Outsider Art Museum Amsterdam
Remember my post about Het Dolhuys – museum of the mind- in Haarlem? Well, Outsider Art Museum Amsterdam is a new museum in Amsterdam and it originates from a collaboration between the Dolhuys, The Hermitage and organisation Cordaan.
They currently have an exhibition going on about outsider art in China. Ofcourse I had to check that out for myself!
Housed in the Hermitage Amsterdam
The Hermitage in Amsterdam brings art from the collections of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg to the Netherlands.
Current exhibition: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution. End of a monarchy.
The museum has an inner courtyard, a museumshop and cafe-restaurant Neva.
Outside the Hermitage are some nice sculptures and next door you find cafe Hoftuin, where you can have lunch, looking out on a cute city-garden.
AND the Hermitage houses the Outsider Art Museum.
What is Outsider Art
I’m a huge fan of Outsider Art, Art Brut or Raw Art; some of the names that are in use for this type of art.
The definition of what is Outsider Art varies.
A common denominator is that it refers to art and artists that is/are literally outside of mainstream art. Outsider art is usually created outside the boundaries of official culture and outside of the established art scene.
The artists are self-taught and/or naive art makers.
More ‘narrow’ definitions limit outsider art to art made by mentally ill, institutionalised people.
For me, my fascination goes out to Outsider Art in its widest form. So I include e.g. Haw Par Villa in it, Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, Watt’s Towers, and also the fantasy palace built by Ferdinand Cheval, and the Owl House by Helen Martins, to name just a few.
How inspiring and magical to see the mind-blowing fantasy worlds, created by non-(professional) artists like a post-man, a construction worker, a business man, a teacher and a white-collar worker!
Review Chinese Outsider Art
This time we did not visit the exhibits in the Hermitage itself, but went purely for the Outsider Art Museum, in particular for the exhibit about Chinese Outsider Art.
The curators pose questions like: how universal and the same (or different) is the ‘language’, used by Chinese outsider artists versus Dutch outsider artists?
200 Works by Dutch and Chinese artists let you be the judge of that and answer that question for yourself.
Walking through the exhibit, it becomes clear that there are many similarities, for sure.
Themes like passion, power, religion, dreams, monsters and nightmares seem to be universal.
I found it interesting to learn more about the artists, how they work, who they are, what troubles them, how their art helps them with their demons and so forth.
All in all I really enjoyed my visit to the Outsider Art Museum and the current exhibit. It’s modest in size, but still interesting, so I definitely recommend it. Especially in combination with a visit to the exhibitons in the Hermitage!
The exhibition runs until the 5th of june 2017.
I find the entrance fees quite steep, so having a Museum Jaarkaart makes a lot of sense! Make sure to purchase one, if you intend to visit multiple museums in Holland. It’s valid for a year and it’s beneficial already after a couple of museum-visits.
Note: the Museum Jaarkaart with a year’s validity is only accessible for Dutch residents. For tourists: check out these discount cards.
Are you familiar with Outsider Art? Which is the best Art Brut that you ever saw?