Monday 21 July 2014

Modern art the Rijksmuseum

Modern art collection at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

A very small collection as there was no modern art at the Rijksmuseum, and they had to start from scratch.

 Baas, Marten, Grandfather Clock, 2002
This sculpture stands at one of the entrances of the museum

An LCD screen is installed as the face of the clock: it shows a 12-hour movie in loop of a blurred figure of a man continuously indicating the time by drawing the hour and minute clock hands with a marker directly on the screen. The combination of the human-size of the clock together with the image of the moving blurred man creates an optical illusion of a real man standing inside the clock - a figurative personal specialist telling the time. The inscribed script in this design is to trick the viewers into absorbing that false impression. And they do.

Le Corbusier, Model of the Philips Pavilion, 1957
At the invitation of Philips, the Dutch electronics firm, Le Corbusier designed a pavilion for Expo 58, the world's fair held in Brussels. The concrete building was coated with aluminium paint. Inside there was a multimedia show with film, coloured light and electronic music by Yannis Xenakis. Planes of colour in the entrance set the tone for the 'electronic performance' inside, which attracted one and a half million visitors.


Ferdi, Wombtom, 1968
Ferdi wanted to create a playful and liberating 'environment'. The sexual symbolism of her furniture sculptures literally becomes palpable when one touches the soft synthetic fur. The Womtomb lent itself to 'happenings', 'performances' and interaction. The vulva-like opening forms an entrance to the sheltered interior. It is simultaneous a cosy tomb and a womb.


Marlene Dumas, The Last Supper, 1953

During the Last Supper, Christ shared bread and wine, symbols of his body and blood, with his disciples. This was how he announced not only his crucifixion, but also that he would live on in his disciples. Dumas took the liberty of making of him a solitary, empty figure, above whose head new life appears in a 'cloud' of foetuses.

Yves Saint Laurent, Mondrian Dress, 1965
The abstract geometric visual language of De Stijl in the 1920s inspired a new generation of artists forty years later. The French couturier Yves Saint Laurent won international success with dresses inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. This is the most elementary model of the six variants presented by Yves Sait Laurent in 1965.


  1. Replies
    1. Very clever. Watching people's reactions was good too.