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Stedelijk Museum to reopen in September after ambitious renovation and expansion project
A man prepares the Harrenstein bedroom (1926) designed by Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld, one of the top pieces in the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum as the new building of the museum on the Museumplein (Museum Square) is being furnished in Amsterdam. The museum will welcome the public into its newly renovated and expanded facilities on September 23, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANP / EVERT ELZINGA.

AMSTERDAM.- Ann Goldstein, Director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, announced that this leading international institution of modern and contemporary art will celebrate its opening ceremony on Saturday, September 22, 2012, and will begin welcoming the public on September 23, following the completion of the most ambitious renovation and expansion project in its history.

A complete renovation of the Stedelijk’s historic 1895 building, designed by A.W. Weissman, has converted virtually all of its program spaces into galleries, enabling the first comprehensive display the Stedelijk has ever mounted of its permanent collection, widely acknowledged to be among the most important in the world. The vibrant new building designed by Mels Crouwel of Benthem Crouwel Architects, measuring 10,000 square meters (98,400 square feet), will provide vast new space for the Stedelijk’s renowned and influential temporary exhibitions, as well as a host of new amenities. The innovative design also re-orients the entire Museum to face onto the great public lawn of Amsterdam’s Museumplein (Museum Plaza), creating an active common ground for the first time among the Stedelijk and its neighbors, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Concertgebouw.

“With this long-awaited opening, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam will reaffirm and strengthen its place among leading international art institutions, cast light on today’s Amsterdam as a center of artistic experimentation and bring new life to the Museumplein, one of the world’s most important cultural landscapes,” Ann Goldstein stated. “What is more, with the completion of Mels Crouwel’s bold yet brilliantly functional building, we add a major new work to our collection of Dutch modern design.”

The museum also announced details of the installation of the permanent collection and of two inaugural temporary exhibitions. Beyond Imagination will feature new projects and commissioned works by an invited group of 20 artists, both Dutch and foreign-born, now active in the Netherlands. It will be installed in the new second-floor galleries and spill out into the auditorium and public spaces in the new building. The first temporary exhibition in the new building’s 1,100 square-meter (10,800 square-foot) column-free, open plan gallery will feature a major presentation of large-scale contemporary works and installations from the collection by Carl Andre, Rodney Graham, Joan Jonas, John Knight, Barbara Kruger, Melvin Moti and Diana Thater, among others.

The Stedelijk will proceed with its plans for the eagerly anticipated retrospective Mike Kelley: Themes and Variations from 35 Years, following the artist’s untimely death. The exhibition will open at the Stedelijk on December 14, 2012, and then travel to other major museums in Europe and America.

The Permanent Collection
With the opening of the renovated and expanded Stedelijk Museum, half of the historic 1895 building’s ground floor will now be dedicated to an installation of visual arts from the 1870s to the 1960s, presented in a dozen galleries. Although roughly chronological overall, the installation will offer distinct groups of works organized by subject matter (Landscape/ Cityscape), art movement (Expressionism), time period (Circa 1913) and other themes. Among the highlights will be key works by Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc, Chaïm Soutine, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Kazimir Malevich, Charley Toorop, Max Beckmann, Jackson Pollock, Asger Jorn, Karel Appel and the artists of the CoBrA group. Inner rooms, protected from the light, will permit shorter­-term installations of works on paper (a major group by Malevich for the opening installation) and the Stedelijk’s outstanding collection of photography.

The other half of the ground floor ring of the historic building will now be dedicated to the Stedelijk’s first installation of its highly important collection of industrial design, graphic design and applied arts. Organized in three main sections (the development of modernism, 1900–1950; postwar modernism, 1950–1980; and post­modernism to the present, 1980 onward), the installation will encompass glassware, ceramics, jewelry, posters, furniture and textiles, presented so as to highlight the changing relationships among craft, design and technology in the context of their respective ideas and ideologies. Although the installation will be fully international and will include major figures ranging from Josef Hoffmann through Ettore Sottsass and Philippe Starck, special attention will be paid to aspects of design history that can be best appreciated here: the work of De Stijl; the Stedelijk’s own projects (such as its landmark 1968 exhibition Vormgevers, or Designers); and the influence of the Stedelijk’s own graphics, including those initiated by director Willem Sandberg and long­-time in­house designer Wim Crouwel (father of the architect of the new Stedelijk, Mels Crouwel). Among the highlights on view will be the complete Harrenstein Bedroom, 1926, by Gerrit Rietveld. A suite of galleries in the design ring, set aside for temporary exhibitions, will open with an examination of the influence of the Bauhaus in the Netherlands, from industrial design to textiles, typography and photography The second floor of the historic building will feature changing displays from the Stedelijk’s renowned collections of major works from the 1960s through the present. These will include signature works such as La perruche et la sirène by Henri Matisse, The Beanery by Ed Kienholz, Charlene by Robert Rauschenberg and Bellevue II by Andy Warhol, as well as mono­graphic rooms devoted to the work of Willem de Kooning, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas, Barnett Newman, Hanne Darboven and Wolfgang Tillmans. Also on view will be many cherished works that have not been seen for years, including those by Lee Bontecou, Rene Daniels, Jan Dibbets, Lucio Fontana, Gilbert & George, Philip Guston, Yves Klein, Joseph Kosuth, Brice Marden, Bruce Nauman, Gordon Matta­-Clark and Jean Tinguely, as well as new acquisitions by Barbara Bloom, Stanley Brouwn, Marlene Dumas, Dan Flavin, Simone Forti, John Knight, Cady Noland, Martha Rosler, Ger van Elk, Danh Vo and Guido van der Werve, among others.

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