To celebrate the opening of the renewed Frans Hals Museum, the exhibition Rendez-Vous with Frans Hals focuses on the encounters between ‘Housemaster’ Frans Hals and contemporary artists and Old Masters-experts. Original and ‘imaginary’ paintings by Frans Hals are the subject of individual interpretations by painters, photographers, curators and art historians alike, who react in unique ways to the paintings of the Haarlem Master. Spread across the museum’s two locations, the exhibition opens on 30 March and runs until 16 September (Frans Hals Museum), and 30 September (De Hallen Haarlem).
Frans Hals masterpieces in an encounter with…
In the Frans Hals Museum (known as the Hof location as of March) the emphasis is on the Frans Hals masterpieces that are in the museum’s own collection. This part of the exhibition shows the works of approximately 20 contemporary artists and art historians who have a special relationship with the museum, Hals and his work, who were asked to ‘reinterpret’ collection pieces.
Contemporary artists such as Anton Henning & Jasper Hagenaar, Hans Aarsman & Roy Villevoye use different paintings by Hals as a starting point for new work, and show how well Frans Hals’ civic guard group pieces and portraits translate to the present day. Other contributions come from, among others, the curators of the Frans Hals Museum, experts such as Claus Grimm, Frans Grijzenhout, Norbert Middelkoop, and artists such as Shezad Dawood, Michaël Borremans, Jan Andriesse, Laurence Aëgerter, Luuk Wilmering, Nedko Solakov and Nina Katchadourian.
Imaginary works by Frans Hals
The second part of the exhibition, in De Hallen Haarlem (known as the Hal location as of March), focuses on the imaginary oeuvre of Frans Hals: works that no longer exist, are hidden away or have never even existed. Artists explore works by Hals that exist only in literature, that have been destroyed by bombing or other historical events, that are hidden from public view or that have been erased from history in a different way and now only belong to the domain of fiction. And to provide a broader context, these interpretations of Hals’ work are combined with contemporary films and installations in which the ‘artwork that only exists in the imagination’ is key. With works by Mieke Bal, Batia Suter, Cédric Noël, Koos Breukel, Melvin Moti, Pavèl van Houten, Pierre Bismuth, Pieter Vermeersch, Riet Wijnen and Saskia Noor van Imhoff.
Platform for new work
The comprehensive Rendez-Vous with Frans Hals exhibition project is a transhistorical experiment – it connects art from different times, periods and styles – and provides a platform for contemporary artists to develop new work that is directly inspired by masterpieces from the Golden Age. At the same time, the exhibition offers the public a multifaceted look at the artist who is the namesake of the Frans Hals Museum and who has been known as a Modern Master since the 19th century.