Kunsthall Trondheim opens exhibition of works by Marjetica Potrč – 06.04.2017-21.05.2017 – 10535

Marjetica Potrč, The Sami, Along with Their Ashaninka Friends, Contemplate Coexistence with the Earth (2016), ink on paper, 76.0 x 56.0 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin/Stockholm.

In the first ever issue of e-flux magazine (2008) Marjetica Potrč wrote a text on her 2006 experiences from the Acre region and The Croa River community – approximately four hundred families spread out across eighty thousand hectares of Amazonian forest. The community is built on ”self-organization, sustainable growth, and local knowledge”. Potrč argues that the standpoints of these small-scale structures could leave important contributions to discussions on contemporary societal issues in completely different contexts.

The exhibition On Coexistence builds on the research and projects Marjetica Potrč has carried out, in Acre and in many different parts of the world, but always with a focus on community, sustainability and building new knowledge on traditional grounds. As an artist and architect, she has often engaged in collaborations and participatory design projects. Energy and water infrastructures have often been at the core of her practise, as in the famous Caracas Case Project, Dry Toilet (2003): an eco-friendly, waterless toilet for the La Vega barrio. In 2015, the public art project Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club (together with Ooze) gave Londoners the possibility to swim in a big pond, free of chemicals since the water was kept clean by plants. She states that the projects aim to emphasize: “the importance of soil and water, two natural resources we vitally depend on but often take for granted […] while giving visitors a first-hand experience of humanity’s relationships and responsibilities toward nature.”

Today, nine years after the e-flux text, Marjetica Potrč´s views on local knowledge are shared with a growing number of people. Climate changes are an everyday experience and discussions about “humanity’s relationships and responsibilities toward nature” are gaining momentum. It seems we have to find ways to identify with that which conditions our existence on this planet, to see the human in a broader context – not as a sovereign but as a small part entangled in and depending on a complex weave. The sharp border between the human, the animal, the nature, seems to be transgressed. Marjetica Potrč´s oeuvre offers many entrances to this current discussion. In On Coexistence the focus lies on indigenous knowledge. To coexisting with nature is for the indigenous peoples nothing new – it´s the foundation of their cultures. The large wall drawings can be read as narratives or thought maps, visual conclusions from Marjetica Potrč extensive research. Continue reading “Kunsthall Trondheim opens exhibition of works by Marjetica Potrč – 06.04.2017-21.05.2017 – 10535”

Exhibition explores archaeological finds from shipwrecks off the coast of Sicily – Copenhagen – 06.04.2017-20.08.2017 – 10534

Bronze ram from a warship, 8th cent. BC. Discovered off the west coast of Sicily, 2010.

The spring special exhibition at the Glyptotek plunges deep beneath the surface and explores archaeological finds from shipwrecks off the coast of Sicily. The exhibition will be presenting a wide selection of treasures from shipwrecks, ranging across exclusive bronze wares, vases and weapons reflecting the many facets of Antiquity. With a time frame of almost 3000 years the exhibition also sheds light on the significance of the Mediterranean for trade, cultural encounters and perilous journeys and demonstrates that the ancient world was also globalised.

Trade, Perils and Mythology
By virtue of its geographical position alone, Sicily has always been a natural trading nexus for merchants from near and far. So such races as the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans have exchanged goods, knowledge and cultural customs and have contributed to the island’s reputation as an exotic marketplace. This diversity has also led to the playing out of cultural strife on Sicily. This often resulted in naval battles and the exhibition also displays the legacy of this in the form of, for instance, war helmets and ships beaks for the ramming of enemy vessels. Today, shipwrecks form a wreath around the island like a unique pearl necklace – from warships sunk in historical sea battles to merchant vessels which foundered under the assault of wind and weather.

At the same time Sicily and the surrounding sea have always been an area where reality and mythology meet. One example of this is the way the island constituted a setting for the tale of how the narrow, dangerous Straits of Messina were the domain of the sea-monsters Scylla and Charybdis. The sea was clothed in mystery, and the exhibition illustrates the ancient world’s notions of sea-monsters, sirens and sea gods.

The Globalised Past
”War and Storm. Treasures from the Sea Around Sicily” shows how the sea shaped Antiquity’s world picture, while, at the same time demonstrating that global links and cultural encounters are anything but a purely modern phenomenon.

On the contrary: the sea formed the basis for a large part of the modern world, and mariners and merchants of Antiquity can be seen today as the forerunners of the European economic community.

The luxury items shown in the exhibition were transported round the world by water. For example: in this exhibition you can experience a life-sized elephant’s foot in bronze, which in all probability was part of a complete elephant. Even though the rest of the enormous figure is thought to lie at the bottom of the sea, the find is a reflection of the extraordinarily active and diverse world of ancient trade.

Website : Glyptotek
Source : Artdaily

Camden Arts Centre opens first major retrospective of 91-year-old Romanian artist Geta Brătescu in London – 07.04.2017-18.06.2017 – 10533

Le Theatre des Formes, 2011. Collage on paper, 6 parts. Courtesy of the artist, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin. Photo: Stefan Sava.

