National Museum week is coming soon and its theme is gold. Therefore, we dug up seven golden artworks. Shiny, sparkling, glimmering, glowing, twinkling, beaming and glittering.
That’s the Biblical Judith, holding Holofernes’ head in her hands. For Klimt, Judith is a temptress, an erotic symbol. And with real gold leaf too. Luxurious, sexy and simultaneously revealing the devastating power of feminine sexuality. Judith 1 is on view now in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.
And this is the temptress of our own time: Kate Moss. Portrayed pornographically and in gold by the British Marc Quinn. This is Moss as an ideal, surreal woman made of something other than flesh and blood. By portraying her in solid 18 carat gold, the model becomes an icon.
These eight golden portraits in the garden of Kröller-Müller Museum were made by the Belgian Jan Fabre. They represent his head, eight times, but each time with different protuberances. ‘I think we’re all schizophrenic. There might be a gangster, a genius, a clown or a charlatan inside of me’, is what the artist himself says about it. The heads are part of the permanent presentation in the sculpture garden of the museum.
Klein is mainly known for his monochrome blue works (in his own International Klein Blue). But the Frenchman made monochrome works in other colours too, including gold. These MG (Monochrome Gold) is part of the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Young Dutch talent makes work in gold too. Grietje Schepers graduated from the Design Academy in 2008, and made this sleeping gold. The mountain of gold breathes in a human pace, that makes you feel connected to it.
This performance piece by James Lee Byars, in which his own death is the subject and where he rehearses death. Byars was born in America, but moved to Japan. This work shows the Asian interpretation of death as a mental condition of eternal completeness. Until September 25th, other work by James Lee Byars is on view at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
The megalomanic Hirst also surrendered to the gold. According to Hirst, this gold plated mammoth is about life, death, myth, legends and reality, but it’s also an image that greatly pleases the eye. Hirst donated Gone but not forgotten, by the way, to the aids fund amfAR.
In the first edition of See All This, we anticipated the golden theme of the Museum week without knowing it, with Gold Field by Roni Horn. You can order that edition here.