The entire museum is utilized for Evert van Straaten’s farewell exhibition: Longing for perfection. An overview of all the acquisitions the museum has procured under his directorship is presented in all the museum spaces and in the sculpture garden. Film and video works by Christiaan Bastiaans, Willie Doherty, Jan van de Pavert, Hetty Huisman and Jan Fabre are screened in a specially built tent complex on the events terrain.
Tent complex on the events terrain, 2012
Old alongside new
Van Straaten arranges the exhibition on the basis of his ‘spider web concept’. New acquisitions are placed alongside masterpieces from the permanent presentation, so that well-known works can be viewed though a different lens. ‘The idea is also to evoke associations, because art that matters is appreciated in constantly different ways’, says Van Straaten.
Piet Mondriaan’s Tableau I hangs next to Anselm Kiefer’s Piet Mondrian-Hermannsschlacht. The Paintings (with Us in the Nature) by Gilbert & George can, according to Van Straaten, measure up to any representation of nature in which humans play a role. But on this occasion he opts for Vincent van Gogh’s Country road in Provence by night. In the corridors there are display cases with Chinese philosophers’ stones, sculptures by Inuit artists and small sculptures by Joost van den Toorn.
Exhibition 'Longing for perfection', 2012
The installation Inopportune: Stage Two by Cai Guo-Qiang is set up in the museum for the first time. But the public is also reunited with well-loved works such as Le Commencement du monde by Constantin Brancusi and Pablo Picasso’s Little owl. Work is presented by artists associated with De Stijl, in particular Theo van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck. The exhibition also includes acquisitions from the older and younger generation of contemporary artists such as; Matt Mullican, Shoichi Ida, Stephen Kaltenbach, Sol LeWitt, Jan Dibbets, Carl Andre, Bruce Nauman, Ad Reinhardt, herman de vries, Ana Maria Tavares, Stanley Brouwn, Miroslaw Balka, Dennis Oppenheim, Jenny Holzer, Joep van Lieshout and Jeff Wall.
Cai Guo-Qiang, Inopportune: Stage two, 2004
Lawrence Weiner’s A branch of oak; a pole of chestnut; a cord of silk; tied one to the other; & the other is shown on the wall in the former entrance to the museum. In this text piece, Van Straaten sees ‘a subtle portrait of the collection’ and ‘a tribute’ to his predecessors who ‘thanks to their dedication, were able to produce something great’.
Guide to the collection
To accompany the exhibition, Van Straaten also produces a book of the same name. Longing for perfection provides insight into the growth of the collection, based on his experiences with and vision regarding the collection. He calls it a ‘guide’ in which he also reveals the considerations that went into the acquisitions of art for public display. The enclosed DVD contains all the works of art that he acquired since 1991.
Evert van Straaten, Longing for perfection, 2012
Concurrently with Longing for perfection, the project Expose III begins. Museum visitors can vote for their favourite small sculptures, from which a top 3 will be selected. The fifty works with the most votes are included in an exhibition designed by Van Straaten.
Exhibition 'Expose III, 50 small sculptures at a big farewell', 2012
Farewell to Van Straaten
On the day of his departure, the staff has organized a special programme based on the concept of the Sweet Summer Nights. In the sculpture garden there is live music and performances by artists with whom Van Straaten has collaborated in recent years. At the entrance of the museum, the sound piece Earthly Whispers by Nathalie Bruys can be heard and the premiere of the film Al Alamayn by Christiaan Bastiaans takes place on the events terrain. Skrijf by Gijs van Bon writes poems in sand on the paths in the sculpture garden, Introdans performs Noumenon and the Kwatta theatre company gives a performance in Marta Pan’s Amphitheatre. The performance Two pieces by Robert Barry, a recent acquisition of Van Straaten, is presented for the first time. The Maori group Ngati Ranana performs the farewell ritual ‘poroporoaki’ at Echo van de Veluwe by Chris Booth, who is also present at the ceremony.