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Colour research

For the restoration of Van Doesburg’s archive, Het Nieuwe Instituut has worked closely with other institutions including the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE). Het Nieuwe Instituut and the RCE worked together earlier on the restoration of Café Aubette in 2004-06. At that time, research was conducted into the colours used in the building itself. The RCE has recently investigated the exact use of colour in the design drawings. The four drawings to be lent to the Barbican Art Gallery were conserved as part of this research.

Colour specialist Mariël Polman (RCE and Polman Kleur & Architectuur) has carefully studied the colours in Van Doesburg’s design drawings and has translated them into modern paints by Sikkens and linoleum by Forbo. This is important because the exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery will contain a life-size reconstruction of part of Café Aubette.

The research into the pigments and binding agents used in the drawings was carried out by Luc Megens and Rika Pause (RCE). The results have been used for the conservation of the drawings in the Van Doesburg archive and also to gain information about the actual interior in Strasbourg.

Into the Night

The exhibition Into the Night explores the social and artistic role of nightclubs, cabarets and cafés from 1880 to the 1960s. These venues were breeding grounds for radical movements, where artists exchanged provocative ideas and introduced new forms of expression. Into the Night charts an alternative history of modern art, emphasising experimentation and highlighting the partnerships between artists, writers and musicians.

The exhibition is at the Barbican Art Gallery in London from 4 October 2019 to 19 January 2020 and at the Belvedere in Vienna from 14 February to 1 June 2020.