Was in Germany again, this weekend. We visited Bonn, the former capital of Western Germany and went to the Stadtmuseum. There were a few thoughts that kept spinning inside my mind for some time. First, it occurred to me that the Dutch museums are so tiny. The museums in other countries that I have visited are of fantastic architecture and they’re big and feature large exhibition space. That allows for of course for large objects, like the Penck and Kiefer pieces, but it also offers the possibility of distance from the objects. The exhibition spaces in most of the Dutch museums are more of a living room size. What does that do to our Dutch audiences? What’s cause and effect here? Let’s mull this over some more.

On Sunday we left Bonn (a little disappointed about the quality of the exhibited art) and returned to Duisburg again to visit the [ Lehmbruck ] museum. This was the second pleasant surprise that Duisburg had on offer, after our previous enthousiasm for the [ Kueppersmuehle ] museum earlier this year. I sat down before Kiefer’s “Die goldene Bulle”, a work from 1995. Just like other works from this master painter this one is massive and awe inspiring.

So what about Giacometti? There was an exhibition at the Lehmbruck. Was it any good? Well, as far as Giacometti himself is concerned, yes. He was a great artist with a very specific goal, produce the ultimate sculpture. But the exhibition was a disappointment. It was not entertaining at all. Different pieces were placed quasi randomly in one big space. Visitors had to be warned (by security guards) not to trip over a platform that contained four statues. There were some letters of Giacometti to his family. There were just a few statues from each period. A documentary video about his life was placed in a different part of the building. Lehm bruck specializes in sculpture and other 3D work and so we didn’t get to see his paintorial works except for one piece. In other words: you don’t have to go if it is only for this Giacometti exhibit. Otherwise, it is quite nice and it features some very good works by Merz, Richard Long, to name just a few.

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