Gemeentemuseum – The Hague, NL

Francis Bacon

Creeped out in the Bacon room, with Man in Blue and Bruce Nauman’s Carousel.

THE TRIP
One month housesit in The Netherlands. In The Hague, Gemeentemuseum houses the best collection of modern art, design and decorative arts.

LOCATION
In The Hague’s Statenkwartier near the Peace Palace, connected to the Fotomuseum Den Haag.

ARCHITECTURE
Designed by Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage in 1935, in a geometrical modular grid formation in multiples of 11 cm. The specially made 11 cm yellow bricks used to clad the structure were subsequently marketed as ‘Berlage bricks’.

COLLECTION
Renowned for the largest Piet Mondrian collection in the world, including his last work, Victory Boogie-Woogie and modern art including Picasso and Degas, as well as Dutch artist, Jan Toorop. The museum also houses a collection of fashion items shown at temporary exhibitions.

FREE ADMISSION
Purchase a Museumkaart and also visit Fotomuseum Den Haag (next door), Museum Mesdag and Mauritshuis for free.

REFRESHMENT
The stunning, newly roofed-in Garden Gallery hosts the Grand Café which serves coffee, lunch and snacks. The Gispen Berlage chair by Richard Hutten, was designed for this space, the bandage dress in chair form!

OUTDOOR SPACE
The Art Deco style restaurant, Gember, has an open-air terrace and garden pavilion overlooking lily ponds.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS
Since my stay in The Netherlands, I am increasingly interested in the De Stijl movement and its founders. As a graphic and interior designer, the concept of artists and architects working together abstractly reducing to the essentials of form and colour is appealing. It makes sense that I have slowly been painting the interior of my home white!

The Mondrian collection depicts his evolution from landscape painter to abstraction, his inspiration and collaborations with other artists and his dedication to his politics through art. The simple energy of the unfinished (perhaps, intentionally), final work of Mondrian, Victory Boogie-Woogie, painted in anticipation of victory in World War II, seems to be the ultimate summary of his joy for life.

mondrian

Victory Boogie-Woogie, Piet Mondrian, 1944.

ODE TO DUTCH FASHION
Admittedly, I have very little interest in fashion and tend to be fairly utilitarian and conservative in my style choices, but I did find the latest exhibition on Dutch fashion designers interesting. Historically, the Dutch were heavily influenced by Parisian style with their own twists, such as a penchance for blue. But the recent rise of designers such as Viktor & Rolf and Iris van Herpen have given international recognition to the distinct Dutch style, lots of black and white, and emphasis on clean line and shape, origami anyone?

collignon dress

I’d wear that! Wool dress by Monique Collignon.

 

molenaar

Target on her back. Dress and cape by Frans Molenaar.