The Making of Modern Art
Between 2017 and 2021 the Van Abbemuseum organises a series of collections exhibitions and projects. The exhibition The Making of Modern Art situated at the ground floor of the collection building - developed in cooperation with the Museum of American Art, Berlin - is part of this series. This exhibition combines modern master pieces from the Van Abbe collection, like Mondrian, Picasso, Sol LeWitt, Kandinsky and Leger, with an experimental story, which tells the ‘making of’ of the classical canon of modern art. In a set of specially designed ‘atmosphere rooms’, the exhibition addresses the role of museums, and shows how exceptional collectors and influential exhibitions contributed to the formation of the modern canon, which also lies at the foundation of the Van Abbemuseum collection. Through this exploration the exhibition reaches beyond art and explores how modern art is part of the broader modern world with its technological and societal progress, but also with its dark colonial sides.
The eight rooms in the exhibition are constructed as ‘atmosphere rooms’, which are variations of experimental museum designs. Throughout the display the visitor will be offered a different perspective in each room which will focus on one aspect of the logic and establishment of the story of modern art. The designs of the rooms thereby themselves introduce a physical environment which helps the viewer to experience known works of modern art in a very different way.