9 Mar 2020
Dutch museums join forces for anniversary: Aad de Haas 100 years
On 30 December 2020, Aad de Haas, the striking, non-conformist Limburg artist with Rotterdam roots, would have turned 100 years old. To honour the artist, SCHUNCK Museum in Heerlen, Limburgs Museum in Venlo, and Chabot Museum in Rotterdam are organising a relay of exhibitions in this anniversary year.
Aad de Haas, Tooneel, 1943. Olieverf op paneel. 41 x 35 cm. Foto: SCHUNCK
The museums organise exhibitions and a diverse public programme to highlight Aad de Haas and his work from different perspectives. A content publication will also accompany the programme.
Youth group Driver's Seat of SCHUNCK kicks off by curating its own exhibition from the SCHUNCK collection. From May, the Limburgs Museum presents a unique exhibition on Aad de Haas: Verboden Kunst. The major themes of the work in this exhibition are sex and religion. His art was religious, but power and eroticism - and especially the combination of the two - began to play an increasingly important role.
In September, SCHUNCK, custodian of the largest public Aad de Haas collection, presents the retrospective Tegendraads. The exhibition shows the pearls from his extensive oeuvre and takes visitors through the multifaceted themes in De Haas's work, which are as sensual and committed as ever today. An intimate look into the idiosyncratic head and inspired heart of Aad.
In co-production with L1, the premiere of the film 'Brieven aan de Hemel' (or: 'Letters to Heaven') by Zorba Huisman, granddaughter of Aad de Haas, will take place at the museum.
During the lockdown, SCHUNCK Museum continues online. There will be an online tour of the museum and a film to watch, online audio clips to listen to and an online lecture.
De dood en het meisje, 1955. Inkt op papier, monotype. 46 cm x 33 cm. Foto: Foto Studio 10 bv, Heerlen
The Chabot Museum in Rotterdam will take over in spring 2021 with an exhibition on De Haas' early years in his hometown. Museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo - currently awaiting the renovation of their new location - will also join in with content with on-site programming.
Throughout the Aad de Haas 100 years anniversary, public activities will be organised at various locations by the museums themselves and with various cooperation partners including the Sint Cunibertuskerk in Wahlwiller and Galerie Rob van Rijn in Maastricht.
De Haas' life and his extensive oeuvre are of great value; for Limburg as well as for the Netherlands. During World War II, his work was labelled 'entartet' by the Germans and he ended up in prison. In 1944, he managed to flee with his wife Nel to South Limburg, where he continued to live and work for the rest of his life as a moving and socially engaged artist. He is best known for his religiously inclined work. In the years after World War II, he played an entirely unique role in the Limburg art climate.
He resolutely rejected trend-sensitive developments and continued to work in a very particular and personal oeuvre in a figurative, expressionist tradition. With de Haas, this wilfulness was not a stylistic issue. He is characterised by an absolute fusion of his life and work and by relentless production: he could not help but make 'beautiful things' entirely for his 'own amusement'. De Haas was always a tad contrary in his work attitude and life; activism and autonomy went hand in hand with him. Work by the artist can be found in various museum collections and private collections all over the Netherlands.
Portret Aad in atelier. Foto Collectie erven De Haas