Stedelijk Museum

The Collection Stedelijk Base

Highlights in art and design from 1880 to now.

15 Dec 2017

Martial Raysse and Elaine Sturtevang, installation view The collection, STEDELIJK BASE. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Highlights in art and design from 1880 to now.
from 15 December 2017

STEDELIJK BASE is the permanent installation of iconic works from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum. It occupies the entire new wing of the museum and features a selection of around 700 pieces grouped around historic movements, social themes, and influential artists. The display begins with STEDELIJK BASE part 1 in the ABN AMRO Gallery including works by seminal figures such as Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld, Nola Hatterman, Charley Toorop, Barnett Newman, Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed van der Elsken, Yayoi Kusama, and Sheila Hicks. Next, visitors can take the escalator to the VandenEnde Foundation Gallery, where part 2 of STEDELIJK BASE continues with an extraordinary installation by Barbara Kruger and art from the 1980s to the present day, featuring work by Jeff Koons, Anselm Kiefer, Maarten Baas, Nan Goldin, and Marlene Dumas.

Ranging from the origins of abstraction and industrial design in the late 19th century to contemporary 3D-printed vases and socially engaged painting, STEDELIJK BASE is a perfect introduction to the history of modern art and design.

— Bianca Stigter (NRC)

STEDELIJK BASE is the first-ever major, integrated presentation of art and design in the history of the museum. All media are considered equally important, and are also in dialogue with each other. The result is a diverse combination of paintings, furniture, jewelry, sculptures, everyday objects, accessories, photography, drawings, installations, video art, posters, and interiors. The dialogue between them illuminates common threads that inspired the emergence of these various art forms (such as De Stijl and Bauhaus) while also eliciting new connections.

The exhibition design of STEDELIJK BASE part 1 has been developed by AMO/Rem Koolhaas together with Federico Martelli. It proposes an innovative way to present the permanent collection. The experimental curatorial vision of former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf, bold architecture, and the latest technological developments combine to allow visitors to experience the collection through an open-ended route. The chronology can be followed on the perimeter, while freestanding walls in the middle create separate sectors highlighting groups of artworks that represent a specific theme or aspect of the collection.

AMO delved into the museum’s archives to explore the various ways the Stedelijk has exhibited its collection over the years. The exhibition design of STEDELIJK BASE part 1 builds on the experimental DNA of the Stedelijk. The layout understands the collection as a network of relations rather than a presentation of individual artworks. To capture these interconnections, very thin walls define an almost urban environment of free association and multiple relations.

STEDELIJK BASE is the finale of the museum’s revised spatial design; the building now has a clearer layout, and 70 percent of the museum’s space is devoted to the collection. On the ground floor of the historic building, STEDELIJK TURNS presents a changing program of collection displays, each showcasing new perspectives, research, and topical themes. STEDELIJK NOW, which occupies the first floor, is home to a roster of temporary exhibitions. Another renewed architectural element is the entrance area, which, in collaboration with Benthem Crouwel Architects, has been transformed into a welcoming meeting place for visitors.

While STEDELIJK BASE is devoted to the highlights (artworks in the art historical canon), STEDELIJK TURNS sheds light on hidden or suppressed stories, and unseen or rarely exhibited artworks. Fueled by new research and topical themes, these alternative perspectives will inspire changes in STEDELIJK BASE. Consequently, STEDELIJK BASE will be a dynamic, changing presentation that, over the next five years, will invite visitors to experience the transformation of the canon.

Tags: Marlene Dumas, Ed van der Elsken, Nan Goldin, Sheila Hicks, Anselm Kiefer, Yves Klein, Rem Koolhaas, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Gerrit Rietveld