TEMPORARY MUSEUM (LAKE) & A TOWER

TEMPORARY MUSEUM (LAKE) & A TOWER  at  MONDRIAAN & DE STIJL

Two artworks by Anne Holtrop and Bas Princen are exhibited at the impressive MONDRIAAN & DE STIJL exhibition that opened last Saturday at the GEMEENTEMUSEUM DEN HAAG. The works of Anne Holtrop and Bas Princen - for sale at CITYSCAPES GALLERY - found a place in the part of the exhibition that demonstrates how the legacy of DE STIJL movement is reinterpreted by new generations of artists until today.

The two works - TEMPORARY MUSEUM (LAKE) and A TOWER - are part of a series of sketches, models, buildings and photo's in which Anne Holtrop investigates how the Dadaist technique of ‘automatic drawing’ can be used in the field of architecture. These investigations lead him to the automatic drawings and collages of Jean Arp but also to architectural experiments from that time, like the free floorplan of the GLASS SKYSCRAPER by Mies van der Rohe. Both TEMPORARY MUSEUM (LAKE) and A TOWER form a solid echo of Mies's spacious and transparent Berlin Skyscraper. The solid, massive character of the work reveils the hand of Bas Princen; co-author of the work. Like the photo's that Bas Princen brought together in his recent book RESERVOIR, the monumental photo dyptich of TEMPORARY MUSEUM (LAKE) stresses the massive experience of the building. Although the temporary building was made of plywood, the photo dyptich unfolds a cavelike space, that appears to be dug out of the earth.

The MONDRIAAN & DE STIJL exhibition shows that in the era of DADA, BAUHAUS and De STIJL the borders between art and architecture were very thin. Artist and architects of DE STIJL embarked together on the most fascinating experiments and explorations. The experimental architecture of Anne Holtrop and his close collaboration with artists like Bas Princen and Krijn de Koning demonstrate that the spirit of DE STIJL is nowadays very much alive (again).

163 SPACES FOR A WORK

Anne Holtrop and Krijn de Koning are responsible for the distinctive architectural design of the MONDRIAAN & DE STIJL exhibition. Under the title: 163 SPACES FOR A WORK they conceived a spatial installation that creates a home for MONDRIAAN & DE STIJL but also forms a work of art in itself. The arrangement of the exhibition, that occupies an entire wing of the GEMEENTEMUSEUM, is based on the article: DE WONING, DE STRAAT, DE STAD, written in 1925 by Piet Mondriaan. Wandering through the exhibition the visitor zooms from the scale of the city to the intimacy of the living room. At the center of the exhibition the museum space condenses into a inaccessible, geometric installation that can only be viewed.

The idea to conceive the exhibition space as a work of art itself holds the danger that the design distracts from the experience of the artworks that it displays. This is not the case. Anne Holtrop and Krijn de Koning shaped a very natural environment for MONDRIAAN & DE STIJL and finally make the extraordinary collection feel at home in Berlage's GEMEENTEMUSEUM.