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Category Archives: Art

Art worth to travel for or to travel to

Monica Bonvicini



At the Venice Biennial Monica Bonvicini, born in Venice, but living and working in Berlin, had a complete room in the Arsenale with chainsaw installations in concrete with dripping rubber.

The brochure says:

In Bonvicini’s hands, industrial materials are used to create a humorous critique of male power symbols.

It keeps me thinking.

Filed Under: Art

Scheveningen 11 and Scheveningen 90

Scheveningen 90 en 11 _DSC4080

Scheveningen 11 and Scheveningen 90

I took this photo of the painting of the Scheveningen 11 and Scheveningen 90 by Hendrik Willem Mesdag in the Groninger Museum. I’m not sure whether the painting belongs to its collection or not.

I took the photo to use it for a post here about Hendrik Willem Mesdag, an important Dutch painter of the The Hague School.

We have a panorama in The Hague, Panorama Mesdag and we have the Mesdag Collection in The Hague, a small museum which consists of his former home and studio’s, but also of the small museum he built himself for his own art collection.

Ed Ruscha: Ostend – La Jolla – Venice – The Hague

Brave Men Run in My Family Ed Ruscha I56A1143 kl


Ed Ruscha: Ostend – La Jolla – Venice – The Hague

An acrylic on canvas painting by Ed Ruscha, but also a Mural at the La Jolla Branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego, California (see the second photo right).
1995-1996, acrylic on PVC coated fabric. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase with proceeds from Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Art Auction 2006, and from prior donations by Susan and Frank Kockritz and Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge. © Ed Ruscha.


I took this photo in Ostend, Belgium at the exhibition The Sea which became a memorial to Belgian Museum curator Jan Hoet. I found it in Mu.zee. There the caption is Brave Men From La Jolla and the ownership attributed to Studio Ruscha

Clearly there is a Flying Dutchman analogy which connects the quote “Brave Men Run in My Family” to the sea.


My first encounter with Ed Ruscha was in another Seafaring City, Venice, Italy at the occasion of the 2005 Venice Biennial. There he presented mono color work from his Blue Collar series with new work which he called Course of Empire (see this Traditional Fine Arts Organization writeup)

Strangely enough I took only photo’s from the mono color work and not from the multi color work. With hindsight I believe I found the black and white work much more impressive, especially in the USA pavilion.
Tool and Die Ed Ruscha 2005 Biennial Venic IMG_0464
Telephone by Ed Ruscha Venice Biennial 2005 IMG_0460
Tech Chem Ed Ruscha Venice Biennial 2005 IMG_0463
Tires by Ed Rucha Venice Biennial 2005  IMG_0462
Trade School Ed Ruscha Venice Biennial 2005 IMG_0461
US Pavillion Venice  Biennial 2005 IMG_0465

The Hague?

The connection is this: After Venice the Ruscha paintings were exhibited in the Whitney Museum NYC. Currently the Whitney museum is on the move from its Breuer designed museum to a Piano designed new Museum that will be opened spring next year. Soon the US Embassy in the Hague will leave its Breuer designed building for a newly built Embassy. I hope the US will show the same respect for the only Breuer designed building we have in The Hague as the Whitney museum did by making a deal with the MET. See this NY Times article.

The Sea – A tribute to Jan Hoet

tryptiek I56A1049

The Sea – A tribute to Jan Hoet

Currently in the Belgian city Ostende there is an exhibition in various locations in honor of curator Jan Hoet who passed away January 27, 2014, before the exhibition atarted.

I’ve visited it and it is really worth while the journey. Open until April 19th, 2015.

The installation “Altar” at the beach by Kris Martin is part of the exhibition. It refers to a triptych by Van Eyck and gives a view on the Sea (and the air above the sea off course)

The sea has always been a great source of inspiration for the arts. Its attraction can undoubtedly be ascribed to its ever changing impressions. In its infinite beauty it may be soothing but in its unpredictability it becomes threatening again. Artists will always be fascinated by the endless play of light, space and movement. The Sea is an exhibition that is elusive just like a wave, ebbing, flowing and leaving traces that time and again are erased by new forces. The Sea is an exhibition in dialog with Ostend, spread over several locations, with Mu.ZEE as the starting point of this voyage of discovery.

Jan Hoet was behind the planning of this event. For him, this was to be his last major exhibition. However, on 27 February 2014 we had to bid our curator farewell. He had focused on this project until the very last weeks of his life. The exhibition thus grew from a tribute to the sea into a homage to Jan Hoet… one of grand gestures and short stories, a salute of honor.
Source:Sies Hoeke

CaixaForum Madrid

Caixa Forum I56A0116
Caixa Selfie I56A0116

Caixa Forum Madrid

Recently I was in Madrid. I visited the CaixaForum Museum of modern art: An old power station renovated by the Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron in 200-2001, shortly after they renovated the Tate London, also a decommissioned power station.

I could crop a selfie from the first photo.

What’s a bit annoying is that the CaixaForum Madrid doesn’t have its own web presence. It is part of the big Caixa Foundation. Caixa is a large Spanish bank. You can find a bit on the Foundations Website, but it’s not much.

This is what the architects say about the impressive buuilding:

A spectacular transformation
The only material of the old power station that we could use was the classified brick shell. In order to conceive and insert the new architectural components of the CaixaForum, we began with a surgical operation, separating and removing the base and the parts of the building no longer needed. This opened a completely novel and spectacular perspective that simultaneously solved a number of problems posed by the site. The removal of the base of the building left a covered plaza under the brick shell, which now appears to float above the street level. This sheltered space under the CaixaForum offers shade to visitors who want to spend time or meet outside, and at the same time, it is the entrance to the Forum itself. Problems such as the narrowness of the surrounding streets, the placement of the main entrance, and the architectural identity of this contemporary art institution are addressed and solved in a single urban and sculptural gesture.

Building Data:
Site Area: building site: 1,934sqm / 20,817sqft; plaza: 650sqm / 6,996sqft
Building Footprint: 1,400sqm /15,069sqft
Building Dimensions: Length 44m / 144ft; Width 37m / 121ft; Height 28m / 92ft
Gross Floor Area: 11,000sqm/ 118,404sqft