Camden Arts Centre presents the first solo exhibition of Romanian artist Geta Brătescu in London. Her vivid practice has comprised performance, textile work, paper collage, printmaking, film and installation. The Studio: A Tireless, Ongoing Space provides a rare opportunity to discover the breadth of the artist’s oeuvre through her long-standing yet not widely known practice.

Living and working for most of her life in Bucharest under Ceaușescu’s repressive communist regime, Brătescu embraced the studio as an autonomous space, free from economic or political influences. Her exhibition at Camden Arts Centre will focus on this lifelong approach to the studio as a performative, contemplative and critical space to reflect on one’s own position in the world.

Throughout her career she has looked at this space as a place to redefine the self, raising questions of identity, dematerialisation, ethics and femininity. Fascinated by literature, stories from Aesop and Kafka and prominent figures such as Medea, Dido or Faust reappear in her work, forming a repertoire of philosophical enquiry.

Much of Brătescu’s practice dissipates boundaries between art and life. Incorporating everyday items such as cigarette papers, teabags and the wooden stirrers from her daily coffee, works accrue time throughout their production, taking on a diaristic nature. This reflection on the everyday takes on a particular autobiographical intimacy in seminal pieces such as Vestiges (Vestigii), 1978, where fabric scraps inherited from her mother over the years are carefully configured on the page. Other works employ methods associated with revealing hidden emotions and internal conflicts, such as automatic drawing, ink-blot pictures and regularly drawing with her eyes closed, where Brătescu taps into an inner consciousness to bring gesture and association to the fore. Continue reading “Camden Arts Centre opens first major retrospective of 91-year-old Romanian artist Geta Brătescu in London – 07.04.2017-18.06.2017 – 10533”

Exhibition shows, for the first time, a forgotten member of De Stijl that returned to Realism – Amsterdam – 08.04.2017-17.09.2017 – 10532

Chris Beekman, Halte stoomtram, 1918, coll. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

The Stedelijk Museum presents the forgotten De Stijl artist Chris Beekman (The Hague 1887-Blaricum 1964). As an anarchist, he was one of the most politically active artists affiliated with the movement. Beekman became involved in the De Stijl in 1917, and broke away from the group in 1919, although continued to paint abstract work until 1922. This exhibition is the first to spotlight Beekman’s oeuvre, with a selection of around 80 pieces from the collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum Kröller Müller and the Amsterdam Museum. As well as his work created directly before, during and after the De Stijl period, the exhibit also sheds light on the immediate context within which Beekman operated, and his links with artists such as Bart van der Leck, whom he befriended in Laren. Also on view is work by Piet Mondrian, Jacob Bendien, Ferdinand Erfmann and Johan van Hell, and early, surprisingly abstract paintings by the young Carel Willink.

The Stijl Defector
After playing an active role within De Stijl for some time, he fell out with De Stijl figurehead Theo van Doesburg in 1919. Their disagreement follows a political gesture: an artists’ petition submitted to the Dutch government pleading to reinstate communications with fellow Russian artists. Van Doesburg accuses Beekman of attempting to politicise De Stijl, which leads to a parting of the ways. Initially, Beekman continues to create abstract works but ultimately concludes that abstraction is a dead end: the revolution is better served by figurative art with a clearly articulated political message. As a politically-committed painter, Beekman’s change of direction reflects the neo-realistic art of his day. It did, however, place him at the margin of De Stijl. Opinions of Beekman’s work have always been shaped by his political convictions: his radical left-wing sympathisers always considered his abstract work a youthful formalist indiscretion, while art historians felt it lacked the required rigour.
Continue reading “Exhibition shows, for the first time, a forgotten member of De Stijl that returned to Realism – Amsterdam – 08.04.2017-17.09.2017 – 10532”

Exhibition brings together John Constable’s work during his little-discussed period in Brighton – 08.01.2017-08.10.2017 – 10531

Exhibition brings together John Constable’s work during his little-discussed period in Brighton

A new exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery explores John Constable’s time in the fashionable seaside resort, where he stayed with his family between 1824 and 1828.

Constable’s wife Maria suffered from Tuberculosis, and on medical advice the couple and their children took lodgings in Brighton for extended periods. Despite this, after four years, Maria sadly died at the age of 41.

Working between Brighton and London, Constable produced around 150 works in the town. Some were commissions, created in his ‘painting room’ and usually destined for the French market, but his long, systematic walks in and around Brighton also prompted many other works.

Constable in Brighton brings together over 60 of the artist’s sketches, drawings and paintings from his time in Brighton for the first time, in the place where they were created. Focusing on his family life and walks, it explores the impact and influence of the work he made here; as well as the working practices he developed and the locations and people who inspired him.

Uniquely, the display follows Constable’s own walking and painting sequences, illustrating the series of paintings he produced as he explored the Brighton landscape. Highlights will include:
Continue reading “Exhibition brings together John Constable’s work during his little-discussed period in Brighton – 08.01.2017-08.10.2017 – 10531”

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao examines the thirty-year career of Pello Irazu – 10.03.2017-25.06.2017 – 10530

Pello Irazu, Dream Box (Caraqueño), 1993. Plywood and vinyl paint, 62 x 86.5 x 68.5 cm. Collection of the artist. Installation view at the John Weber Gallery, New York, 1993 © VEGAP, Bilbao, 2017.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is presenting Pello Irazu: Panorama , which examines the thirty-year track record of one of the foremost renovators of contemporary Basque and Spanish sculpture. As the title suggests, more than the backward glance which any retrospective entails, this show is a multi-directional vision where time wrinkles and folds in space, offering a kind of panoramic landscape.

