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Here we are again, ready or not, at the start of another year. This is what January has in store.

Follow Max Beckmann to Amsterdam
The Kunstmuseum in The Hague packs a punch with a comprehensive exhibition of the works of German expressionist artist Max Beckmann, who fled his country during the rise of Nazism and, prevented from travelling to the United States, had to settle in Amsterdam for the duration.

Beckmann, who had documented the maimed and beggared soldiers returning from the Great War, worked steadily and developed his typical heavily contoured style at his Rokin studio. Universum Max Beckmann is on from January 27. Website

Combine art and anthropology
The Eye film museum presents a retrospective of the works of anthropologists and filmmakers Veréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, including their seminal Leviathan (2012), which explores the relationship between man and sea but from the viewpoint of the creatures in the environment affected by it. Cosmic Realism is on from January 20. Website

Get fired up in Harlingen
An exhibition to warm the cockles of your heart at the Hannema Huis in Harlingen. Hete Vuren (literally hot fires but also dire situations) is about fire and its depiction in art from the 17th to the 19th century.

From Van Herpen to Corbijn: 11 great things to do in January
Girl with an oil lamp by Gerard Dou

There is Jan van Speijk who famously and perhaps apocryphally cried out “Dan liever de lucht in” (“I’d rather be blown skyhigh”) as he set fire to the powder keg to blow up his ship to keep it out of enemy hands. But there’s also the fire of the smithy and the domestic hearth, by such painters as Jan Steen, Gabriël Metsu, Gerard Dou, Philips Wouwerman, Jacob Maris and Martinus Schouman.

You will need to hotfoot it to Harlingen as Hete Vuren is only on until January 7.  Website

Get the inside story on Biden
So is Joe Biden going to totter to a new term at the White House? What were the events that marked his stay in power so far and how is the Israeli-Gaza conflict going to affect his chances? The Atlantic staff writer and author of Biden biography The Last Politician Franklin Foer will be talking about this and more as a guest of the John Adams Institute on January 31. Website

Meet the women artists of Saudi Arabia
Fonana (“female artist” in Arabic) at Foam in Amsterdam shows the work of eight artists from Saudi Arabia, in a sometimes humorous take on the restrictions imposed on women in that country.

A still from The Salad Zone by Sarah Abu Abdallah. Greenbox Museum

There’s a video called Salad zone, showing women thrashing a tv and endlessly stirring a pot to illustrate the crushing boredom of a life lived between four walls, but also a series of photographs of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, seen, for the first time, through the eyes of a woman. Until February 14. Website

Sense a Rembrandt in Leiden
The Lakenhal in Leiden is blowing out 150 candles this year and is celebrating with an exhibition featuring its most famous son Rembrandt van Rijn. For the first time, The Four Senses, his earliest known work which was painted when he was around 18, have been brought together in the artist’s native city.

They are made up of the Specs Salesman (sight), which is in the Lakenhal collection, and the Stone Operation (touch), the Three Singers (hearing) and the Fainted Patient (smell) from The Leiden Collection in New York. The exhibition is on for 150 days from January 20. Website

See Iris in Paris
Let’s make an exception to the rule and cast our net a bit wider to include the Paris exhibition of Dutch artist and fashion designer Iris van Herpen who is doing wildly imaginative things around the constant of the human body.

Queen Máxima at the museum opening, wearing Iris van Herpen, with Van Herpen standing behind her. Photo: ANP / POOL / Remko de Waal

Queen Máxima, the proud owner of several outfits by Van Herpen, opened Sculpting the Senses, a collection of haute couture dresses which draw their inspiration from art and nature and are flawlessly executed through a range of new technologies. Until April 28 Website

Get some crazy customer service
As if customer service is not enough of a nightmare, Finnish clowns Inga and Kristina are certainly fulfilling its madness-inducing potential. The two receptionists are fast-talking smooth moving professionals in the hospitality industry. They speak multiple languages, none of which you can understand as everything turns completely bonkers. They also do convincing smiling and acrobatics. At the English Theatre in The Hague on January 27 and 28. Website

Catch Corbijn at the Cobra
MoøDe is the title of a series of 200 fashion related photographs by photographer and film maker Anton Corbijn at the insolvent but ultimately saved Cobra Museum in Amstelveen. Made over a period of over 40 years, Corbijn’s photographs feature entertainment greats such as Kate Moss, Tom Waits, Alexander McQueen and Naomi Campbell, and their outfits. Until may 12. Website

Virgil Abloh, Chicago 2019. Photo: Anton Corbijn

Go on a designer date
Designers are having designs on your love life, the exhibition at the Design Museum in Den Bosch tells us. The ideal man? Made for the cover of a Mills & Boon novel, it scoffs. Tinder has been designed to be addictive, not to find the one and only. How objects have been made to seduce us is the subject of Designed Love, which included films, lectures and.. speed dating. Until February 18. Website

Early warning Frans Hals
It’s another blockbuster at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and tickets are already getting scarce for Frans Hals – ahead of his time so you’ll need a bit of foresight of your own.

The museum squirrelled together 50 works from collections in the Netherlands and abroad, including the Laughing Cavalier from the Wallace Collection in London which never budges but has been prised out of jealous hands for the occasion.

Malle Babbe made the trip from Berlin and Family in a Landscape travelled from Madrid to find themselves with the Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard which is on its first outing ever from its home in Haarlem.  From February 16. Website



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