I was quite taken away but Kröller-Müller Museum, this gem of a museum in a quiet Dutch town of Otterlo, hidden in the serene and studding setting of De Hoge Veluwe National Park.
I had no idea that Kröller-Müller contains the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world. It is a fascinating story how the vision of one single collector, Helen Kröller-Müller, the first European female collector, brings attention and shines light on Van Gogh’s work. The museum also hosts one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe. Everything about the experience is special. The unique setting which is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of big cities inspires a sense of calm and reflection that connects you deeper with the works.
Enclosed wheat field with rising sun, 1889 Vincent van Gogh
Composition in colour A, 1917. Piet Mondriaan
Needle Tower, 1968, Kenneth Snelson
Mauritshuis in The Hague is one of my most favourite museums in the world – a quaint and intimate one. This repeat visit just rekindled my love and admiration for the works of the seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painters and the Dutch Golden Age.
I am absolutely in love with Jan Steen’s paintings of mundane everyday life, the romantic still life paintings, and incredible portraits of the masters, Vermeer and Rembrandt . You can see most of their collection online with high resolution details. It is a treat.
Kitchen Scene with Christ at Emmaus, 1560, Joachim Beuckelaer
Kitchen Interior 1644, David Teniers II
Panorama Mesdag was yet another surprise, delightful discovery of a genre of panoramic paintings that I had never heard of. This is a cylindrical painting of 120 meters with a height of 14 meters by Hendrik Willem Mesdag and it is the oldest 19th century panorama in the world on its original site. It is a 3D experience of the fishing village of Scheveningen. The villages, the sea, the dunes are painted beautifully and augmented by real sandy dunes, rocks, seashells, beach chairs and sounds of the sea. The line between real objects and painting blends and since you are surrounded by the painting it feels like you are in it too. The dome of the structure is transparent so the changing light of the sunshine and the moving clouds change the color of the sky in the painting in the course of the day. They call it an ancient virtual reality and it truly is. Obviously the real experience is surreal and better but you can get a glimpse of it here if you are curious.
Joana Vasconcelos at Kunsthal Rotterdam
Ok, I am a late discoverer of Joana Vasconcelos’s work but now she is my artist crush of the year!
Her installations and their scale are just epic. Her daring, super intelligent, humorous take on gender issues, contradictions in female roles and her approach to social commentary with her art blow my mind. Chandelier made of tampons! Stiletto made of cooking pots! Just wow!