PROGRAMME & AUDIENCE
The Kunsthal is a ‘magic box’ with a flexible programme that reveals unexpected connections within the fields of visual art, culture, design and lifestyle and reacts to current events. Numerous target groups have met each other over the past year in the Kunsthal‘s entrance area: contemporary art lovers, digi-freaks, photography fans, cat aficionados, LGBT communities, Rotterdam residents, students and talented young people.
Overlapping the final weeks of the successful Peter Lindbergh exhibition, we opened ‘HUMAN/DIGITAL: a symbiotic love affair’, an exhibition realised in collaboration with the Hugo Brown Family Collection with work by contemporary artists who use the internet and digital techniques as a source of inspiration. Apart from being an exceptional digital attraction, this exhibition was also a meeting place where the Kunsthal could explore tomorrow‘s art world with prominent artists, collectors and a wide audience. Together with the acclaimed exhibition ‘Hyperrealism. 50 Years of Painting ‘, which offered a unique retrospective of photorealist painting, the Kunsthal managed to mobilise around 120,000 visitors with its spring programme.
Over the summer months an exhibition with work by Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 – 1989), one of the most influential artists and photographers of the twentieth century, offered fans an impressive retrospective of his career. Many international visitors travelled to the Kunsthal in July and August to see it and it attracted a lot of media attention. The exhibition was made possible in collaboration with the J.P. Getty Museum, the LACMA and the Mapplethorpe Foundation and made possible by Stichting Droom en Daad. The exhibition was nominated for ‘Exhibition of the Year 2017’ by the Dutch magazine Museumtijdschrift.
All summer long, the artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha, founders of the Instituto Buena Bista (IBB) Curaçao, worked with different social practice artists on creating an exhibition that kept developing like a growing sculpture for the second edition of ‘All you can Art’. ‘All you can Art’ has a social component, which means that artists and numerous other target groups such as the elderly, homeless youths, ex-addicts, VMBO students and Kunsthal visitors are encouraged to exchange stories and ideas. Also part of this exhibition was the Summer School where thirty talented young people were given the opportunity to develop artistically by picking up new skills and knowledge over a period of seven weeks, while working according to the master and apprentice principle.
‘Cat love. Nine Lives in Art’ is an example of how the Kunsthal was able to attract new groups of visitors by offering them an exhibition that combined art and audience participation. For instance, in comparison to the hyperrealist painting exhibition, with 41% of the respondents aged 60 or over, this exhibition appealed to an audience that, with 35% between the ages of 26 and 40, was significantly younger.
The Kunsthal‘s anniversary year was festively concluded with a tribute to one of the most important painters in Belgium art history with the exhibition ‘Paul Delvaux. Master of the Dream’.
A complete list of all exhibitions shown in 2017 can be found on the timeline on our website.