Aegon’s much-loved 'ballerina' has temporarily danced out of our head office to take her place in a unique public retrospective of 75 years of Dutch corporate art collections.
Officially named The Practice 'Take 3', the sculpture of the dancer, accompanied by two other pieces contributed by Aegon, is among 150 pieces of art featured in Out of Office. Art in Business.
Photo of The Practice 'Take 3' by Rob Versluys
This unique exhibition is organized by the Singer Laren Museum in collaboration with the Netherlands Association of Corporate Art Collections (VBCN), and runs to April 7, 2019.
This is the first time the VBCN has mounted such a large-scale event. The driving motivation behind the exhibition is to give the public a chance to experience the multifaceted range of Dutch art from 1945 to the present that is held in corporate collections.
Showcasing famous Dutch artists such as Karel Appel, Marlene Dumas, Armando, Jan Schoonhoven and Folkert de Jong, the exhibition will reveal some surprising connections between artists from different periods and between the different collections.
The Practice 'Take 3' (2008)
Synthetic Structure W I (1957/1967)
Out of Office is based on a number of themes, grouping artworks from different periods and leading to some surprising artistic encounters. The theme of 'Liberated' brings together the artists Lucebert, Karel Appel and David Bade.
Works by Carel Willink, Erwin Olaf and others enter into a dialogue in the gallery devoted to the theme 'On the Shoulders of Giants'. 'Guilty' is the element connecting Pyke Koch, Armando and Ronald Ophuis.
Portraits by Ina van Zyl, Marlene Dumas, Levi van Veluw, René Daniëls and many others feature under the title 'Ecce Homo'. Finally, 'A New Skin' features spectacular installations by artists like Folkert de Jong and Peter Struycken.
"It is a delight to be able to bring together at Singer Laren the finest, most exciting and most intriguing Dutch artworks of the past 75 years from the rich collections of Dutch companies." Jan Rudolph de Lorm, museum director of Singer Laren.
Dutch companies, banks, hospitals, universities and the government have been collecting contemporary art for more than 50 years, according to De Lorm and VBCN chairperson Philippien Noordam. It has been estimated that these collections collectively comprise a quarter of a million pieces. About 110,000 pieces belong to the 50 members of the VBCN.
Why did Dutch companies start buying and collecting art? An initial motivation was to create a more pleasant working environment for employees. The initiative "cuts both ways", note De Lorm and Noordam. "Art provides crucial support and encouragement for artists and for art in general".
While artworks held and displayed within the owner's buildings, it's not the intention to hide the creations from the public. Indeed, pieces are often lent to museums as part of larger exhibitions that are open to the public. The exhibition at Singer Laren goes further, bringing 150 exceptional pieces out of the office and into the public view.