Amsterdam galleries

The Jewish Museum is one of my favourite museums in Amsterdam. Currently there’s an Emmy Andriesse (1914-1953) exhibition. She was one of the twentieth century’s leading Dutch photographers and had great personal courage, working illegally as a photographer and evading capture during the Nazi occupation. The exhibition  includes photos of street life, the Second World War and Liberation of Amsterdam. Her pictures of the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-45 are particularly poignant.

I wasn’t familiar with William Kentridges work until now. I was amazed at ‘Black Box/Chambre Noir’ It has to be seen to be believed! A mechanical theatre which incorporates mechanical figures performing against a projected backdrop of beautiful animated charcoal drawings and written historical documentation. The music is taken from Sarastro’s aria and  ‘The Magic Flute’ and works so well with the imagery.  This is Kentridges response to the the consequences of German colonialism in Africa and the genocide of people in German South West Africa between 1904 and 1907.

Whilst passing the Rembrandt museum, a poster caught my eye. I made a diversion and visited what turned out to be Wendelien Schonfeld’s work. The exhibition shows mainly her wood cuts. Amazing work! I really like how she combines traditional and contemporary elements in her work. Really vibrant and interesting to break down the different overlapping colours. My favourite pieces are the simpler pictures, particulary of buildings and swimmers on a raft. Very inspiring.

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