True Colors

1 June 2024 - 29 September 2024

Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague, NL

In True Colors, Kunstmuseum Den Haag presents a selection of works from the AkzoNobel Art Foundation’s contemporary collection, in dialogue with iconic works from the museum’s own collection. The exhibition centers on the universal themes of color, space, the individual and society. A unique combination of artists brings these themes to life in the museum’s magnificent galleries.

The AkzoNobel Art Foundation has been an important player in the art world for almost thirty years. The foundation supports talented young artists as well as established artists with commissions and acquisitions. These artworks literally bring color to the daily lives of employees and guests at the offices of the Dutch paints and coatings manufacturer. Eight years ago, the Art Foundation opened an art space at its headquarters in Amsterdam that is accessible to the public free of charge. Works from the art collection are regularly on loan in museums in the Netherlands and abroad, though the this is the first time that the art collection is the main focus of a museum show.

Color in all its facets is one of the key elements of both the AkzoNobel Art Foundation’s collection policy and this exhibition, alongside the subjects of space, the individual and society. True Colors features work by more than sixty artists worldwide, whose work addresses these subjects. Work from the AkzoNobel Art Foundation by Steven Aalders, Yael Bartana, Ann Veronica Janssens, Emma Talbot, Alan Uglow, Marthe Wéry and others will enter into a dialogue with work from Kunstmuseum Den Haag’s collection, by Donald Judd, Sarah Lucas, Piet Mondrian, Bridget Riley, Charley Toorop and others. Color makes for interesting combinations. Works by herman de vries and Pieter Paul Pothoven (AkzoNobel Art Foundation), that explore color and pigments, share a space with the work of Isa Genzken (Kunstmuseum Den Haag), who uses a highly industrial palette.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, simplicity of form, exploration and complexity of color scheme highlights painter Steven Aalders’ (AkzoNobel Art Foundation) kinship with predecessors like Piet Mondrian and Donald Judd (Kunstmuseum Den Haag).

Artists often flawlessly know how to identify and depict our vulnerabilities, portraying who we are and where we are, both as a society and as individual. An important pillar in the collection of the AkzoNobel Art Foundation and in that of the Kunstmuseum is 'la condition humaine'; the essence of being human, and the quest for identity. True Colors will therefore unfold to reveal a rich variety of images and stories that cast a sharp eye over today’s turbulent world. Otobong Nkanga, for example, uses a poetic visual language as a plea against the exploitation of the earth. And Femmy Otten and Buhlebezwe Siwani reveal the essence of humanity in all its strength and fragility.

True Colors - AkzoNobel Art Foundation at Kunstmuseum Den Haag promises an exciting mix of work from different generations and disciplines. Young international talents stand side by side with renowned artists, in complementary combinations, telling a powerful and colorful story, both literally and metaphorically. A narrative deeply rooted in art history while resonating with the pulse of contemporary society.