Van Abbe Vitrine

In most instances I know exactly how things have come about, but when it comes to our collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum, I really have no idea any longer how this happened. I am aware of the ingredients – we joined forces with Menno Doornbos to showcase the art inside our building, as well as a good friend of ours who works for the Van Abbe. At a certain point, someone must have come up with the brilliant idea to cooperate. The decision was ultimately taken while walking around in the middle of the renovation works with the museum staff (Charles Esche and Ulrike Erbslöh) in a building that was almost coming apart at the seams. And, yet again, without so much as a ‘Yes, but…’ or all kinds of conditions, we just set to work and made it happen. In the meantime, a continuously changing selection of works from the Van Abbemuseum collection is on display in an enormous glass case made especially for this purpose. The profusion of light, violet and otherwise, and the air moisture or, alternatively, dryness levels were measured continuously beforehand, but gave no cause to stop the project. On the contrary, practical solutions were devised. All of this is in stark contrast to the traditional image of a museum that, like a chicken sitting on its eggs, has a basement full of art no one can enjoy. In addition to the glass case display, a number of other projects have already been launched. We have given joint lectures, developed ideas to display the collection pieces effectively and profitably, discuss the exhibitions continually, and, for the collectors show, I’ve come up with a presentation, consisting of huge blocks stacked to form a tower in the tower and that serve to support the works on display. We have lots of other plans in the works that are intended to make the best use of each other’s strengths and possibilities as these present themselves. Just as the collaboration seems to have begun spontaneously, it appears to be continuing in the same fashion.


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