A trip to Nationalmuseum in Stockholm turned into an unexpected highlight of our time in that wonderful city. Over breakfast, we planned out our day. This is not something we do very often, but there were so many things we wanted to see and experience, it seemed necessary. Our planned day required us to walk right past the building, inspired by North Italian architecture, which houses Sweden’s national collection. It seemed foolish not to have a look.
As is so often the case with these things, our intended stay of 30 minutes turned into 45, trickled into an hour, and time melted away as we were engaged, first with the general collection, then with an exhibition (briefly discussed already), and then we came upon something completely unexpected, Slow Art.
Colour themes are tough. So we went looking for a twist. A look around swiftly brought inspiration to us. The name of the blog is a clue, and there have been requests for instructions. We realise that we are not best placed for instructions. PJD taught CIA how to fold cranes over noodles in Wellington. PJD is perfectly happy to share his crane-folding knowledge. But writing the words? That’s really tough.
Still, here’s purple:
As I wrote about a couple of days ago, Mudam, Luxembourg’s contemporary art museum, is an architectural gem. I promised to take you inside the building, so you can see for yourself whether the building on the inside stacks up to how it looks outside.
The materials on show on the outside flow through to inside, making for gallery spaces that are in many instances beautifully lit by natural light which spills in through the large panes of glass in the roof and widows. The Grand Hall greets you soon after arrival. It is breathtaking in scale and structure, and serves as the main hub of the building, with other galleries leading off on either side and at different levels. Without a doubt, the moment I glimpsed the Grand Hall, I knew that we were in for something special.
It’s not very often that you come across a building that really makes you stand up straight and take notice, and which really captures your heart and imagination. When we visited Mudam – the first and magnificent contemporary art museum in the tiny nation of Luxembourg, we experienced one of these rare instances of architectural delight.
As previously shown on foldedcranes.com, Mudam was a place that really did delight us and made us very happy. One of the first things that struck us about this building – designed by Ieoh Ming (I.M.) Pei (perhaps his most well known architectural creations being the Louvre glass pyramids in Paris) was the way in which the new building was integrated into the ramparts of the ancient fortifications which are still standing on the site. Initially when we approached Mudam we wondered if the old and new meshed together as a whole, but as we got to know the building better, we quickly saw that this was far from the case, and instead that this was a building epitomised by a sense of true balance and harmony. Read more
Sometimes when travelling, there is nothing better than stumbling across something completely unexpected, which makes you go “wow!” and caps off a an already lovely day in a beautiful place. We had one such experience whilst traveling in Luxembourg recently. This was the discovery of a young Luxembourgish artist’s work on show in a small and fantastic art gallery (with one of the most friendly gallery owners I have ever come across, who spoke with such unpretentious vivaciousness about his artists).
The paintings, by Roland Quetsch, were bright and exciting, full of texture, bold movement, drips and layers (sure, not everyone’s cup of tea, but we sure liked them a lot). They put smiles on both our faces and we wished we could take one home with us.
But perhaps even more of a surprise was discovering them in a hidden part of the gallery, below street level, which revealed itself to us as one of the coolest places we have ever viewed art.