Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray, and Blue, 1921
De Stijl (“The Style”), the movement founded by designer and architect Theo van Doesberg began in 1917 in Leiden, Holland. Members of this movement consisted primarily of architects and abstract artists, the most famous being Piet Mondrian, who was an early influence.
Leiden is a picturesque canal city about a half an hour south of Amsterdam. It houses the oldest university in Holland as well as several national museums, and is the birthplace of painters such as Rembrandt, Lucas van Leyden, Jan van Goyen and Jan van Steen.
To commemorate the centenary of De Stijl, the husband and wife curator/artist team of Guido Winkler and Iemke van Dyke teamed up with the Lakenhal Museum (Leiden’s art musuem, currently under renovation) to join in the country wide celebrations by commissioning a “museum without walls.” The site for this project was the old Pieterskerk, a Gothic Church in the old town that dates back to 1390.
The “museum without walls” consisted of 20 large scale abstract murals (3 meters, or about 10 feet high) painted on specially built wooden supports arranged on a plan based on a portion of this Mondrian painting:
Piet Mondrian, Pier and Ocean, 1917, oil on canvas.
View from the top of Pieterskerk, with church shadow in background (photo by Heilo Kiupers)
Invited artists included Alain Biltereyst (Belgium), Brent Hallard (Australia), Gracia Khouw (Holland), Henriette van Hoog (Holland), Jasper van der Graaf (Holland), Justin Andrews (Australia), Linda Arts (Holland), Matthew Deleget (USA), Marije Vermeulen (Holland), Rob de Oude (USA), Sanne Bruggink (Holland), Guido Nieuwendijk (Holland), Terry Haggarty (UK), Sigrid Calon (Holland), Jan van der Ploeg (Holland), Bob Bonies (Holland), Guido Thomas Raat (Holland), Zedz (Holland), Zora Kreuzer (Germany) and myself.
The paintings, which went up in May, 2017, were made with the assistance of volunteers/refugees recently relocated from Syria and Northern Africa as part of a program to assimilate them into Dutch society through organized cultural activities. When the exhibition ended 3 months later, paintings were removed, and the wooden fragments were given to Gemiva, an organization that works with people with Down Syndrome, who will transform the painted wood fragments into birdhouses.
Here is the artwork (photos by Guido Winkler unless otherwise indicated)
Justin Andrews (Australia)
Linda Arts (Holland)
Alain Biltereyst (Belgium)
Bob Bonies (Holland)
Sanne Bruggink (Holland)
Sigrid Calon (Holland)
Matthew Deleget (USA)
Jasper van der Graaf (Holland)
Terry Haggarty (UK)
Brent Hallard (Australia)
Henriette van Hoog (Holland)
Gilbert Hsiao (USA) (photo by Iemke van Dyke)
Gracia Khouw (Holland)
Zora Kreuzer (Germany)
Guido Nieuwendijk (Holland)
Rob de Oude (USA)
Jan van der Ploeg (Holland)
Guido Thomas Raat (Holland)
Marije Vermeulen (Holland)