The RembrandtLAB conducts innovative research into colour and colour usage, whereby Rembrandt’s use of colour in the 17th century is being translated into the 21st century by modern designers. Now on view in the Rembrandt Lokaal in Leiden, in June relocating to Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam.
The RembrandtLAB is an initiative by Museum De Lakenhal, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Leiden Marketing and Cultuurfonds, who jointly commissioned designers Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters to conduct this research.
The RembrandtLAB conducts innovative research into colour and colour usage, whereby Rembrandt’s use of colour in the 17th century is being translated into the 21st century by modern designers. An exhibition of the results of their research, which started in November 2015, has opened on 24 March in Leiden’s new Rembrandt Lokaal. After three months, the RembrandtLAB will relocate to Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam, and from there to the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.
The RembrandtLAB 2016 saw designers Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters meticulously research, dissect and reconstruct Rembrandt’s raw materials, colour composition and recipes, using alternative materials, techniques and surfaces at the Europees Keramisch Werk Centrum (European Ceramic Work Centre) over the course of four months.
With this research, they demonstrated how Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn’s use of colour and pigments, the raw materials he used, his recipes and colour perception can be made reproducible by analysing a few of his paintings. They also looked at the modern translations of this in other surfaces, materials and techniques, thus connecting the past with the present.
Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters
“Many colours have disappeared from the contemporary palette, and colours have been made stable and constant, so that they are the same in every production and every edition. As a result, today’s colours have become very flat, and we do not work with the material qualities of colours anymore (all colours consist of minerals, which have possibilities and limitations). The modern creative industry can learn much from Rembrandt’s legacy. For instance, how to make colours rich again.”
Maarten Kolk (1980) and Guus Kusters (1979) have been working together since 2009. They both graduated with honours from the Design Academy Eindhoven. They have developed projects autonomously, designed exhibitions, and act as curators.
The poetry they find in nature, history, colours and landscapes serves as the foundation of their work. They translate it into objects, uses of materials, exhibitions and innovative production methods.
The Rembrandt Lokaal
The launch of the RembrandtLAB exhibition will take place in a unique historic location: the Rembrandt Lokaal on Langebrug in Leiden. It was here that Rembrandt van Rijn and his fellow painter Jan Lievens received their first lessons in painting from their master Jacob van Swanenburgh, who lived and worked there, in 1619.
Last year, Centrummanagement Leiden discovered that the Rembrandt Lokaal would become vacant. In view of the unique possibilities this offered for telling Rembrandt’s story in this location and thus reinforcing the connection of value and significance between this painter and the city of Leiden, the decision was taken to rent the premises. The RembrandtLAB is a first wonderful chance to exhibit Rembrandt’s works and methods in the city where he grew up and learned his art.
Information & Contact
The RembrandtLAB will be exhibited in the Rembrandt Lokaal in Leiden until the end of May 2016. From 3 June 2016 on, it will be exhibited in Museum Het Rembrandthuis Amsterdam.
Langebrug 89, Leiden
25 March – 29 May
Wednesday – Sunday
10:00 – 17:00
Open LAB with explanation and demonstration
14:00 – 16:00
Open at Easter and Whitsun
The RembrandtLAB is an initiative of