Art in The Netherlands

An unexpected Art Pilgrimage

November 17th, 2019


An unexpected Art Pilgrimage


November 17th, 2019


Ostensibly the reason I went to The Hague was to seek out James Turrell's Celestial Vault. I had only seem photos of this work, and as a completist, I felt I needed to see it.

I took a train down from Amsterdam, where I was staying for other reasons, and then a couple of buses, and then a long walk before I found myself, in the cold grey drizzle, confronted with this truly bonkers Turrell work.

It was a magical experience, for sure, but given the atrocious weather, I couldn't stay long, and a bit of the vaulting was perhaps lost.

I hope to visit again one day when the weather is more cooperative.

I hoofed it over to the opposite side of the city to the Museum Voorlinden which turned out to be an absolutely incredible experience. There were many works that spoke to me, including a masterful Serra which you could look down on from on high, a Turrell skyspakce which opened up just as I was leaving, and a Kusama Infinity Room that had no wait (A true shocker for a New Yorker who's seen the multi-hour lines for her rooms in the city).

But the piece that really struck me was this gigantic multi-panel work by Imi Knoebel, Priceless Pearl from 2001 (placed coyly next to Ai Wei Wei's Bowl of Pearls). I had never really "gotten" Knoebel's work before seeing this one, and the layers, densities, color spaces, all of it just work so beautifully together. I spent maybe a half hour just contemplating this piece over and over.