05 May 2016

Bernardette Corporation / Carl Andre / H.P. Berlage

One of the works in the Bernadette Corporation show at the Stedelijk Museum seemed to be channeling a Carl Andre floor piece:
A Carl Andre wood sculpture, meanwhile, was being held captive in one of the small (but beautiful) galleries at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag:

The Gemeentemuseum (municipal museum) in The Hague was designed by Hendrik Petrus Berlage, and completed in 1935. I have really been enjoying Berlage's works over the past few days in the Netherlands. There is a small show at the Beurs (stock exchange) of decorative elements and furniture for the building. His works are displayed with works by others, influenced directly or more loosely by Berlage. The "Living in the Amsterdam School / Wonen in de Amsterdamse School" exhibition of furniture and decorative objects at the Stedelijk is not so much Berlage as many others working at the same time. In The Hague, the central De Bijenkorf department store building was designed by another Amsterdam School architect, Piet Kramer. The exterior was lovely in the late afternoon sun:
The interior has mostly been renovated away but there is a double staircase that goes up five floors. I had the wood-panelled staircase to myself as folks rode the escalators or elevators through the pristine white shopping area. There is evidence of an atrium but it's all shopping-mall white. Berlage did a Christian Science Church in The Hague and there was a good Amsterdam School parking garage and other buildings from the same era.

The Hague is the government center though Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. It has a much more bureaucratic feel: men in suits, etc. Amsterdam is more funky and gritty. It's rather like the difference between gritty Rome and fashionable Florence. Give me the grit, thanks.

By the way, there are more pictures on my Flickr photostream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56294332@N00/albums/72157667677233436

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