The exhibition, featuring over one hundred works, hinges on a conceptual and physical device invented by the artist himself that incorporates some of the most significant milestones and masterpieces of his career. The aim is to create a kind of simultaneous perspective where past and future are reunited and refreshed in a continuous present. In the Museum, the walls of Gallery 105 help create an enveloping atmosphere that draws viewers to experience the work, making them part of it and inviting them to reflect on the language of sculpture.

A key figure on the contemporary art scene, Pello Irazu has forged a consistent body of work since the 1980s, alternating between broad-spectrum sculpture—from small-format three-dimensional creations to massive installations and hybrid objects—and photographs, drawings and mural paintings. In every medium he uses, Irazu’s oeuvre exhaustively explores the problems that arise in the multiple relations between our bodies, objects, images, and spaces. Continue reading “The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao examines the thirty-year career of Pello Irazu – 10.03.2017-25.06.2017 – 10530”

Large-scale installation by Anselm Kiefer on view at Copenhagen Contemporary – 02.04.2017-06.08.2017 – 10529

Anselm Kiefer. For Louis – Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit. Installation shot, Copenhagen Contemporary. Photo: Anders Sune Berg.

For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit, a large-scale installation by Anselm Kiefer, one of the most important living artists, is on view at Copenhagen Contemporary until 6 August 2017.

Anselm Kiefer’s paintings and sculptures are filled with references to the past. In the almost fifty years since he began working as an artist in postwar Germany, he has found inspiration in historical events, literature, poetry, alchemy, astronomy, chemistry, and religion. This installation includes four paintings and four lead sculptures of airplanes. These works, monumental in size, have never been exhibited before.

Kiefer has been making lead airplane sculptures since the late 1980s. The pieces in this exhibition, with their battered, war-weary aura, dominate a 1500-square-meter space. The allegorically significant airplanes are juxtaposed and converse with a series of paintings that measure up to 6.6 meters in height and 11.4 meters in width. The paintings contain references to photographs the artist took during his travels in the Gobi Desert in 1993 and also to a scene in the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann’s Book of Franza (1955), in which the title character unsuccessfully seeks solace in the barrenness of the desert.

The multiplicity of references and the diversity of materials can be—although not necessarily should be—interpreted as alluding to the philosophy of Emanationism, which holds that all things flow from and return to one infinite entity.

Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945 and has lived and worked in France since 1993. After studying law, and Romance languages and literature, Kiefer devoted himself entirely to painting. He attended the School of Fine Arts at Freiburg im Breisgau, then the Art Academy in Karlsruhe He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at MoMA, New York (1988); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1991); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1998); Fort Worth Museum of Art, Texas (2005); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); Mass MoCA, Massachusetts (2007); Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2007); Grand Palais, Paris (2007); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2010); the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2011); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2011); The Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014); the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (2015). In 2007 Kiefer became the first artist to be commissioned to install a permanent work at the Louvre, Paris since Georges Braque some 50 years earlier. In 2009 he created an opera, Am Anfang, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Opéra National de Paris.

Website : Copenhagen Contemporary
Source : Artdaily

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza major Rafael Moneo retrospective – Madrid – 04.04.2017-11.06.2017 – 10528

After its showing at various international venues, from 4 April to 11 June this year the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting Rafael Moneo. Theory through practice. Archive materials (1961-2016), the first major retrospective on this Spanish architect. Curated by Francisco González de Canales, professor at the Universidad de Sevilla and at the AA in London, the exhibition, co-produced by the Fundación Barrié, Estudio Rafael Moneo and the Museo Thyssen, brings together a selection of 121 drawings, 19 architectural models and 152 photographs associated with a total of 52 celebrated projects by Rafael Moneo. In addition, to coincide with the Museo Thyssen’s 25th Anniversary, the exhibition is accompanied by another smaller one curated by the architect José Manuel Barbeito on the history of the Palacio Villahermosa from the mid-18th century to its remodelling in 1992 to house the Museum.

Rafael Moneo. Theory through practice. Archive materials (1961-2016) narrates the professional career of an architect who has sought to define an approach to architectural projects founded on a stable disciplinary base during a period of changing conditions, adopting the difficult position of defending architecture as culture and as a specific form of knowledge. This narrative not only offers visitors a presentation of Moneo’s own work but also reflects on an important part of the history of recent architecture through his gaze. Ranging from organic and structuralist tendencies (1950-1960) to Italian discourses on the city (1960-1970), the theoretical focus of East Coast American architects (1970-1980) and the creation of the global star system in the 1990s, the exhibition’s six biographical sections show how Moneo has resisted, reflected on and assimilated these different approaches of his time to construct his own cultural reflection.

