1983 - Now The global and the local - Part of The Collection Now


1983 - Now The global and the local Part of The Collection Now

02/11/2013 - 11/06/2017
Curators: Christiane Berndes, Charles Esche, Diana Franssen

Second floor collection building


The circuit on the extensive top floor begins with the decline of postmodernism, followed by the post-1989 period in which we find ourselves today. In the last twenty years, artists have concerned themselves with broad themes such as communication and conflict. Immigration and the body, the rise of networks, the rapid availability of information and the transition to a  uncertain global power balance. Different cultures and creeds come into contact, sometimes clashing violently and sometimes blending.

For the presentation in the first room it is inquired how the Van Abbemuseum in the ’80 dealth with the developments in the visual arts in that time. As startingpoint the exhibition Jonge Kunst (Young Art) is chosen, which took place in the museum in 1985. This exhibition showed the work of fifteen young artists; fourteen West-European and one American. Jonge Kunst (Young Art) was composed by the former director Rudi Fuchs and the conservators Jan Debbaut and Piet de Jonge. They all belonged to a slightly different generation and therefore had a different view on art. In the catalog from  the exhibition, Fuchs stated the following: “Conversations on how exhibitions are supposed to look, lead  to discussions about the current affairs of business of the art.”

The Collection Now

Starting on 2 November 2013, the Van Abbemuseum presents a completely new narrative presentation of its collection. Entitled The Collection Now, the exhibition brings together artworks, archives, histories and relations in historical constellations that connect individual artworks to the social and political contexts in which they were made and exhibited. The works are spread over five floors, starting with a Picasso from 1909 and ending with works from 2013. Never before has the museum exhibited such a comprehensive selection with over 600 elements being brought together to tell stories of aesthetics, ethics and politics over the last 100 years. Besides giving attention to art from the last century, a significant part of the exhibition is devoted to art after 1989 and to new acquisitions not previously shown. The presentation can be seen for five years, but it is certainly not a static exhibition, there will be regular changes.

In the spring of 2017, the five floors of The Collection Now will change to new exhibitions with artworks from the Van Abbemuseum's collection. On the page 'collection under construction' you can find a overview of the changes in the collection building.

This part of The Collection Now will be on display till 2 April 2017. On 20 May the new exhibition The Way Beyond Art will be opened.