November 12, 2014

As mentioned in my previous two posts about the Renaissance and Cubism art movements, I am passionate about art. I love looking back through history, getting a glimpse into the daily life and mood of the time the works were painted, which I find extraordinary. There's nothing I enjoy more than spending a quiet afternoon strolling through a gallery, admiring the masterpieces hanging on the wall.

I also love the freedom of expression that art affords, allowing you a little insight into the mind of an artist. This, I think, is particularly true of some of the emerging contemporary artists, who are free to push boundaries and challenge social norms, like no other generation before them. There is so much amazing work being produced today, it's hard to know where to start, so let me take you on a short tour of some of my favourite contemporary art museums around Europe.

Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art

The Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art is beautiful both outside and in. Architecturally speaking, the building was restructured and extended in 1983 by architect Roland Simounet, and has already gained landmark status. The external walls feature a cut out design, which in my opinion resembles the scattered pattern of light beaming through trees, which lends beautifully to its green surroundings.

Inside, the rooms have been cleverly thought out to create a natural flow from one to the next, creating the perfect space to display the collection of 20th and 21st century works. There is always an interesting exhibition on display, and newly opened is 'L'Autre de L'Art', which is on until 11th January 2015, combining art, literature, anthropology, film and music, in a search for the origin of art itself.

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The beautiful contemporary art work even extends to the grounds at the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam was founded in 1847, and has always housed a diverse collection of art, but it was only in the early 1920s that it found its current vocation as a home for the best in modern and contemporary art, and design. From here, it began to gain a reputation amongst the global art community for being forward thinking, becoming the respected contemporary art institution it is today.

No matter when you visit, you'll find yourself absolutely spoiled for choice with the sheer number and variety of exhibitions on display. Currently showing until 18th January 2015, there's 'On the Move', which is about storytelling through the mediums of contemporary photography and graphic design, amongst others. For next year, look out for 'The Oasis of Matisse' running from 28th March until 16th August, 2015, which is the first time Matisse's work will have been on display in the Netherlands for over 60 years!

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

Established only in 2000, the Kunstmuseum in Vaduz has quickly made a name for itself as the official state museum of modern and contemporary art in Liechtenstein. As well as specialising in modern and contemporary art, the Kunstmuseum also houses collections of older masterpieces on loan from the Prince of Liechtenstein, so there is always plenty of variety on show. The curators like to continue and develop this juxtaposition of periods and styles throughout the museum, displaying old and new, familiar and unfamiliar, and local and international works side by side, to create complex and challenging situations that allow you to see the works in a new light. In this vein, currently on show is the 'Under the Magnifying Glass' exhibition of minimal, post-minimal and pop art styles, until 25th January.

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Visit the real-life greengrocers Au Marche de la Butte

Discover Modern Art with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, exploring Europe's contemporary art scene couldn't be easier. It takes just 35 minutes to cross the Channel from the UK to France, where you can drive straight out of our Calais terminal and hit the road. You can be in Lille in as little as an hour and 10 minutes, Amsterdam in three and a half hours, and Liechtenstein in just under nine hours, so why not make a weekend of it!

Photo Credits:
Modern Art! © Nic Parkes
Stedelijk Museum - Kleurtjes van Sol LeWitt © Hans Splinter
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein © János Korom Dr.

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