It’s a rainy afternoon In 2014
The city…geez, it’s been 6 years!
Traveling for almost 2 hours, to end up in a rainy city I remembered as beautiful. I convinced my boyfriend to go to Arnhem: a city in the east of the Netherlands. I hold sweet memories of the parc and the night life. It was the home of my little sister: the city was an escape from the west part of the country, where I was born and raised. I never went there for sightseeing though, but, relying on my memories, I figured the city would make a lovely citytrip.
But, although the city has some beautiful buildings, we did not find any big church or other important points of interest. Maybe we put too little effort in our search,.. but it was raining,.. and cold,.. So after we payed a visit too all of the shops (which weren’t many), my boyfriend wanted to go home. Luckily I was able to convince him to pay a visit, at least, to one of Arnhems museums.
So we went to MMKA: Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem (Museum for Modern Art Arnhem). It was close to the center of the city; a 600 metres walk; according the signs. But as we were walking through the cold rain, we had the experience it was over 1000 metres away from the city center. I am pretty sure we both had the same thought; the museum better be worth it,…
We unfortunately didn’t take a picture of the 19th century building and garden. The picture you see is from the website: http://www.mijngelderland.nl You can see the building is small, but beautiful. The garden holds several pieces of art. The ‘titties-mountain’ was the most prominent element in the garden. It was a pile of balloons, who all had nipples; a mountain of titties,.. so to say. We didn’t go check the name of artist of that piece though,.. I bet the garden can be very relaxing to walk through,.. since it has an amazing view over the river,.. but,.. well,.. rain,… still,…
The museum is about modern art, but since modern art is a very broad concept, we were very curious what kind of modern art we were about to see. The entrance of the museum didn’t give any cue. Neither did the entrance ticket, and we were not given any folder with information at the pay desk. I guess we were expected to find out for ourselves. (Or just visit the website, perhaps)
It was realism, most of it. When you enter the first hall, you are face to face with the precursors of 1890 – 1925. And at the end of your tour through the museum, you will be able to observe the representative art from 1985 till present. A chronological tour; and it is just so typical of me to like that. The museum presents the paintings in sub-collections, based on the date of creation, and in every sub-collection they highlight two or more artists.
I spent a long time gazing at the paintings of Dick Ket. His paintings were part of the fist sub-collection: 1890 – 1925. His lifestory was most interesting: he never left the house, and therefore only painted stuff he had easy access to: himself,and glasses and cups he found in his kitchen. I had the overall idea he was a very funny guy; his paintings had a slight sense of humor I liked. If you want to see some of his paintings, (and other paintings of the museum) check this blog (it’s dutch, but the author mainly displays photographs): http://www.vd-linden.nl/museum-blog/museum-arnhem/
After Dick Ket, my eye was attracted to a painting from Hendrik Valk. This painting belonged to the second sub-collection: 1925 – 1960. On the picture you experience some kind of tension in the painting. It seems like nothing much is happening in the painting. It’s just a mirror, half a face and a wajong-doll. But because you only see half a face; a lot happens. To me at least. I had the urge to create paintings with the same ‘feel’. (I created one, about a year ago,..) Meeting Hendrik Valk was like meeting my new mentor. I need to know more about his philosophy and work. Luckily, the museum, showed more paintings from him, for example; a plate with fish. Nothing special at first sight,.. till you see half a face, again, sniffing the smell of the fish. Amazing!
The last artists I want to mention belong to the last sub-collection: 1985 – present. One of them was Anya Janssen: she had painted a large painting of a boy who resembled my son’s image in a stunning way. I couldn’t take my eyes of the painting, which was called Rites of Passage 2. Not only did she create a wonderful likeness of my son’s image, she also is a great artist. You just have to check her website!
The second artist who caught my attention will remain anonymous. I really tried hard to remember her name, and I even tried harder to rediscover her name via google. But it was ineffectual. Her paintings were striking because of the simplicity and the joyful childishness. They were bright in color and were partly applied with doodle art. Beautiful in all it’s simplicity and vivacity.
So, yes; the museum was worth a visit. It was worth walking through the cold rain. As small as the museum was, it contained over 100 pieces of wonderful art, and I loved every single one of them.