ARTZUID – Amsterdam’s sculpture biennale opens

Jan Fabre (Belgium) - Search for Utopia


John and Yoko famously spent their honeymoon in bed in Amsterdam’s Hilton Hotel on the Apollolaan. If Artzuid had been on at the time, it may have drawn them down to the street.

This biennial art event (well, the first one was two years ago) is on its way to becoming a major Amsterdam institution. We hope it will get there.

Artzuid (‘Art South’ – a reference to its location in the Old South district) will run from May 27th to August 28th.

A familiar face - Rodin's Balzac

Artist and writer Jan Cremer has selected 58 mainly large scale sculptures from around the world for the event. Many of the big names are there – Rodin, Dali, Miro, Dubuffet – as well as artists from Holland and its former colonies Suriname and Curacao who may be lesser known.

While it’s good to see serious major works by the big boys, I would have liked to see more new work, particularly work specifically created with the location in mind.

One of the joys of Sydney’s annual Sculpture by the Sea is the way many artists approach the task of using the environment, in witty, startling or transforming way.

Amsterdam doesn’t have clifftops overlooking crashing surf, but this site in Oud Zuid is visually interesting in its own way. I’d like to see more use made of the Minervalaan’s perfect avenue of trees and the lawns and gardens of the up-market Apollolaan.

Frederic Beaufils (France) - Terroir


Maybe I’m too influenced by the Masterchef/Idol phenomenon, but I also enjoy the competitive aspect of Sydney’s sculpture event. I don’t care who wins; art shouldn’t be created with eyes on the prize. However, part of the enjoyment is slagging off the stupid decisions of the judging panel, comparing notes with friends and voting for the People’s Choice Award at the end of the day.

The great thing about a public sculpture exhibition is that everyone has an opinion.

Yayoi Kusama (Japan) - Flowers that bloom tomorrow

Silvie Fleury (Switzerland) - Every minute is special

Mari Shields (USA) - Amsterdam Arboreal

Even for those with little interest in art, it's a good place to play.

Koen Vanmechelen (Belgium) - Coming World. (I particularly like this one.)

To visit the Artzuid website, click here.

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Holland

3 responses to “ARTZUID – Amsterdam’s sculpture biennale opens

  1. Dakota

    Wow, I love the art. It really makes me want to go there!!! Keep it up!!!

    dakotad.com

  2. Pingback: SCULPTURE BY THE SEA, SYDNEY – magic ingredients | Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

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