Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sources of inspiration // Top 10 favorite world wide Modern Art Museums & Galleries

As an artist, I can find inspiration in everyday things — but traveling, that's a whole different creative source. Maybe it's the need to feel connected to the bigger picture, or a different culture; or to get more insight into who I am and explore things from another perspective. Maybe it's simply stepping away from my routine and overlooking things from a distance. But one thing is for sure: traveling provides an endless flow of inspiration, and there's an entire world to explore.

How often do you visit a gallery or museum? Holland has some great art galleries and museums and I love to see all these different artists and skills come to life. I often visit the Pulchri Studio close to my home in The Hague where they have new art up on the walls every few weeks. I try to visit museums during my travels. It is lovely to see cultural differences, there is a different way of expression in each part of the world. What museum would you recommend in your country/city? For this post I have selected a top 10 of personal faves. I have seen quite some Modern Art Museums and would like to share those with you. Some awesome gems of The Netherlands and some less obvious choices, places I have seen during my travels. Enjoy!

1 // MAXXI - Rome
Rome is not a typical place to visit if you love modern art. Also modern architecture is not really common in the city, but if you take a train out of the city center you can visit a few very interesting places if you stop at Euclide. The 'bugs' at the musical auditorium for instance are a architectural feast. The arena Palazzetto dello Sport built in 1960 for the summer Olympics is a very interesting piece, could use a fresh layer of paint though. But the real gem for me was discovering the MAXXI. The National Museum of contemporary art and architecture. The building itself is simple beautiful and only open for public for 6 years now. With it's sharp edges and overlaps it's a surprisingly pretty composition in a slightly neglected looking area of the city. The exhibits are surprisingly well set up and diverse. I was very happy to see a some Italian parents brought along their kids to explore this place. There is a nice library dedicated to the building and Roman modern architecture. Check out the website before you go. All exhibits are contemporary. The ones I visit were conceptual, highly political engaged and visually powerful. But of course every artist and every expo will be different. Enter a place like this without expectations and it will surprise you.

2 // Pulchri Studio - The Hague
This Art gallery is a place you can just walk in free of charge. Every few weeks there is something else to discover here. The short term exhibitions are great for a little break during a busy working day and I visit this gallery in the old part of The Hague frequently. You can also enjoy a good lunch in the restaurant area, or sit down and have a coffee.

3 // Brandhorst Museum - Munich
The museum itself is a great piece of architecture that is already worth a little glance. Inside of the museum you can find a collection of modern art with a large representation of work by American artists. My personal favorite is the collection of paintings by Twombly on the first floor. Unfortunately the Museum prohibits photography. Such a shame since I love to capture the amazing visual art to take them home to stash in my box of memories.

4 // Tate Modern - London
On the bankside of the river Thames you can find one of my favorites of all time. The very immense and industrial looking The Tate Modern is a place for modern and contemporary art. If you ever get the chance to fly in to this city do check what is happening here. There have has numerous amazing exhibitions in the part. Malevich, Kandinsky, Hodgkin, Hopper, to name just a few. You can easily spend an entire day at this place.

// Brooklyn Museum - New York
New York has so much to offer for the creative soul. There are many places worth visiting but on my last trip to the Big Apple I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the Ai Weiwei expo in the Brooklyn Museum. I am a big fan of modern art but this museum also shows a little bit about the history of Brooklyn and I was surprised about the variety and quality of art that was shown here. It is a gem and truly worth crossing the river for.

6 // Moderna Museet - Stockholm
Pay attention creative peeps! If you ever visit Stockholm: visit Skeppsholmen. You need to visit this little creative island. I was lucky enough to spend a truly magical summer night here with some live music and street food in the Moderna Museet garden during the Yayoi Kusamas exhibit. Surrounded by Picasso scultures I was enjoying a live performance of one of my fav sing and sing writers José González. You can visit the Moderna Museet but don’t forget to enjoy the outside sculptures by Calder and Jean Tingely and Niki de Saint Phalle. From the island you have a beautiful view over Stockholm. Walk around the island and check out the little harbor on the northern part with old steamships and fishing boats. A great place to enjoy the sunset. From the south side you can take a ferry to the Abba Museum or Nordiska Museet.

7 // Louisiana - Copenhagen
As a graphic designer I adore this amazing Danish museum of modern art. If you ever visit Copenhagen make sure to take the train to this museum. It will take you an hour traveling North but it is a lovely way through a beautiful area of Denmark. The museum is located in the most lush area near the seaside and the sculpture garden has a breathtaking view over the water. But trust me, you don’t need the water, there is so much to see inside alone. With over 3.500 pieces of art, a combination of American, European and Danish art from 1945 till now, there is enough to see to keep you busy for a day without noticing the surroundings. Warhol, Picasso, Kiefer, Kandinsky, they are all there. But if you visit the museum on a summer day, do take a stroll through the park and enjoy sculptures from Calder, Henry Moore and my personal favorite: Miró. A must see, beautiful museum. Definitely one of my all time favorites.

8 // FOAM - Amsterdam
My favorite museum for Photography is located in Amsterdam. I think it is the museum I visit most frequently in Holland. They have temporary exhibits and change their walls every few months. I have seen numerous great photographers here. Helmut Newton’s life work. Annie Leibovitz with her famous portraits. The Kate Moss Show. Vivian Maiers black and white, street photography and this winter there is another big name to add to the list: Weiwei. FOAM is a lovely place to pop in for a quick visit. You’ll be in and out in 2 hours so if you want to see something during you stay in Amsterdam but don’t want to wait in one of those crazy museum lines go visit this little photography gem.

9 // Blain Southern Gallery - Berlin
This contemporary art gallery is located in the old press building and offers a huge canvas to artists. This summer the gallery has an impressive exhibit of Morellet. You can see his paintings and also his later work: neon installations. His work was influenced by artists like Piet Mondriaan and Max Bill. You can see some similarities in the movement and the composition but using materials like neon, concrete, metal, and leaving out color were considered to be quite modern back then and still make his work very unique. What I love about the gallery itself is that it has a huge main area with one high sealing stretching up into the sky. The canvas for the work makes the art even more astonishing.

10 // MoMa - New York
New York, one of the most inspiring art museums are based here. With the Frick Collection, the wonderful Guggenheim with temporary exhibits and of course the Witney. All amazing places to go and check out but my fav: the MoMa will always be one of the greatest places to visit if you are an artist, I think this museum is a must see. Don’t get me wrong, there are other awesome places in New York, I will have to type down a top 10 for New York only some time… The MoMa has some iconic pieces every artists should see i real life. Monet’s Water Lilies for instance. Picasso, Matisse and our very own Piet Mondriaan and Willem de Kooning spreading our strong Dutch Design. The sculpture garden has some wonderful pieces too, don’t skip those. But I particularly like this place, not because of those great names but because there is a mix of so many different techniques, that really trigger my imagination. Why choose paper or why stick with ink? Sculptures, paintings, architecture, graphics. Very inspirational place!