For its new group exhibition, the Van Abbemuseum has brought together a selection of art works from fifteen contemporary international artists in dialogue with historical works from the Van Abbemuseum collection and additional loans. ‘The Subversive Charm of the Bourgeoisie’ investigates the use of ‘bourgeois’ elements in contemporary art.
Painting, sculpture and other autonomous media reappear on an intimate scale. Furthermore, the radical and dynamic 1920s form a critical juncture and frame of reference for the works in this exhibition.
‘The Subversive Charm of the Bourgeoisie’ is about the ‘bourgeois’ tradition, within which the Van Abbemuseum was founded, and how it reoccurs in a more subversive and underground way in today’s art. It plays with smaller elements in larger structures, uses adaptation and misunderstanding and incorporates a superabundance of detail, colour, glitter, desire and temptation. In the first instance, this exhibition presents the work of a group of contemporary artists. At the same time, the exhibition seeks to explore the past anew.