The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, July 20, 2019

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam opens exhibition focusing on the late 60s
Adri Hazevoet, Lightshow in Paradiso, circa 1970. © Adri Hazevoet.

AMSTERDAM.- For many, the late sixties are synonymous with the anti-Vietnam War hippy protests and the massive student unrest in Paris. In the major summer exhibition Amsterdam, the Magic Center, the Stedelijk looks beyond these widely-known facts, positioning Amsterdam as a nexus of revolutionary ideas and activities. Imagination becomes a force to be reckoned with. But what was the impact of imagination on art – what did that look like? And what was the city’s role in these imaginative experiments?

The “Magical Centre Amsterdam”, to use the words of artist Robert Jasper Grootveld, a member of the Provo movement, reaches its zenith between 1967 and 1970. By which time, Amsterdam has won itself a reputation as a city where anything goes. The Dutch capital flourishes as a progressive and artistic haven, a place that attracts hordes of young people from all over the world. It’s also a time when art is in the throes of change. Artists rebel against the establishment and seek alternative, new platforms: on the streets, in magazines or on TV. Idea begins to take precedence over (the traditional) form – art can be a happening, an intervention in the city, or a television programme. Humour and irony are popular strategies for thumbing the nose at ‘serious’ art.

The Stedelijk in the 1960s
Featuring works from the museum collection, the show sheds new light on the radical innovations and artistic and social experiments of the era. Counterculture, experimentation and the spirit of the underground emerge from the shadows and define the city’s cultural life from 1967 onwards. The Stedelijk Museum, that had become a home for the avant-garde after the war, plays a dual role: on the one hand, in the guise of modern champion, it advocates the new (with exhibitions such as Op losse schroeven in 1969), yet the critical contingent labels it a conservative bastion of elitist art.

50 Years later, the Stedelijk looks back at a series of historic happenings, events and conceptual artworks that took place or were presented in Amsterdam, often with the city as décor. The posters by Daniel Buren were a street art intervention, and the Leidseplein became the setting of Wim T. Schippers’ absurd Christmas tree, ablaze in mid-summer. Public participation was vital to many of these activities – such as the inflatable objects of the Eventstructure Research Group that appeared on Museum Square and the surrounding streets, in which people of all ages played or strolled. Louis van Gasteren and Fred Wessels built the Sunny Implo, a sphere with points of light, sound and imperceptible motion; the idea was to put your head inside, and experience a soothing, psychotherapeutic effect. The makers insisted their sphere should be an essential part of the urban landscape, installed on every street corner. Their plan didn’t come to fruition – the Sunny Implo gets no further than a debut appearance in the Stedelijk entrance in 1970.

Artists also critique society, such as the ironic work of Pieter Engels and Jeroen Henneman, that parodies middle class life. Others take it a step further: Gerrit Dekker and Ben d’Armagnac create structures demonstrating that art is also capable of proposing an entirely new way of (autarchic) life.

In an epoch when men still dominate the art world, women artists manage to break through. Ferdi creates colourful, soft sculpture with biomorphic forms steeped in a heady eroticism. One of her works, Purple People Eater, acquired by the Stedelijk after her solo in 1968, has been restored especially for this exhibition. The work of contemporaries such as Maria van Elk and Louwrien Wijers also reveals a highly evolved artistic vision.

Aside the named above, the exhibit also features work or documentation by artists including Douwe Jan Bakker, Pieter Boersma, Marinus Boezem, stanley brouwn, Jan Dibbets, Ger van Elk, Adri Hazevoet, Immo Jalass, Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim, Willem de Ridder, Seemon and Marijke, Tjebbe van Tijen, and Lawrence Weiner.

The city as backdrop to social transformation
The city is also the platform for civil actions indicative of a distinct hands-on mindset. The show tracks the development of the squatter’s movement in 1968, with photos by Pieter Boersma and a ‘how to’ manual for aspiring squatters. One gallery is devoted to the sexual revolution, with magazines like ‘Gandalf’ and footage of the feminist demonstrations of the women’s liberation group Dolle Mina.

The dawning of psychedelic youth culture and the liberalisation of drugs is reflected in magazines like Hitweek (later Aloha), the opening of the now-iconic music venue Paradiso, the love-ins in the Vondelpark and the event Hai in de Rai. Also featured is original material from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-in for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969.

World events and international influences are visible in a gallery hung with posters of the student riots in Paris in 1968, which were displayed in Amsterdam’s Museum Fodor at the time, together with blow ups and original film material from the era. Posters from Communist Cuba, a society held up by many as an example, are on view in the adjacent gallery space. New research into the rebellion in Curaçao of May 1969 and the emergence of Surinamese, Marxist-orientated student bodies in the Netherlands are also mapped.

Collections of the Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum combined
Amsterdam, the Magic Center is part of STEDELIJK TURNS, a research-driven programme that focuses on the museum collection and offers fresh insights and interpretations. The exhibition is curated by the Stedelijk, in partnership with the Rijksmuseum. Both museums take an interest in the counterculture of the sixties and are able to combine their research and collections in this project. Where the Stedelijk acquired and exhibited many works during the counterculture era; the Rijksmuseum will present a number of unusual recent acquisitions.

Designed by Bart Guldemond, the exhibition encompasses over 250 works and objects and around 100 reproductions from the collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum, the International Institute for Social History, Sound and Vision (the Dutch institute for sound and image), and other museums and private collections.

Today's News

July 7, 2018

A whimsical white house exhibit beckons the imagination in Washington

Gemeentemuseum exhibits the finest seascapes produced at Scheveningen

Bernard Jacobson opens exhibition of more than 60 rare and important works by Matisse

The National Gallery acquires Artemisia Gentileschi self-portrait

Provincetown Art Association and Museum presents 'Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown'

Hudson River Museum exhibits an impressive portfolio of Hudson River bridges images by Harry Wilks

What is Love? Kunsthalle Bremen presents 40 works from various eras from its collection

Celestial Infinity Mirror Room by Yayoi Kusama comes to deCordova this Summer

Kröller-Müller Museum celebrates eightieth anniversary with launch of online timeline

'View from the Headlands: Harrison Cady' opens at Cape Ann Museum

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam opens exhibition focusing on the late 60s

REALITY at KANEKO will challenge your perceptions

The Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine opens 'Drawing on the Past: Works on Paper'

Exhibition at Reflex Gallery in Amsterdam takes everyday objects as its starting point

Asahi Art Museum opens major mid-career survey of Hikari Shimoda's work

Interactive sound-based installation by Yuri Suzuki now open on High Museum's outdoor Piazza

How Communist Poland battled Lanzmann's 'Shoah'

Steeped in history but crumbling, Albania's 'slanted city'

Extensive programme of more than 50 projects announced for the second iteration of Art Night

The Fruitmarket Gallery opens exhibition of works by Tacita Dean

l'étrangère opens a solo exhibition by London-based artist Evy Jokhova

Olaf Nicolai designs a walk-in environment for the Lokremise St. Gallen

Major new public artwork by Ugo Rondinone announced for Liverpool waterfront

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful