Out of all the museums Emma and I visited in Amsterdam, I was especially looking forward to taking a wander around the Stedelijk. Naturally, I've always been drawn to modern artwork over classic pieces. Whilst I'm not a fan of all modern art, and absolutely despise
(1998) alongside anything else similar for the record, I adore the style of Pop Art and graphic work which took pride of place at the Stedelijk. There were a variety of posters, documents and standalone works of art adorning the walls and cabinet spaces. You can imagine my glee at seeing the Roy Lichtenstein piece
As I Opened Fire
(1964) in the flesh! I'd be lying if I said I didn't stand as close as I physically could to admire all of the dots.
Since visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, I've grown so much fonder of Van Gogh and his work. It was unbeknownst to me that he suffered so severely with mental illness, and was thought to have shown signs of suffering with a number of them during his lifetime. Knowing this, I now can't look at a painting of his without thinking about what he was going through at the time. It was quite nice to get so close to
Two Peasants Digging
(1889) after every piece was understandably swarmed at the Van Gogh museum. The colours and textures showcased here are what I loved most.
The pieces from
We Make Carpets
(Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg) easily stood out as my favourites amongst everything else on show at the Stedelijk. Featured in the
Dream Out Loud
exhibition, these three vibrantly patterned 'carpets' were created from large numbers of cocktail umbrellas, stirrers and tinsel topped cocktail sticks. I love the way these throw away items have been creatively used to make something far greater than their original and intended purpose. There is some art that has you smiling instantly, and for me these were an example of that. Their fun, bright and bold nature completely lit up the otherwise plain space. From far away this pop of joy can only be seen as the bigger picture and pattern, but moving closer revealed each and every individual component. This very much spoke to me like a visual representation of the Van Gogh quote; "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
Also on show were stills from Warhol, kinetic work from Jean Tinguelyon (which I can only describe as fabulously Grinch/Who-esque) and an awesome interactive sewing station, where you could get involved and leave your mark. All in all the museum is an absolute delight! I often feel like once I've visited a museum, unless the exhibitions change incredibly frequently, I've seen everything I need to see. That wasn't the case with the Stedelijk. There was so much to look at that if/when I return to Amsterdam, I would gladly make my way around to see it all again! If you're looking to visit the city, I'd greatly encourage you to prioritise Stedelijk on your to-see list. There's definitely something for everyone here - and to top it all off, they have an ace gift shop too!