The exhibition presents a series of important projects that span Rafael Moneo’s entire career and focus on issues such as what an architect’s work can offer the society of his/her day and what type of knowledge is involved. The selection of materials places particular emphasis on the importance of drawing as a tool to develop his work and a means to define his thinking. The drawings on display are accompanied by architectural models and photographs that help to illustrate the chosen works. Continue reading “Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza major Rafael Moneo retrospective – Madrid – 04.04.2017-11.06.2017 – 10528”

Exhibition at the Albertina celebrates Eduard Angeli’s 75th birthday – Vienna – 05.04.2017-25.06.2017 – 10527

Eduard Angeli, Church, 2005. Albertina, Vienna.

In honour of Eduard Angeli’s 75th birthday, the Albertina is presenting a retrospective of his oeuvre with paintings and drawings ranging from his beginnings as an artist in the 1960s to the present.

For over 50 years, Eduard Angeli has consistently worked on one single theme: the myth of silent space. Melancholy is the fundamental mood that characterises his vividly coloured and light-drenched pastels of the 1970s and ’80s as well as the dark and gloomy paintings that he has produced since the late 1990s, working primarily in Venice. Angeli is all about a world of stillness—and in the Austrian’s oeuvre, loneliness and emptiness are just as threatening as they are utopian in light of a present full of destruction and noise.

There are three phases that can be made out in Eduard Angelis oeuvre: in his paintings from the 1970s, the Austrian artist deals with political themes; colonialism as well as militarism in Turkey are central to his early works. Soon, however, the few human figures depicted in those works gave way to the loneliness of empty space: Angeli’s formats grew larger, and his overall output saw pastel technique come to the fore. These pastels were created neither spontaneously nor as sketches, and they also do not conform to the small formats once worked in by the impressionists as they pioneered this technique. Instead, the artist set about creating gigantic autonomous works on paper that opened up a new chapter in the history of pastel drawings. Continue reading “Exhibition at the Albertina celebrates Eduard Angeli’s 75th birthday – Vienna – 05.04.2017-25.06.2017 – 10527”

Estorick Collection hosts a major exhibition by Giacomo Balla – London – 05.04.2017-25.06.2017 – 10526

Giacomo Balla, Design for a Fan, 1918. Watercolour and varnish on paper, 39.5 x 51 cm. Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation.

This spring, London’s Estorick Collection hosts a major exhibition by Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) one of the undisputed masters of modern Italian art. Balla was one of the five signatories of Futurism’s initial painting manifestos of 1910 and a pioneering figure of European Modernism. Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future runs at the Estorick Collection from 5 April until 25 June 2017.

The exhibition comprises 116 works loaned by the Biagiotti Cigna Collection – one of the largest collections of Balla’s works in the world. Assembled by the renowned Italian fashion designer Laura Biagiotti and her husband Gianni Cigna, the full collection of over 300 works represents the artist’s entire oeuvre. It encompasses figurative painting and drawing, as well as abstraction and applied art and many of Balla’s fashion-related designs. Examples of all these styles will be included in the exhibition, alongside actual items of Futurist furniture and clothing.

This major show of striking and rarely-seen pieces has been curated by Fabio Benzi, a leading authority on the artist who has worked closely with the Fondazione Biagiotti Cigna for many years. Prof. Benzi has also collaborated with the Estorick Collection before, having curated the 2015 exhibition Fausto Pirandello 1899-1975.

Website : Estorick Collection
Source : Artdaily

Exhibition reconstructs the history of beautiful artist’s book – Barcelona – 31.03.2017-02.07.2017 – 10525

Miró Maquette, 1949. Cover. Fundació Joan Miró © Successió Miró, 2017. Photo Gasull.

The Fundació Joan Miró presents Éluard, Cramer, Miró ­– “À toute épreuve”, more than a book, an exhibition that reconstructs the history of this collector’s edition, considered to be one of the most beautiful and surprising artist’s books of the 20th century, and crucial to an understanding of Miró’s career.

Christopher Green, curator of the exhibition, has received collaborative support from the Conservation Department of the Fundació Joan Miró for this project, which aims to put the spotlight on how the artist managed to accomplish something he had aspired to for years: the creation of a book-object that went beyond simply illustrating the words of the poet to become something close to a sculpture.

Thanks to works and documents drawn mainly from the Foundation Archive, complemented by others from the Archive Gérald Cramer in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Genève and the Bibliothèque de Genève and pieces from various private collections, this exhibition gives visitors their very first opportunity to view À toute épreuve in its entirety beside five of the six maquettes that have been preserved. The exhibition also includes more than thirty wood blocks, carved by Miró, which were used to print the 80 woodcuts for the book. The project is rounded off by a wealth of documents which serve to recreate the process by which this book was conceived and produced, the fruit of a remarkable collaboration between the poet Paul Éluard, the artist Joan Miró and the publisher Gérald Cramer over the course of a decade (1948-1958).

The project is rounded off by a wealth of documents which serve to recreate the process by which this book was conceived and produced, the fruit of a remarkable collaboration between the poet Paul Éluard, the artist Joan Miró and the publisher Gérald Cramer over the course of a decade (1948-1958).

This new small show is part of the Miró Documents series, which began in 2014 with From Miró to Barcelona. With this cycle of exhibitions, publications and symposiums the Joan Miró International Research Group, supported by Cercle Miró, draws on the Fundació Joan Miró Archive to explore new approaches to the artist’s work.

