Entitled Common Ground, the official opening ceremony was performed by the Dutch Miniter of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven.
Featuring work by several celebrated artists, the exhibition was devised by Tom Postma Design. It focuses on where people meet and communicate and how these places are represented and interpreted in art.
The event was hosted by Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel and new chairman of the AkzoNobel Art Foundation. "We're not just passionate about paint at AkzoNobel, we're also passionate about art, so I'm proud to be involved in opening this new exhibition," he said. "Art has a powerful ability to create common ground and the AkzoNobel Art Space is playing an important role in connecting the company's creative and corporate reality to everyday society. The design of this new exhibition is also exciting, as it encourages visitors and employees to mingle and find their own common ground."
Hester Alberdingk Thijm, Director of the AkzoNobel Art Foundation, commented: "People don't always appreciate the fact that the places where we meet actually have an influence on our communal lives. And it goes deeper than that, because in addition to these physical meeting places, we also share an intellectual and spiritual level of interaction. Our new exhibition tries to capture this and illustrate all of these ideas and ideals."
The multidisciplinary exhibition contains artworks by both young talent and internationally renowned artists, such as Jennifer Tee, Charles Avery, Damien Hirst, Otobong Nkanga, Sam Salehi Samiee, Maria Roosen, Hester Oerlemans, Guido van der Werve, Isaac Julien, Michael Wolf and Xiaoxiao Xu.
Several exclusive pieces have been created, including a mural by Gijs Frieling which expresses modern humanity's desire to reconnect with nature. Frank Havermans has also made a site-specific installation as a proposal for urban change in a world where everything is about efficiency, speed and standardization.
The exhibition was staged at the AkzoNobel Center in the Zuidas area of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The publicly accessible space opened its doors in 2016 as part of the new AkzoNobel Center in Amsterdam. It is a meeting place for colleagues, customers and art lovers, local residents, visitors from other parts of the Netherlands and all over the world. The innovative form of presentation is unique compared with many current collections. Most corporate collections are seen primarily in a closed working environment, while private collections can only be viewed by invitation. The AkzoNobel Art Space represents a new exhibition approach which has proved to be highly successful, with more than 100,000 visitors having been welcomed since it opened its doors.
AkzoNobel has been collecting and displaying art since 1996. The collection is generally considered to be one of the leading corporate art collections in Europe and currently consists of around 1,800 works of modern art. The Art Foundation seeks out primarily new, and sometimes still unknown, talent in the art world.
The AkzoNobel Art Space is open to the public Monday to Friday, from 10am to 5pm, and on request. The address is AkzoNobel Center, Christian Neefestraat 2, 1077 WW Amsterdam. You can also visit artfoundation.akzonobel.com or follow the Art Foundation via Instagram.