Landscapes from the collection, 1900-1940
The summer exhibition ‘That’s what paradise looks like’ was divided into two parts: on the ground floor of the Vleeshal a selection from the collection of paintings from 1900-1940, and on the upper floor a presentation of three video works from the collection of contemporary audiovisual art.
The landscape was central in ‘That’s what paradise looks like’. Because of its rich range of artistic possibilities, this classic genre remains a favourite with artists right down to this day. Those who wish to show the sublime beauty of the Creation turn their eyes to nature. But landscape is also an ideal subject for artists who wish to express their own feelings and emotions.
A number of varied artistic approaches to landscape from a period (the early 20th century) when modernism was in full flight in painting were brought together on the ground floor of the Vleeshal. With Jacobus van Looy, for instance, one sees a traditional, academic rendering of nature, while in Leo Gestel’s Mallorca paintings the landscape is reduced to a dynamic mosaic of abstract fields and figuration has almost disappeared from the picture. Conveying emotions is central to the paintings of Herman Kruyder, and nature is used to express a mental state. The exhibition also showed how radical new currents from other countries, including post-impressionism, Cubism and expressionism, followed one another rapidly and were employed by the Dutch painters in their own visual vocabulary.