On the occasion of the centenary of De Stijl, the entire Netherlands and in particular the Hague pay homage to the great names of a revolutionary movement.
MONDRIAN AND DUTCH DESIGN. 100 YEARS OF DE STIJL
The chessboard of Piet Mondrian, with its primary colours, influenced the history of contemporary art, but not only. From fashion to design, the work of the founder of the movement known as De Stijl, or Neoplasticism, has been cited for decades, and it never fails to excite. Thanks to the enthusiasm that shakes those geometric grids. Optimism that shines, and gives an idea of refreshing modernity.
CELEBRATIONS ALL AROUND THE NETHERLANDS
A whole year marked by exhibitions, shows and gifts of various nature to the twentieth-century tradition of design. The Netherlands remembers the pioneers of the De Stijl movement: Piet Mondrian, Rietveld, Eesteren, van der Leck, and others. The recurrence is so felt that it’s impossible to count the events around the nation from now to the next months. You can trace the origins of the movement in Leiden, or you can enjoy a total immersion in contemporary Dutch design in Amsterdam, which owes much to those early founders. Over the whole 2017 the celebrations will touch also the Central Museum in Utrecht, as well as the house of Mondrian and the Rietveld Pavilion in Amersfoort.
THE HAGUE AT THE CENTER OF THE SCENE
But the focus of the celebrations will be The Hague. For the centenary of the publication of the De Stijl art magazine the city has been “mondrianized” – almost literally. There’s a great calendar of events and exhibitions dedicated to Piet Mondrian, the undisputed pioneer of a movement that defined an entire artistic era. The whole city is dressed in those unmistakable essential lines, in those geometries and colours that have become iconic.
“WHO IS AFRAID OF RED, YELLOW AND BLUE?”
The largest Mondrian work of art is overlooking the city, from the heights of its town hall to its canals. “Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue?” is designed by Madje Vollaers and Pasca Zwart, together with VZ studium. The city seems to be a real canvas, at the disposal of the several tributes to the great interpreters of the early twentieth century.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE GEMEENTE MUSEUM, THE HEART OF THE CITY
The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is the municipal museum, and it houses the most important collection of Piet Mondrian in the world. In its spectacular Art Deco building, designed by the Dutch architect Berlage, there’s a great collection of modern art – from Kandinsky to Francis Bacon, Monet, Picasso, Egon Schiele.
EXHIBITIONS IN PROGRESS: MONDRIAN & DE STIJL
After Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Mondrian and all the visionaires gathered under the auspices of the De Stijl movement are considered the most important exponents of the Dutch view. The exhibition “Mondrian & De Stijl” wants to give an account of the origins of that revolution. In 1917 the artist and critic Theo van Doesburg invited the most innovative artists of his time to write for his new magazine, “De Stijl”. It was the first step towards a new way of understanding art. A new energy was taking place.
PIET AND BART: THE HISTORY OF A FRIENDSHIP
Mondrian and Bart van der Leck met during World War II in the village of Laren. They both were moved in their experimentation, especially in their gradual transition from an original representational art to the pure geometric abstraction, by the conviction that art could guide men toward modernity. The work of one was inspired by that of the other. “Piet Mondrian and Bart van der Leck“, the current exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum of The Hague until next May 21, recounts the true story of a friendship, and with that the origins of an entire artistic movement.
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
This summer the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag with Het Nieuwe Instituut, which holds the largest collection of architecture in the world, will also present an overview of drawings, architectural models and examples of furniture designed by the most famous members of the De Stijl. Masterpieces by Rietveld, Doesburg, Eesteren, who saw in their art the only effective response to the problems of everyday life. The exhibition “Architecture and Interiors. The desire for style” will be inaugurated on June 10 and will run until mid-September. The intent is to reconstruct the origin of the movement, but also to explore the influences in the decades of that new way of thinking about the visual arts.
THE DISCOVERY OF MONDRIAN
The 300 works by Mondrian kept at the Gemeentemuseum cover all the stages of his production. They range from the early landscapes to the basic abstractions that have made him famous. “The discovery of Mondrian” will open on June 3, and will be the first exhibition in the history of the museum to include in a single retrospective the entire collection. An amazing insight into a genius of our time.
Gemeentemuseum of HAAG
Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag
Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
+31 (0) 70 3381111
DESIGNKWARTIER: DESIGN FESTIVAL
Since 2014 a major festival dedicated to new trends in design has been taking place in The Hague: Designkwartier. An ideal opportunity to attend presentations of new items or trends, exposures of more varied nature, activities and workshops. In such a great atmosphere there’ll be involved more than 50 locations, including galleries, shops, museums and national monuments.
Designers and other creative will work together to solve everyday problems, developing new approaches.
19 May-21 May 2017
Location: Zeeheldenkwartier, The Hague
KEUKENHOF: TULIPS AND DESIGN
The Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world, is a great destination in spring time, when its millions of flowers bloom in an explosion of colour. It is located halfway between The Hague and Amsterdam, so it’s easily accessible by car or by public transport.
This year there is one more reason to visit it. The theme of Keukenhof park is, of course, design. So, among classic tulips, Mondrian and Rietveld will be the stars of the show.
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