Website : The Fundació Joan Miró
Source : Artdaily

Major new exhibition reveals the central place of religion in the Italian Renaissance home – Cambridge – 07.03.2017-04.06.2017 – 10524

The Fitzwilliam Museum opened a major new exhibition that reveals the central place of religion in the Italian Renaissance home from March 7 – 4 June 2017. ‘Madonnas and Miracles’ shows how religious beliefs and practices were embedded in every aspect of domestic life. Challenging the idea of the Renaissance as a time of increasing worldliness and secularization, the exhibition shows how the period’s intense engagement with material things went hand in hand with its devotional life. A glittering array of sculptures and paintings, jewellery, ceramics, printed images and illustrated books bear witness to the role of domestic objects in sustaining and inspiring faith.

The culmination of a four-year European-funded project, ‘Madonnas and Miracles’ presents the fruits of a ground-breaking interdisciplinary investigation carried out at the University of Cambridge by members of the Department of Italian, and the Faculties of History, Architecture and History of Art. Extensive research in neglected archives and collections across the peninsula has transformed our understanding of the daily lives of Renaissance Italians, and has uncovered hundreds of sources that allow curators to tell a new story about the role of the divine in everyday life.

Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the exhibition confounds the assumption that Catholicism was a religion dominated by priests and ecclesiastical institutions, whilst Protestant families in northern Europe were urged to serve God in their homes. When we peer through the keyhole into the Italian Renaissance home, we find a world in which religion was domesticated in innumerable ways, inflecting every hour of the day and every stage of the life cycle. The intimacy between human and divine was everywhere visible and palpable: in streets and houses, on walls and furnishings, and on a wealth of objects that could be held in the hand. The humblest artisans and the most exalted artists were engaged in producing artefacts that promoted domestic piety. Continue reading “Major new exhibition reveals the central place of religion in the Italian Renaissance home – Cambridge – 07.03.2017-04.06.2017 – 10524”

Exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum lets Chinese porcelain speak for itself – Den Haag – 25.03.2017-22.10.2017 – 10523

Fles met het karakter Shou (lang leven), Chinees porselein, 1522-1566.

Elegant brushstrokes with an instant appeal to the imagination: Chinese characters have something truly magical about them. Not only because of their intrinsic beauty –to Western eyes at least – but also because of their wonderful symbolism and the often extraordinary stories they can tell. From 25 March, the Gemeentemuseum lets Chinese porcelain speak for itself by unravelling the mysteries behind the characters inscribed on it. China Character is an exhibition replete with stories that will transport you to different parts of China. Stories of customs, beliefs, love, mythical figures and historical events.

Ever since the founding of the Dutch East India Company 400 years ago, people in the Netherlands have been entranced by the beauty of Chinese porcelain. Wealthy Dutch citizens of past centuries were obsessive collectors of the blue and white ceramics, but were often unaware that the pieces in their possession had as many stories to tell as their own ink-on-paper manuscripts. The decoration on them is far more than simply ornamental. So the big question is: what do the magical blue symbols actually mean? Continue reading “Exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum lets Chinese porcelain speak for itself – Den Haag – 25.03.2017-22.10.2017 – 10523”

Francisco de Goya’s “Los Caprichos” on show at the Art Museum Riga Bourse – Riga – 25.03.2017-16.07.2017 – 10522

The exhibition introduces us to one of the world’s most famous art masterpieces – brilliant Spanish artist

The exhibition “Francisco de Goya (1746–1828). Los Caprichos” is on show at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga (6 Dome Square) from 25 March to 16 July 2017.

The exhibition introduces us to one of the world’s most famous art masterpieces – brilliant Spanish artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) Los Caprichos series of graphics. The album, containing 80 pages of graphics, compiled and published by the artist himself in 1799, gained popularity in Spain and elsewhere soon after its publication, captured the quintessence of de Goya’s style, reflecting a new, freer, and much more expressive approach to reality’s portrayal. Los Caprichos reverberated in 19th century art and ended the dominance of Neo-Classicist academic style graphics.

There are many unsolved riddles hidden within the series. It has been assumed that the artist was influenced by various works of philosophy and art. However, de Goya himself, disregarding references to some to well-known poets, for example, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (1744–1811), or parallels with the plays of de Goya’s friend Leandro Fernández de Moratín (1760–1828), has categorically denied any kind of influence.

De Goya was already focussing on the everyday life of his time and in particular – the position of women in society, in the voluminous selection of drawings in his Madrid album (1796–1797). La Celestina – a traditional image in Spanish literature, who takes on particularly symbolic importance in de Goya’s art, appears there for the first time. Her image reminds us of the temporality of youth and beauty and the inescapable approach of decrepitude. Like La Celestina, the often-utilized image of the prostitute and the focus on the theme of magic, personifies the dark aspects of society. Continue reading “Francisco de Goya’s “Los Caprichos” on show at the Art Museum Riga Bourse – Riga – 25.03.2017-16.07.2017 – 10522″

Exhibition at Frans Hals Museum exhibits 17th century works from the Netherlands and China – Haarlem – 25.03.2017-20.08.2017 – 10520

Willem Claesz Heda, Still Life with Chinese Porcelain Plate, 1658, oil on canvas, 152 x 210 cm, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

Barbarians & Philosophers sheds light on the way China and the Netherlands formed images of one another in the seventeenth century. The Dutch were fascinated by the culture of the ‘Celestial Empire’; the Chinese were astonished by the Dutch ‘redheaded barbarians’. A selection of paintings, drawings, porcelain and models charts the cultural exchange. The exhibition in the Frans Hals Museum runs from 25 March to 20 August 2017.

