Turkish Tulips

Museum van Loon 2017 | Curatd by Gavin Turk and House of Fairy Tales.

Participating artists: Fiona Banner, Sir Peter Blake, Rob and Nick Carter, Helen Chadwick, Gordon Cheung, Mat Collishaw, Micheal Craig –Martin, Adam Dant, Nancy Fouts, Anya Gallacio, Tom Gallant, Mustafa Hulusi, Damien Hirst, Georgie Hopton, Charles Jones, Liliane Lijn, Wim van der Linden/Wim T Schippers, Rory McEwen, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Sarah Staton, Gavin Turk, Philippa van Loon. Museum Van Loon invited the British artist Gavin Turk (b 1967) to curate the exhibition Turkish Tulips. Turk presents a transhistorical dialogue between contemporary art and the history of the Amsterdam Van Loon family.
The Van Loon family already traded with the Ottoman Empire (currently Turkey) in the sixteenth century. These early trade routes inspired Gavin Turk to examine the trading route of the tulip from Turkey to the Netherlands. Turkish Tulips explores current topics such as globalisation, human genetic engineering, the immigration and integration of migrants to the Netherlands. The classic flower symbolises the fragile, colourful and explorative trade routes. Gavin Turk will present a new, sight-specific work. The Liber Amicorum from 1597 is a masterpiece in the collection of Museum Van Loon. The ‘friendship book’ was owned by Hans van Loon and his wife Anna Ruychaver. Many of their friends, family and business relations have written their motto and heraldic coat of arms in the book. Inspired by this object, Gavin Turk has invited 17 befriended international artists to show work – with the tulip as main subject - alongside Turks’s new work. Works by artists including Sir Peter Blake, Fiona Banner, Damien Hirst and Philippa van Loon will be on show in the historic rooms of Museum Van Loon.

foto credit | Turkish Tulips in Museum van Loon 2017, with works by Philippa van Loon, Charles Jones and Rory McEwen.

Tulip Coffin

Made as an ode to the générations of family members who were born, lived and died in the house and who’s portraits decorate the many walls of the rooms. It is as well a reference to the fragillity of life and death and more symbollically of the museumand house itself, it’s safe-guarding being the maker’s main life task.

foto credit | Philippa van Loon, Tulip Coffin 1991-2017 | 35 x 21 x 16 cm | glass, dried tulips, silicone.

foto credit | Etching print of the Tulip Coffin | 2017 | 11 x 17 cm

Gilt and Wilted

Especially made for the exhibition is the uprooted wilted tulip, which has been dipped in a gold bath. This Dutch tradition of dipping a preciuos object in a gold or silver bath , for remembrance, is a metaphor for the opulent esteem with which the tulip has been held throughout history and its ephemeral nature as a collectible.

foto crédit | Philippa van Loon, Gilt and Wilted, 2017| 40 x 20 x8 cm | tulip dipped in gold bath.