating the soft pith (medulla) from the fibres, he develops light, organic materials that can be used in the production of furniture and packaging material. Daan Roosegaarde also turns a worthless product into something valuable with his project Smog Free Ring. The ring is made from polluted air collected by the Smog Free Tower; 1000 cubic meters of smog particles are compressed into a diamond ring.

Don Yaw Kwaning, Medulla, 2018. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Don Yaw Kwaning, Medulla, 2018. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

The design collection also addresses the theme of displacement and memories with newly purchased works by Foundland, Czar Kristoff and Bodil Ouedrago, among others. These works are set up in a specially designed space that gives a different context and perspective to the works.

Rein Wolfs, director Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: “The new collection presentation features works by artists and designers who are courageous, bold and hopeful. With interventions that are at times disturbing, and with heart-warming stories and inspiring perspectives, they invite us to see the changing world in a new way. Tomorrow is a Different Day teaches us to take a closer look at our society and is a chance for the Stedelijk to critically examine its own social position. Tomorrow everything will be different from today, and yesterday is different seen from the perspective of today. The Stedelijk’s collection of art and design always keeps us alert to the issues posed by constant change.

Harvey Bouterse, #33, 2018-2020, ceramics. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Harvey Bouterse, #33, 2018-2020, ceramics. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Anna Tereshkina, Untitled (from the police station series), 2020 (front). Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Anna Tereshkina, Untitled (from the police station series), 2020 (front). Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Tomorrow is a Different Day - 1980 – Now features work by:

Etel Adnan, Francis Alÿs, Belén, Rachid Ben Ali, Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal, Jop van Bennekom, Cosima von Bonin, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Danielle Dean, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas, Shannon Ebner, El Anatsui, Esiri Erheriene-Essi, Foundland, Karl Fritsch, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gillion Grantsaan, Hans Gremmen, Joseph Grigely, Xu Han, Harvey Bouterse, Marit van Heumen, Sheila Hicks, Richard Hutten, Steffani Jemison, Remy Jungerman, Patricia Kaersenhout, Iris Kensmil, Jeff Koons, Czar Kristoff, Otto Künzli, Don Yaw Kwaning, Charl Landvreugd, Louise Lawler, Olia Lialina, Harmen Liemburg, Angela Luna, Max Kisman, Steve McQueen, Christien Meindertsma, Metahaven, Issey Miyake, Manfred Nisslmüller, Otobong Nkanga, Bodil Ouedraogo, Noon Passama, Marcel Pinas, Sigmar Polke, Michel Quarez, Karim Rashid, Raw Color, Willem de Rooij, Daan Roosegaarde, Lotty Rosenfeld, Swip Stolk , Martine Syms, Ikko Tanaka, Michael Tedja, Anna Tereshkina, Wolfgang Tillmans, Frank Tjepkema, Danh Vo, Witho Worms, Billie Zangewa

LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF…

In the audio tour accompanying the new collection presentation, artists, designers or curators who share their personal stories of the works on view in each room. The artists and designers tell you why they created the piece, what it means to them and what they are looking for in their work. The curators talk about what makes a work stand out, and how each piece fits into this new presentation concept. Several artists also wrote texts that will be presented in the exhibition alongside the works.

LOOKING AT THE COLLECTION FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

History is continually in flux, constantly fed by new voices and insights. Tomorrow is a Different Day is the first part of the Stedelijk’s new collection presentation, with more room for familiar, new and different perspectives. The presentations of art from the periods 1945-1980, and art and design up to 1945 will be redesigned, in turn, in 2022.

Remy Jungerman, INITIANDS, 2015. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Courtesy Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam. © Remy Jungerman. Photo Peter Tijhuis.
Remy Jungerman, INITIANDS, 2015. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Courtesy Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam. © Remy Jungerman. Photo Peter Tijhuis.