Zuidas is not especially known for its art. This is actually unfair, because the international collections located here are some of the best in the Netherlands. For decades, for example, AkzoNobel has been collecting contemporary art in the ground floor of its head offices in Beatrixpark. And, in the basement at Circl – the circular pavilion in Gustav Mahlerplein – a permanent exhibition has been set up featuring leading exhibits from the ABN AMRO art collection. In other words, there is plenty to discover. In order to find an easy-access way of doing that, several art initiatives based in Zuidas have now joined forces. On six consecutive Fridays, they are organising art walks, starting on Friday, 20 May 2022.
What will it involve?
On Friday 20 and 27 May and on Friday 3, 10, 17 and 24 June, tour guides and hosts will be on hand at four different locations in Zuidas between 12.00 and 17.00. They will be able to tell you more about the collections and/or exhibitions at the different locations. If it is not possible to hold guided tours in person, exhibition booklets will be available to provide background on the exhibitions. The locations taking part are Circl, the ABN AMRO Kunstruimte, the AkzoNobel Art Space and the VU ART SCIENCE Gallery.
Salvaged Bible paper
The initiative for the art walks came from the Bijbels Museum, which is organising travelling exhibitions throughout the Netherlands. Since March, it has been running an exhibition at Circl entitled Tijd en Eeuwigheid. Poëzie in beeld en woord, (Time and Eternity. Poetry in word and imagery) featuring artworks made using a special type of paper: misprints and overprints on ultra-thin Bible paper. ‘Artist Annita Smit gets the left-over paper from Royal Jongbloed. It’s a Dutch Bible printing press in Heerenveen and one of very few in the world to use this ultra-thin type of paper for international editions of the Bible’, explains Marjolein Marreveld from the Bijbels Museum. Especially for the theme of ‘Time and Eternity’, Annita Smit has created 22 paper objects that are now on display in Circl. Between her artworks, there are poems on the same theme by five modern poets, including Amsterdam’s poet laureate Marjolijn van Heemstra.
Feeling and enjoyment
Marreveld: ‘When we were organising the exhibition, we thought it would be a great idea to plot out a larger art route – after all, there’s so much extraordinary art of discover in Zuidas.’ The Bijbels Museum approached the parties mentioned above and that is how the Friday art walk came into being. Marreveld is eager to point out that the exhibition Time and Eternity does not have tour guides standing by. ‘However, visitors do receive a free booklet – made using the same ultra-thin Bible paper as the paper objects by Annita Smit – that includes an essay about the theme. The idea is that this gives people an opportunity also to feel the paper used in the artworks. Apart from that, we don’t want to be too directive: just come along and enjoy what it stirs within you.’