BLOG

All that Glitters is Gold

By Ko van 't Hek | April, 2016

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.

1. Gustav Klimt, Judith 1 (1901)

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.

Gustav Klimt, Judith 1, 1901. Collectie Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Wenen.

Gustav Klimt, Judith 1, 1901. Collection Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna.

2. Marc Quinn, Siren, 2008.

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.

Marc Quinn, Siren, 2008.

Marc Quinn, Siren, 2008.

 

3. Jan Fabre, Chapters I-XVIII (2010)

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.

Jan Fabre, Hoofdstukken I-XVIII, 2010. Collectie Kröller-Müller Museum (foto: Walter Herfst).

Jan Fabre, Chapters I-XVIII, 2010. Collection Kröller-Müller Museum (photo: Walter Herfst).

4. Yves Klein: Résonance (MG 16) (1960)

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.

Yves Klein, Résonance (MG 16), 1960. Collectie Stedelijk Museum.

Yves Klein, Résonance (MG 16), 1960. Collection Stedelijk Museum.

5. Grietje Schepers, Sleeping Gold (2015)

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.

6. James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars (1994)

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.

James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars, 1994

James Lee Byars, The Death of James Lee Byars, 1994

7. Damien Hirst, Gone but not forgotten (2014)

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.

Damien Hirst, Gone but not forgotten, 2014. Foto door Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2014.

Damien Hirst, Gone but not forgotten, 2014. Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2014.

Extra: Roni Horn, Gold Field (1980-82)

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.

Roni Horn, Gold Field (1980-82)

Roni Horn, Gold Field (1980-82)

Comments on All that Glitters is Gold

leave a comment

Your rating