We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to DEN HAAG - The Hague, in The Netherlands. Car-free for a week, we were able to see much of the Art the city had to offer. Let's start with sculpture: The Sculpture Gallery is a display of sculptures, placed on pedestals, placed every twenty-five meters in the pedestrian area of the Grote Markstraat, Kalvermarkt and Spui. Forty Dutch sculptors have been or will be invited to produce a sculpture for this area. The pedestal creates a bond, both literally and figuratively, between the urban environment and sculpture. As each artist is required to conform to the same dimensions, visual coherence is maintained within the diversity of solutions on an urban scale. In 2011 artist Andre Kruysen took over as curator of the sculpture gallery. Here are a few of them:
|Morgan-Wandeling (frog with umbrella) by Karel Appel, 2001|
|A Last Farewell by Anno Dijkstra, 2010|
|Binnen-Stadgoden by Ingrid Mol, 2010|
|Vriendinnen by Tony van de Vorst, 2010|
The timing of our visit was dictated by the World Championship Sand Sculpting competition which was held in Den Haag for the first time. We got to the site on Lange Voorhout just as the forms were being removed from the giant piles of damp river-sand, and the nine artists began their sculptures.
Then we visited just about every day after to check up on their progress:
|Max Gazendam,The Netherlands|
|Thomas Koet, U.S.A.|
|Katsu Chaen, Japan|
|Baldrick Buckle, U.K.|
|Benjamin Probanza, Mexico|
|Ilya Filimonstsev, Russia|
|JOOng Tan, Singapore|
|Fergus Mulvany, Ireland|
|Radovan Zivny, Czech Republic.|
The Gemeentemuseum is a modern palace of Art. The Art Deco building opened on 29 May 1935. During the war, the Germans used it for a warehouse, returning to its original purpose in 1946.
|Poppyfield by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890|
|Self portrait with hat and veil by Paula Modersohn-Becker, 1906-07|
|Twee Aronskelken by Piet Mondriaan, 1918|
|Oannes by Odilon Redon, c 1905|
|Czardas Dancers by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1908-20|
|Child IV by Karel Appel, 1951|
And while there are many other museums of Art in Den Haag from the Mauritschuis Royal Picture Gallery to the Escher Museum, we chose to find the more obscure. Such as this jewel near the sea, just outside the city limits, in WASSENAAR. We took a bus to the end of the line, then followed someone who knew where he was going, as we crossed the divided roadway, entering a coastal park of sand dunes and scrub pines. Eventually we found ourselves lost until a woman on a bicycle stopped to help. But she didn't know the directions, so we continued walking through the wild park. Soon, however, the woman, now with her partner, found us, insisted that I ride her bike with Marie on the back, while she jumped on her friend's bike and he led the way to the museum. She even left her purse in the basket of the bike she lent me.
|Mass by Antony Gormley, 1950|
|Jonge Vrouw met Sigaret by Jan Sluijters, 1929.|
|Patrons enjoying Dawn by John DeAndrea, 1985|
|Coca Cola Vase by Ai Wei Wei, 2015|
|Open Ended by Richard Serra, 2007-8|
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The grounds were gorgeous and natural.
Also in Wassenaar is Renbaan Duindigt where we caught a few races. Flats and harness.
The city of Den Haag also includes the seashore neighborhood of SCHEVENINGEN where, in addition to the Tom Otterness sculptures along the boardwalk:
|Light of the Moon by Igor Mitoraj|
|Tête de femme by Ossip Zadkine, 1922|
|Boer met blauwe muts by Karel Appel, 1975|
|Kopf I by Martin Matschinsky, 1974|
|The Herring by Johan Creten, 2018|
|Sientje Mesdag van Houten|
|Chinese Cloisonne Blue Vase by Sientje Mesdag-Van Houten, c 1900|
|Pile of Stones by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, 1868|
And a show of work by Jan Giesen:
|Construction of a Breakwater by Jan Giesen, 1926|
|Rennie Buenting & Angeline Donk|
We were being serenaded by a trio of jazz musicians who played very well, but we had to stop making art in order to clap. Inside the Water Tower itself, was an exhibit of work by the participating artists, some quite nice and fitting the space well. But the space was cold and I was eager to get out.