In the seventeenth century, the Netherlands was a key player in a worldwide network of trade relationships. This was reflected in what was sold, made, shown and experienced in the Dutch Republic. The Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem invites you to take a comprehensive look at the Golden Age in Barbarians & Philosophers, which focuses on the first contacts between the Netherlands and China.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Netherlands was one of the few European countries to have contacts with the Chinese Empire – the Middle Kingdom. Nowadays many Europeans regard China with admiration and sometimes with surprise at the economic boom the country is undergoing. Products ‘Made in China’ are inescapable parts of our daily lives, but the image of the country is less clear. The Chinese language, traditions, philosophy and the age of Chinese civilization are not always easy to fit into the Western world view. This situation is like that in the seventeenth century, when Chinese products became an everyday part of Dutch households and lavishly illustrated books about China proved extraordinarily popular. At the same time, new knowledge often clashed with the old assumptions about the Middle Kingdom.
Continue reading “Exhibition at Frans Hals Museum exhibits 17th century works from the Netherlands and China – Haarlem – 25.03.2017-20.08.2017 – 10520”

Exhibition examines the diverse ways in which models are staged or stage themselves before the camera – Vienna – 10.03.2017-05.06.2017 -10519

Will McBride, Romy Schneider in Paris, 1964, printed 2001. Gelatin Silver Print. Albertina, Vienna © Will McBride Estate/Berlin

With circa 120 works from the Albertina’s Photographic Collection, the exhibition Acting for the Camera examines the diverse ways in which models are staged or stage themselves before the camera. The featured photographic works, created between the 1850s and the present, represent a cross-section of photographic history as well as the diversity of the Albertina’s own holdings. The present selection is divided between six thematic emphases: motion studies, models for artists, dance, picture stories, portraits of actresses and actors, and Viennese Actionist stagings of the body.

All of these photographs arose from diverse and multi-layered forms of collaboration between the model before and the photographer behind the camera lens. Some of the models are staged according to their photographers’ instructions, while other shots originated via a creative process in which model and photographer collaborated on an equal footing. And in some cases, the pictures were even taken according to highly specific instructions given by the model.

Beginnings
It was photographic studies done in the interest of scientific research that made it possible for the first time to visually analyse the processes of human locomotion in high detail. Anonymous models, such as in the photographs taken by Ottomar Anschütz beginning around 1890, made themselves available in order to render understandable processes such as spear-throwing. The individuals seen in such works act according to the exact instructions of the photographer. Series of this type were used to compare the motion patterns of “healthy” and “unhealthy” bodies as well as undergird medical theories with visual evidence.

While such motion studies occasionally doubled as working studies for artworks by other artists, there was also a category of works created specifically for this purpose such as Johann Victor Krämer’s staged studio photographs as well as Otto Schmidt’s nudes, and some of these were also sold “under the table” as pornography. Continue reading “Exhibition examines the diverse ways in which models are staged or stage themselves before the camera – Vienna – 10.03.2017-05.06.2017 -10519”

Museum Folkwang exhibits over 40 paintings and selected films by Maria Lassnig – Essen – 10.03.2017-21.05.2017 – 10518

Maria Lassnig, Self-Portrait with Stick, 1971. Oil paint and charcoal on canvas, 193 x 129 cm. Maria Lassnig Foundation © Maria Lassnig Foundation.

Maria Lassnig (1919–2014) ranks among the most important artists of her generation. She turned to her own body as both the starting point and subject for her paintings and drawings, in works which ask how does it feel to be in one’s own body, and how can this feeling be lent visual form? The Austrian artist, who only achieved widespread acclaim late in her career, grappled with these questions throughout her life. Visitors to the major Maria Lassnig retrospective at the Museum Folkwang have the chance to see the full range of her work in an exhibition featuring over 40 paintings and selected films.

Over the course of the many years in which she created artworks, Lassnig frequently changed style, though never her theme. She continued unceasingly to give visual form to her bodily sensations. “Here I painted a nose realistically but without a mouth to go with it, because I couldn’t feel my mouth,” as she once explained. The result was a unique and unfailingly compelling body of work, which today—in our age of digital “disembodiment”—seems more significant than ever.

The exhibition shows Lassnig’s work from all facets of her diverse oeuvre: from her early abstracts, inspired by Art Informel, via works that function as meditations on the gaze, through to the numerous self-portraits which serve as particularly vivid illustrations of her artistic approach. These include remarkable painted works depicting metamorphoses of the artist’s self: objects—a saucepan, for example—might serve as substitutes for certain parts of the body. Lassnig would also frequently depict patches or opaque glasses where the eyes should be, or indeed leave them out altogether. A recurrent theme of her paintings is the proliferation of bodies, which might be accompanied by animal doppelgängers, as in Two Ways of Being (Double Self-Portrait), or even fourfold replications, such as in the response to pain depicted in Hospital.

Video also forms an important part of Maria Lassnig’s work and similarly features in the exhibition. While in some respects her films continue to pursue themes explored in her paintings, they also display the sort of humour inherent in self-characterization, which in turn entails narrative elements that go well beyond what can be conveyed in painting.

Organized by Tate Liverpool

Website : Museum Folkwang
Source : Artdaily

National Portrait Gallery stages first exhibition of Howard Hodgkin’s portraits – London – 23.03.2017-18.06.2017 -10517

Going for a Walk with Andrew by Howard Hodgkin, 1995-1998; Walker Art Center. © Howard Hodgkin

The National Portrait Gallery is staging the first exhibition devoted to the portraits of the British painter Howard Hodgkin. The exhibition includes unseen and new works.

Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends is the first exhibition to focus on Hodgkin’s portraits. This important aspect of Hodgkin’s work has been largely overlooked because his work appears abstract. However, the exhibition shows the breadth and nature of Hodgkin’s long-standing engagement with portraiture. With over 55 works from collections around the world and dating from 1949 to the present, the exhibition shows the development of Hodgkin’s portraits, exploring his important contribution to our understanding of what constitutes a portrait and examining key themes within the artist’s work: colour, memory, emotion, process and imagination.

Hodgkin’s art can be seen as providing memorials for people, many of whom are friends, whose absence is countered by the corresponding physical presence of particular paintings. Descriptive elements visible in his earlier portraits from the 1950s are subsumed within paintings that have, over the course of more than fifty years, become more psychologically charged and apparently abstract, but no less connected with evoking specific individuals in particular situations. ‘I am a representational painter, but not a painter of appearances’, says Hodgkin, ‘I paint representational pictures of emotional situations.’ Continue reading “National Portrait Gallery stages first exhibition of Howard Hodgkin’s portraits – London – 23.03.2017-18.06.2017 -10517”

Grand Palais presents “Rodin: The Centennial Exhibition” – Paris – 22.03.2017-31.07.2017 – 10516

To mark the centenary of his death, the Musée Rodin and Réunion des musées nationaux Grand Palais have joined forces to celebrate Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). The exhibition reveals Rodin’s creative universe, his relationship with his audience and the way in which sculptors have appropriated his style. Featuring over 200 of Rodin’s works, it also includes sculptures and drawings by Bourdelle, Brancusi, Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Beuys, Baselitz and Gormley, shedding new light on this giant of sculpture.
Auguste Rodin, just like Monet and Picasso, was and remains a global phenomenon. He has fascinated the general public from generation to generation. Many artists have tried to equal his style, both through inspiration or in opposition. Rodin explored all facets of sculpture: from assemblage to partial figures and collage, practices inherited by Matisse and Picasso. His drawing technique pre-empted the major German expressionists, and his relationship with photography prefigured that of Brancusi and Moore. The exhibition presents his work and the changes to our visual appreciation that it engendered.

Rodin, the power of expression
From the 1880s onward, Rodin was celebrated for breathing life into sculpture: “Sculpture has moved from convention to expression”. The human body provided the vocabulary of passions from which Rodin’s own expressionism emerged. It’s also the period of the “black drawings” – little known and rarely seen – which inspired the world of the future Gates of Hell.

Collectors defended his cause. At this point, he himself knew how to use all of the means at his disposal to build his career – collectors, the press and exhibitions – at a time when the art market in Paris was booming. Younger sculptors such as Bourdelle, Lehmbruck, Gaudier-Brzeska and Brancusi all had their Rodin-inspired periods. Continue reading “Grand Palais presents “Rodin: The Centennial Exhibition” – Paris – 22.03.2017-31.07.2017 – 10516″

One of the finest collections of Chinese craftsmanship in the UK at Weston Park Museum – Sheffield – 11.03.2017-09.07.2017 – 10515

Seal paste box, 1700s. Photo © Museums Sheffield.

Discover a spellbinding world of myth and legend at Weston Park Museum this spring as some of the UK’s finest examples of Chinese craftsmanship have gone on show in a major new exhibition. Stories from the East: The Grice Ivories includes over 100 works from the city’s collection of historic Chinese ivories and explore the folk tales, figures and traditions that inspired them.

The Grice Collection of Chinese Ivories comprises over 150 antique carved pieces dating from the 16th century through to the early 1900s. The collection was originally amassed by Dr John Grice when working in China and was purchased for the City of Sheffield in the 1930s by local benefactor J G Graves, going on show at the Graves Gallery. Graves envisioned the ivories as an educational resource for the many ivory carvers who worked in Sheffield’s metalwork trades, hoping they would find inspiration in the remarkable craftsmanship on display.

Made mostly during the 1700s and 1800s, carved ivories were often created as decorative pieces for European collectors. Sheffield’s Grice Collection features some of the finest examples of the craft, from religious, historical and mythological figures to ornate calligraphy brush pots and decorative plaques, each demonstrating the immense skill of the artists who made them.

Sheffield’s collection is one of only two important and internationally renowned collections of historical Chinese ivories in the UK, and the only one in a public museum. Stories from the East represents the largest display of the Grice ivories in over 15 years and will explore the wealth of Chinese history, culture and the diverse spiritual beliefs reflected in the collection.

