Kunsthal – Rotterdam, NL

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Claassen’s Rabbits by the Kunsthal.

THE TRIP
One month housesit in The Netherlands. Rotterdam’s Kunsthal is a contemporary art institution without a permanent collection, rather it hosts various exhibitions through the year.

LOCATION
On the edge of the expansive Museumpark and the Westzeedijk.

ARCHITECTURE
Designed in 1988 by Rem Koolhaas, it attracted international attention for its use of innovative material, the position of the entrance and the steep ramps. The ramps create a spiral route through the building into the seven exhibition spaces.

NO COLLECTION
“The Kunsthal wants to surprise and amaze. Not only the first time, but over again”, says General Director, Emily Ansenk. The claim is for a wide range of exhibitions and activities with a high turnover rate for a diverse audience. A great concept, unfortunately, the exhibits don’t have equal standing and the majority of the ones on view during my visit were pretty lame. Especially, this one, “nudging and bumping” through a tight hall full of puffy parachute material makes me feel a bit unclean… literally, I don’t like wiping myself against a fabric cesspool.

FREE ADMISSION
Purchase a Museumkaart or Rotterdampas to visit all of the museums for free.

REFRESHMENT
The Kunsthalcafé serves coffee, lunch or high tea overlooking a terrace and sculpture garden.

OUTDOOR SPACE
Between the museum and Museumpark, lies a sculpture garden containing bronze rabbit sculptures of Tom Claassen, as well as works by Henk Visch. The Kunsthal roof garden displays Three Part Object LH 470 by Henry Moore.

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Keith Haring wall art.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS
In 1998, I experienced Keith Haring for the first time through an exhibition at the SFMOMA. The effectiveness of his colourful and playful line drawings in conveying serious social issues made him a spokesman for his generation. His short but eventful career spanned 13 years, countless artwork and inspired many street artists. A skilled communicator, it is no surprise that he was a student of semiotics. Kunsthal’s exhibit, Keith Haring, The Political Line highlights his social and political visual language, including excesses of capitalism, nuclear disarmament and his struggle with AIDS.

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Untitled (self portrait), 1985, Keith Haring

 

ART IS FOR EVERYBODY