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Stedelijk Museum

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America Without the Dream but with Compassion

by Edo Dijksterhuis
Even 30 years later, you cannot feel but sorry for the poor French TV journalist who interviewed Robert Frank in 1984. He must have been quite happy before filming—he had succeeded where most important magazines and newspapers had failed: actually securing an interview with the most influential photographer alive. But everything goes awry right from the start. “I hate these fucking interviews,” is the first thing that comes out of Frank’s mouth. Lots of expletives follow, plus an explanation: “I do that to people. I don’t want it to be done to me.” Excerpt... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 11/4/15
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For Marlene Dumas politics are always personal

by Edo Dijksterhuis
Since its long anticipated reopening in September 2012 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has served up some fine shows: The Mike Kelley retrospective was, if somewhat airtight, quite comprehensive, and Jeff Wall’s Tableaux Pictures Photographs 1996-2013 could easily compete with the grand overview nine years ago at Tate Modern. But with Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden the museum has hit a new high point. The retrospective of the nation’s best-known painter is by far the best exhibition the new Stedelijk has mounted to date. The last Dumas retrospective in The Netherlands dates back to 1... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 9/10/14
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Bending the frame of photography: Jeff Wall tweaks reality

by Edo Dijksterhuis
The Jeff Wall show at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam contains fewer works than the large retrospective held at Tate Modern in 2005-2006 – the score is thirty-seven against more than fifty. Also, it covers a shorter period than the London presentation of two and a half decades of work. And there is some serious overlap with the older show. Still, the Amsterdam exhibition is probably the better. Jeff Wall 1978-2004 at Tate Modern followed a largely chronological path. It led visitors through the artist’s career, neatly divided in segments – a tried and tested format the London museum has... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 3/13/14
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When Things Fall Apart

by G H
Growing up in the Netherlands in the late eighties as the child of a liberal, creative, and slightly mad family meant that on Sunday morning, church was replaced by Rembo en Rembo. Broadcast by a television network producing possibly the best and most inappropriate children’s television ever made, Rembo and his friend Rembo – two ultra camp chavs in their late twenties – looked at society through bright pink, star shaped glasses (to match their seventies glitter suits) and taught me, unwittingly, more about life, and art, than many teachers, schools, or books ever did after. For thei... [more]
Posted by G H on 7/4/13
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Something We've Lost: Mike Kelley in Retrospective

by Andrea Alessi
Ever listen to an old soul or funk album and have one of those revelatory “so this is where Coolio got that sample” moments? The long awaited Mike Kelley retrospective at the Stedelijk guarantees a few of these embarrassing, how-did-I-not-know-this realizations. Embrace it, as embarrassment finds a companionable home in Kelley’s work, where youthful traumas, anxieties, and repressed memories come out to play – one of his later projects literally pairs Color Field painting with YouTube videos of humiliated, crying children. Kelley’s legacy is inscribed in the contemporary art landscape – not... [more]
Posted by Andrea Alessi on 12/22/12
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Conquering the Stedelijk

by Nicola Bozzi
The thing with the Stedelijk Museum is you invariably get lost. You wander from room to room, trying not to leave anything behind, and - just after you have finished inspecting a Malevich or walking across a Carl Andre - all of a sudden you're dodging some cabinets with a mysterious jewel collection inside, or beholding a series of iron design objects. You might be on a six-room video installation roll and then seamlessly transition into another show featuring the museum's latest acquisitions. The map they give you at the entrance – with colors, too, in case you're too lazy to read numbers an... [more]
Posted by Nicola Bozzi on 3/21/11
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Taking Place

Taking Place reintroduces the Stedelijk Museum by addressing its history, the spatial and temporal conditions of the unfinished building and the ways in which 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 desig... [more]
Posted by Abhilasha Singh on 11/1/10
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The Temporary Stedelijk: Monumentalism and Taking Place

by Andrea Alessi
This weekend I visited Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum for the first time. While this probably sounds like an unforgivable oversight (or just plain laziness) to you, it’s not. The Stedelijk, Amsterdam’s only modern and contemporary art museum, has been closed for years undergoing renovations and the construction of a new extension. Don’t get too excited – this is no grand reopening; more construction and closed doors are yet to come – but from August 28, 2010 until January 9, 2011 visitors are treated to The Temporary Stedelijk, a one-time only gallery preview with a program comprising two... [more]
Posted by Andrea Alessi on 8/31/10