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Six must-see exhibitions in the Netherlands in 2024

Updated: May 27

It’s a hugely busy year for exhibitions in the Netherlands in 2024, with major shows planned on everything from fine art to fashion.

And while there are many very exciting Amsterdam exhibitions coming up, your eyes shouldn't solely be on what's on in the capital. There are blockbusters scheduled in towns and cities right across the country.

So here are six stand-out Netherlands exhibitions you should see this year.

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Amsterdam exhibitions 2024

Frans Hals at the Rijksmuseum — now open until 9 June 2024

While it’ll be near impossible for any Dutch exhibition to beat last year’s truly blockbuster Vermeer show, the Rijksmuseum is having another crack at offering a sweeping retrospective of a Dutch master.

This survey of 17th-century portrait painter Frans Hals comes to Amsterdam after a critically acclaimed run at London’s National Gallery. Visitors will come face-to-face with dozens of exceptional paintings on loan from around the world, which collectively show the effervescence and life captured by Hals' in the paintings he completed 400 years ago.

Without a doubt, the highlight will be Frans Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier which is one of the most famous paintings in the world. This will be the very first time it will have been seen outside the UK in nearly 150 years.

An artist you've likely not heard of paired with an artist you definitely have, makes for an exciting and unexpected exhibition.

This is the very first retrospective in Europe of Matthew Wong, whose colourful and expressive work has an undeniable artistic and personal connection with Vincent van Gogh. Wong's expressive use of colour, the thickly-applied paint, and the personal themes show an unmistakable connection to the Dutch master. Both artists made their first work at the age of 27. And both struggled with their mental health, resulting in their tragic, untimely deaths.

This Amsterdam show includes more than 60 works made by Wong over his prolific but short eight-year career, and shown alongside a small group of Van Gogh works including Wheatfield (1888), The Bedroom (1888), and Garden of the Asylum (1889).

Photograph showing three people looking at a painting by Matthew Wong which shows a mountain with a blue and yellow sky
Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort, Van Gogh Museum, photo: Michael Floor

Marina Abramović at the Stedelijk Museum — now open until 14 July 2024

Another highlight of London's art scene in 2023 travels across to the Netherlands for 2024. This major retrospective of globally-renowned performance artist Marina Abramović will cover the entire spectrum of her fifty-year career.

It'll feature over 60 works, including photographs, videos and sculptures, as well as four of Abramović’s seminal performance pieces which will be re-performed live in the galleries. It'll be the first time these performance works will have been seen in the Netherlands.

A headshot of the artist with a red top on
Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present, 2010. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives. © Marina Abramović. Photo: Marco Anelli

The show has been arranged in close collaboration with the artist. Visitors will explore everything from her early works made in the former Yugoslavia and in Amsterdam, to the pioneering performances with her former partner Ulay, and up to and including works from her solo practice today.

Exhibitions elsewhere in the Netherlands in 2024

Pioneering Ceramics at Museum Prinsenhof Delft — now open until 8 September 2024

Ceramics are uber trendy again, as this exhibition hosted in one the world’s most famous cities for the medium will show.

Delft’s striking blue-and-white ceramics might be 400 years old, but they are still globally recognised. The Museum Prinsenhof Delft holds a huge collection of items spanning the past four centuries, and in this show their masterpieces will be displayed side-by-side with the work of radical makers working in the Netherlands today. There’ll be around 100 items on show in total.

Two ceramic jugs, one with green decoration in the foreground and the other plain piece in the background
Transcend the Mundane – Studium and Guinni. Yuro Moniz (photo Lianne Huizing)

The premise is that while the formula for ceramics has remained the same, the world to which makers are responding has changed profoundly. Pioneering Ceramics will therefore present multiple points of view and narratives, and will invite visitors to look at the past from a contemporary perspective.

If not now, when? Collection Max Vorst at Museum Beelden aan Zee — now open until 8 September 2024

One of the most important private art collections in the Netherlands will be shown for the first time as a fully-formed museum exhibition. The huge show will give an impressive overview of the developments in contemporary sculpture in the twenty-first century, through 70 works and installations.

The exhibition will feature some of the biggest and most important artists of recent years, including global names such as Sarah Lucas, Donald Judd, Phyllida Barlow, Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Jenny Holzer, Steve McQueen, and Kara Walker. Together, the displayed artworks will demonstrate the diversity, originality and quality of sculpture produced since the turn of the century, and how Max Vorst’s collection represents that full spectrum.

Dior: A New Look at Kunstmuseum Den Haag — 21 September 2024 to 26 January 2025

This show is billed as a totally new examination of the French fashion house, and so fully distinct from the hugely successful Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition that has toured the world in recent years.

Here in the Hague, the focus is on the fashion house’s unique DNA. The common thread will be how Christian Dior’s successors have always respected the label’s ‘founding father’ including through the continued use of motifs such as flowers, strong women and the so-called ‘Dior Dream.’ A specific focus will be the dialogue between Christian Dior and Dior’s current creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. This will be the first time that her work is given such a central role in a Dior exhibition.

Three models pose in Dior couture while standing on architectural beams
Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior, Ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2017, Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017. Courtesy Dior. Photo: Petrovsky & Ramone for Kunstmuseum Den Haag (2018)

Other highlights will be a focus on costume jewellery, fashion drawings and iconic images by famous photographers. The exhibition will feature works from the collection of Kunstmuseum Den Haag, alongside loans from Dior Héritage and public and private collections in Europe and the United States.


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