Middelheim Museum 2012
The Middelheim Museum is constantly in motion, but in 2012, the Museum and its collection will be undergoing a major metamorphosis. Paul Robbrecht (1950, Belgium) is guest curator and his firm, Robbrecht and Daem, has been commissioned to build a new semi-open pavilion.
With the addition of the flower garden of the Nachtegalenpark (Hortiflora), the museum grounds have been expanded by five hectares, which makes it a total of no less than thirty hectares. This has provided the Museum with an excellent opportunity to reassess and improve its entire infrastructure. The Middelheim Castle (Kasteel Middelheim) is also being renovated and fully integrated into the Museum’s operations. A new visitors' reception area, with a cosy café and dynamic shop in the castle, and better signposting in the park complete the physical setting for the collection and temporary exhibitions.
Commissioned by the Middelheim Museum, Robbrecht and Daem are constructing a semi-open pavilion, The House (Het Huis), in Hortiflora so as to maximise the Museum's exhibition possibilities. The new steel pavilion will provide shelter to vulnerable works of art, without isolating them from their surroundings. From 2013 onwards, temporary exhibitions will be held in this new pavilion and the surrounding grounds. The pavilion will be inaugurated on 26 May 2012, with an exclusive exhibition by German artist Thomas Schütte (1954, Germany), featuring new ceramic sculptures created especially for this occasion.
The entire Middelheim collection will be revisited. As of May, pieces of international importance from the Middelheim collection can be (re)discovered in the Braem Pavilion (Braempaviljoen). These are works that have been purchased especially for the Braem Pavilion or that are too fragile to be displayed outside. Visitors will be able to admire works by artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Medardo Rosso, Jean Arp, Wim Delvoye, Michel François and Auguste Rodin. The Middelheim Museum is inviting fashion designers Bernhard Willhelm (1972, Germany) and Jutta Kraus (1972, Germany) to make the first selection. This will result in an amazing display. They are the joint driving force behind Bernhard Willhelm, the fashion label uniting textile, visual art, performance, folklore, video art and installation pieces into one multi-disciplinary artistic practice. The arrangement of the exhibits in the park will also receive a "facelift": some works will be placed at a better location, others will be given a new pedestal and some will undergo a thorough restoration.
On the occasion of this special Middelheim Year and to complete the process of rethinking its permanent collection, the Museum has requested internationally renowned artists to create new works custom-made for the open-air museum. Ai Weiwei (1957, China), Roman Signer (1938, Switzerland) and Philippe Van Snick (1946, Belgium) have made a proposal. With these acquisitions and their integration into the collections, the Middelheim Museum shows its strong commitment to developing its special collection.
The renewed Middelheim Museum opens with a spectacular opening party. Everyone is invited to come and get acquainted with the art park in a relaxed atmosphere on Saturday, 26 May and Sunday, 27 May. For members of the professional art field, the Middelheim Museum organises a preview on Friday, 25 May in collaboration with Art.
During the summer months, the Middelheim Museum’s programme will be enriched with a high-quality contemporary programme in the heart of the city. Antwerp will present a range of exhibitions that will make a visit to the arts and heritage city more than worthwhile.
Paul Robbrecht and Menno Meewis With Ai Weiwei, Paul Robbrecht, Robbrecht en Daem, Thomas Schütte, Roman Signer, Philippe Van Snick, Bernhard Willhelm en Jutta Kraus
Opening on 26 May 2012
Opening weekend on 26 and 27 May 2012
Thomas Schütte Exhibition in The House from 26 May - 16 September 2012
Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus display in the Braem Pavilion from 26 May 2012 to 13 January 2013
Middelheimlaan 61, 2020 Antwerp
Closed on Mondays
Open from Tuesday through Sunday
October to March from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April and September from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
May and August from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
June and July from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.