ANTWERP.- Sustainability is the key to Antwerps visual arts and heritage policy. The city has the explicit intention of remaining the visual arts capital of Flanders and has opted for a sustainable renewal of creation and the programme. In recent years, Antwerp has been strengthening, along with temporary exhibitions showcasing renowned artists, the permanent programme of contemporary art in the city. The ongoing theme for the Middelheim Museum this year is its renovation.
The renovated Middelheim Museum reopened for the public with a huge opening party. The Museum has undergone a complete metamorphosis, including a considerable expansion of the museum grounds and the modernization of the infrastructure. The Middelheim Museum worked in tandem with guest curator, Paul Robbrecht. Robbrecht and Daem constructed a semi-open pavilion, The House (Het Huis), which was inaugurated with a prestigious exhibition of works by Thomas Schütte. The entire Middelheim collection has been reviewed and renowned artists, such as Ai Weiwei, Roman Signer and Philippe Van Snick, present new works, custom-made for the museum. In the Braem Pavilion (Braempaviljoen), fashion designers Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus are displaying an initial selection of pieces of international importance from the Middelheim collection that are too fragile to be displayed outside.
During the summer months, the Middelheim Museums programme will be enriched with a high-quality contemporary programme in the heart of the city. Antwerp will present a range of exhibitions that will make a visit to the arts and heritage city more than worthwhile.
MIDDELHEIM MUSEUM: CONSTANTLY IN MOTION
The Middelheim Museum is a unique institution where the amazing interplay between art and nature results in exceptional experiences. The open-air museum showcases modern and contemporary art amidst a green park setting. Works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Rik Wouters, Juan Muňoz, Panamarenko, Chris Burden, Dan Graham, etc. provide a unique overview of more than a century of visual arts.
Every year the Museum sends out an invitation to renowned and promising artists. Freed from the typical white cube of a museum hall, the artists interact with the endless opportunities offered by the park and the existing collection. This inspires them to create new work, custom-made for the Middelheim Museum. In the past, the Museum has already collaborated with Berlinde De Bruyckere, Wim Delvoye, Yoshitomo Nara, Paul McCarthy, Chris Burden, Jan De Cock, etc. Erwin Wurm was the guest artist in 2011, with an exhibition featuring existing as well as new work.
With an annual average of 250,000 visitors and free entry, the Middelheim Museum provides very easy access to the world of contemporary art. Museum and recreational functions are optimally combined and modern and contemporary art go hand-in-hand.