The Highlights that are on display at museum Voorlinden cannot be described – one must undergo them.
Leandro Erlich designed his Swimming Pool especially for Voorlinden. He gave his work all the characteristics of a real swimming pool, including the recognizable pool blue on the walls, the typical lamps and even a real stairway through which you seem to be able to descend. And yet as a visitor you can walk on the bottom without getting wet. Erlich frequently plays with the eye. He transforms everyday spaces into absurd situations. Erlich wants to create an experience that makes the viewer think about the reality around him. The work only really functions in its use by the public. Without people, the work is not complete, according to the artist.
The sculpture Open Ended by the American artist Richard Serra weighs almost 216 tonnes. The corten steel work is 4 metres high, 18 metres long and 7 metres wide.
This is a piece full of contrasts: both heavy and elegant, industrial and organic, stately and playful, convex and concave. Six vaulted steel plates moulded together form a maze. Open Ended is a work best experienced by walking through it.
Ron Mueck creates hyperrealistic human figures which he details with utmost craftsmanship. They seem to be made of flesh and blood, but their scale turns them into fairytale giants. With Couple under an Umbrella (2013), the artist depicts ordinary people, but exactly twice our size. His figures are clearly individuals. Yet they are not portraits of existing people. They have something universal: every viewer can identify with them, despite their irregular size.
The museum has in built-in elevator that comes up just a little bit higher than a grown-up’s ankle, on a scale of 1:7,5. The lift cabin disappears to an unknown destination in a building that does not have any storeys. Cattelan plays a game of copying and scaling, which allows the spectator to look at reality from a different point of view. The moment of recognition is immediately followed by the feeling of alienation, which is exactly what the artist is aiming for.
Especially for museum Voorlinden, James Turrell (1943) designed a Skyspace (2016): a space with a square opening in the roof, through which you look straight up. This allows you to see the blue sky like you have never seen it before. If the weather is not so good, the roof is closed and you can see a light programme that Turrell composed especially for this space. In this programme, the artist plays with your perception and tries to make something as intangible as light tangible. For this Skyspace, Turrell also put together a Twilight Experience, a light programme that is precisely tuned to the Wassenaar twilight during sunrise and sunset. The soft, natural daylight contrasts with the bright, almost tangible colours of the lamps, and the result is truly breathtaking. This Twilight programme can only be experienced on special occasions – keep an eye on our newsletter and social channels for updates.
Prehistoric Venus statues and aegean idols with oval, almost abstract faces. Philippe Hiquily (1925-2013) loved these kinds of anthropological objects. He also loved the motorised and moving sculptures by Alexander Calder and by experimenting with sheet metal cutting and welding, he developed his own sculptural style. In Stabile Polychrome (1962), Hiquily plays with shape and balance and you can recognize his influences and experimental nature. The cheerful sculpture also fits in with the artist’s goal: art should be playful and aesthetic, show movement and have a sensual charge.
Not Since Superman Died
These 6-metre long canvases depict the heroic Superman in distress. Jim Shaw (1952) drew him in the style of Wayne Boring, who in the 1950s and 1960s changed Superman’s appearance from a jolly, slim young man to a broad chested middle-aged man. Superman was something of a father figure for Shaw and he made Not Since Superman Died (2014) when his father’s health was declining. Shaw bases the dramatic poses on paintings from art history. In this way, he merges popular and high culture.
Vaaksauora – Horizontal
How do you create a portrait of a spruce tree as a living organism? That is the question Eija-Liisa Ahtila addresses in Vaaksauora – Horizontal (2011). It is difficult to capture the 30-metre long tree in its entirety. For that, you need a wide-angle lens, but then you get a distorted image of the tree. And when you zoom out, the tree becomes just one element in the landscape. With this cinematographic installation, Eija-Liisa offers the solution; she shows the spruce horizontally and in successive projected images.