Took the tram out to the Hoek of Holland, a piece of Rotterdam jutting out into the North Sea. Some vehicles were lining up for the ferry to England, but we opted for a tour around the harbor:
We took a train to DELFT, home of Johannes Vermeer. There were no museums that appealed to us, so we opted for a walkabout. So many other things to point out, such as these couches, which we found wherever we went in The Netherlands.
|Het Melkmeisie by Wim T. Schippers|
|Thom Puckey, Thorbecke monument, 2017|
|untitled by Jan Goeting, 1972|
|Haagse Harry after strip by Marnix Rueb|
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And, finally, the finished sand sculptures:
|Love Forever by Benjamin Probanza|
|New Dimensions in Beauty by Joong Tan|
|The Road from Scheveningen by Baldrick Buckle|
|Dream caused by the flight of a bee by Ilya Filimonstsev|
|Guernica-Picasso Reviewed by Radovan Zivny|
|Celebrate Dutch Tolerance by Fergus Mulvany|
|Exploring New Dimensions by Thomas Koet|
|Past and Future by Max Gazendam|
There was also the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute. An historic Château converted to house the institute in the spring of 2011 houses the Institute's artists in residence and exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Street Artists were featured throughout the Château and on the grounds:
|Tigre et papillons by Mosko, 2017|
|Haras by Mosko, 2017|
|Art is Life by Speedy Graphio, 2013|
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Oh yes, the wine festival was just fine. Not as nice as the last one, but the wine was delicious.
and there was a lot to see and hear:
Here are just a few more pictures from around town:
After the tall ships departed into the mist, down the Garonne to the sea, we drove our rented car across the river to see the cave drawings of Grotte de Pair-non-Pair. Our reservation was not until 3:30, so we spent some time in Bourg and dropped into a gallery.
There were less than a dozen others on our tour, Grotte de Pair-non-Pair which is good, because the entire cave is only about 20-30 feet deep. The front part of the cave filled in eons ago. This cave was discovered in 1881when a cow's foot got lodged in a hole. It is known for remarkable prehistoric engravings - petroglyphs of horses, ibexes, bovines and mammoths). Dating to between 30,000 and 25,000 B.C.E., they "rank among the most ancient examples of art made by prehistoric" humans.
Next stop Croatia. The Island of VIR, to be more precise. Less than thirty km up the coast from the city of Zadar. While Vir was a nice place to stay and perhaps watch a World Cup game with the locals, there wasn't much to do on Vir.
Nearby was NIN, the oldest of Croatian Royal cities, founded in the ninth century B.C.E. It is a round near-island, surrounded by water with a causeway leading to the mainland. There are Roman ruins and old churches. We discovered a statue of Grgur Ninski by the great Yugoslavian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. But that was about it for Art. It was the day of the Summer Solstice, so there was a celebration at the Church of the Holy Cross (9th century C.E.)
Or take a taxi:
The biggest attraction in ancient Zadar was constructed in 2005. Architect Nikola Bašic's "Sea Organ" uses the action of the waves to trigger tubes installed under the long marble steps to play musical tones. When a boat came near causing bigger waves, the notes and volume increased.
We later purchased a cd from Alen Pračić who explained that it starts with a minute of sea organ, then he plays his guitar along with it adding some klapa voices (traditional Dalmatian singing), then finishing with church bells. A very nice recording.
There were side trips to PAG and SKRADIN, but that's about it for Art in Croatia. Here are a few shots from our stay:
|Klapa singing in Vir|
|Buying cheese in Pag.|
|Ancient olive trees|
|Skrabin National Park|
End of Part One
CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO