The 25th anniversary of the still-remarkable Groninger Museum building takes centre stage in the museum’s 2019 exhibition programme. The building’s lead architect Alessandro Mendini returns to curate the exhibition Mendini World. Celebrations will also include the show Pronkjewails: Designs from Past and Present and Peter Struycken’s Pierre Boulez installation.
Meanwhile, with Battle! A Century of Women’s Suffrage, the Groninger Museum marks another anniversary: that of universal suffrage in the Netherlands. Alongside these festivities, there is a lot more to see and to do at the museum.
Groninger Museum 2019 exhibition programme
The World at Home. Asian Porcelain and Delft Pottery
Through 10 March 2019
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Dutch interiors were enriched by Asian influences. The Dutch East India Company as well as private individuals imported large quantities of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and lacquerwork from “the Orient”. Porcelain in particular was popular; even the poorest households owned a Chinese platter or cup and saucer. The magnificent pieces in this exhibition tell the story of how the Dutch brought the world into their homes.
Grrr! A Beastly Exhibition
Through 31 March 2019
Large animals and small ones, imaginary beasts and creepy-crawlies, a headless chicken and a blue dog – see them all in this exhibition of works from the museum’s collection. The animals were sheltering in the depot but have been let loose specially for this exhibition. Touching dog portraits by the Groningen painter Otto Eerelman are on display, along with cows from the Hague School and Japanese prints showing horses on the battlefield. Some animals carry symbolic meaning; others appear to have been portrayed simply for their beauty.
Through 5 May 2019
The Groninger Museum surprises visitors with sensational glass creations by the world-renowned American artist Dale Chihuly (b. 1941, Tacoma, Washington). CHIHULY is an examination of light, space and form that will delight the whole family. Specially curated for the museum in partnership with the Chihuly Studio, it is the largest European museum show of the artist’s work in the last 20 years. Comprising 16 indoor and outdoor installations, the exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of Chihuly’s oeuvre.
DVOTION - Claude Vanheye: Portraits of DJs
17 January through 24 March 2019
Renowned photographer Claude Vanheye (b. 1948, Batavia, Suriname) is known for his iconic portraits of David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix and numerous other pop artists. In recent years, he’s snapped famous DJs including Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Fedde Le Grand and Nicky Romero. The tranquil shots in the remarkable DVOTION series call to mind Renaissance portraits. They will be on display for the first time as part of the 2019 Eurosonic Noorderslag festival.
Pronkjewails. Design from Past and Present
4 April 2019 through 22 March 2020
Guest curator John Veldkamp has been given a free hand to set up an exhibition of ceramics and glass from past and present in the Starck Pavilion. Besides illustrating the Groninger Museum’s collection history, the show will treat visitors to unique combinations of wonderful objects arranged as masterly still lifes. Veldkamp owned the illustrious local design store John John’s, which did business on Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat for more than 30 years. He encouraged the then Groninger Museum director, Frans Haks, to start collecting contemporary design in the 1980s.
4 April through 1 September 2019
Visual artist Dolf Verlinden (b. 1960, Schiedam) studied at Minerva Art Academy and has worked in Groningen ever since. His work is minimalist; sober compositions reveal an interest in fundamental aspects like size, proportion, material and texture. Through simple lines and geometric shapes, Verlinden explores the spatial boundaries of the artwork.
Battle! A Century of Women’s Suffrage
20 April through 15 September 2019
2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the law granting women in the Netherlands the right to vote, which passed after years of activism. This major exhibition looks back on the suffragists’ battle. The Association for Women’s Suffrage, founded in 1894, had chapters even in the smallest Dutch villages. The movement was a worldwide one, and Dutch activists played an important part in the fight. This exhibition tells the story of its regional and national leaders through paintings, banners, photographs, cartoons and other documents, while showing how the struggle for equality continues today.
P. Struycken, Boulez installation …explosante-fixe…
29 June through 6 December 2019
In 2007, Peter Struycken (b. 1939, The Hague) created a spectacular installation for the Coop Himmelb(l)au Pavilion. Dynamic colour space for the composition …explosante-fixe… (1971–1993) by Pierre Boulez is based on a work by the French composer. Five large screens take visitors on a near-cosmic journey through the music. On the occasion of the museum building’s 25th anniversary, this enchanting explosion of colour and form can be experienced anew.
12 October 2019 through 5 May 2020
Twenty-five years after the opening of the Groninger Museum building he designed, Alessandro Mendini (b. 1931, Milan) has been given free rein to put together his dream exhibition. The grand old man of Italian design has selected a range of works including dozens of his own fantastic, revolutionary creations and paintings by modern masters like Paul Signac, Henri Matisse, Kasimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky. Mendini World is a visually overwhelming mix of visual art, design and architecture, from high art to appealing kitsch.