Visitors can discover many of the stories behind the works on display, from Daoist Immortals in their Heavenly Paradise to the heroic military deeds of General Yue Fei, as well as learning more about the history of the ivory trade in Sheffield and a look at the global effect of the ivory trade today. The exhibition also looks at contemporary makers working in other materials who continue to find inspiration in the Grice Collection.

Clare Starkie, Curator of Decorative Art said: “Thanks to the generosity of JG Graves, Sheffield is home to one of the UK’s finest historic collections of Chinese craftsmanship. This is the largest exhibition of the collection in almost two decades and we’re delighted to be able to share it with visitors to Weston Park Museum”.

Website : Weston Park Museum
Source : Artdaily

Exhibition dedicated to the years shared between Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova – Paris – 21.03.2017-03.09.2017 – 10514

Pablo Picasso, Mère et enfant au bord de la mer Printemps, 1921. Huile sur toile, 142,9 x 172,7 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, Restricted gift of Maymar Corporation, Mrs. Maurice L. Rothschild, and Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey McCormick; Mary and Leigh Block Fund; Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment; through prior gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin E. Hokin 1954.270. Photo (C) Art Institute of Chicago, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image The Art Institute of Chicago.

From 21 March to 3 September 2017, the Musée national Picasso-Paris presents the first exhibition dedicated to the years shared between Pablo Picasso and his first wife, Olga Khokhlova.

Through a rich selection of more than 350 works of art, paintings, drawings, unseen written and photographic archives, the exhibition attempts to understand the execution of Picasso’s major artworks between 1917 and 1935 by recreating his artistic production filtered through the social and political history of the interwar period.

Olga Khokhlova was born to a colonel in 1891, in Nizhyn, a Ukrainian town located within the Russian Empire. In 1912, she entered the prestigious and innovative Russian Ballet directed by Sergei Diaghi-lev. It was in Rome, spring 1917, where she met Pablo Picasso while he was producing, upon invitation of Jean Cocteau, the decorations and costumes of the ballet Parade (music by Erik Satie, theme by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Léonide Massine). They get married on July 12, 1918, in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral at the Rue Daru, with Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire as their witnesses.

As the perfect model during Picasso’s classical period, Olga was first portrayed by thin, elegant lines characterized by the influence of the French neoclassical painter Ingres. Synonymous with a certain return to figuration, Olga is often represented as melancholic, sitting, while reading or writing, no doubt an allusion to the correspondence she maintained with her family that was going through a tragic moment in history. In fact, at the same time, in contrast to the couple’s social ascent and the accruing artistic recognition of Picasso’s works, the Russian Empire, severely destroyed by the Great War, suffered a major economic and food crisis while losing more than two million soldiers on the war front. Olga’s family also suffered a tragedy, which was reflected in the letters she received: declining social status, the disappearance of her father, and finally, correspondence with her family was gradually interrupted. After the birth of their first child, Paul, on February 4, 1921, Olga became the inspiration for numerous maternity scenes, compositions bathed in innocent softness. The family scenes and portraits of the young boy show the serene happiness which flourishes notably in timeless shapes. These forms correspond to Picasso’s new attention to antiquity and the renaissance discovered in Italy, which was reactivated by the family’s summer holiday in Fontainebleau in 1921.

After the encounter in 1927 with Marie-Thérèse Walter, a 17-year-old woman who will become Picasso’s mistress, Olga’s figure metamorphoses. In Le Grand nu au fauteuil rouge (1929), Olga is nothing but pain and sorrow. Her form is flaccid with violent expression and translates the nature of the couple’s profound crisis. Even though the spouses separate for good in 1935, the year that incidentally marks a temporary cessation of the painter’s work, they will stay married until Olga’s death in 1955.

Room 1. The Olga period
Olga Khokhlova (1891-1955), the artist’s first wife, lived with Pablo Picasso from 1917 to 1935. The artist’s muse from their first encounter, she is the artist’s most represented female figure from the end of the 1910s and a major focus in his work in the early 1920s.

Mirroring their marital relations, which from 1924 (the year of the Surrealist Manifesto), became increasingly strained, the representation of Olga in Picasso’s work changed in the mid-1920s. Her presence became more remote, less apparent, but genuinely permeated the artist’s production up until 1935, the year of their separation, and even after that.

This exhibition, the first focussing exclusively on the figure of Olga, marks the centenary of the meeting of Picasso and Olga. In the light of a significant selection of personal archives, some of which have never before been exhibited, it reassesses the “Olga period” and the works from this period by contextualising their creation and highlighting the difference that sometimes exists between the model and her image in the work of Picasso.

Room 2. Melancholy
When Olga met Pablo Picasso in 1917, the country she had left a few years previously to join Serge de Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes dancers was in the throes of major historical events: the February Revolution which brought about the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, followed by the October Revolution and the overthrow of the recently formed provisional government, followed by several years of civil war. The young ballerina lost all contact with her family between October 1917 and 1920, but when correspondence was finally resumed, the news from her mother Lydia and her sister Nina was alarming. While her father and brothers joined the counter-revolutionary forces as colonel and officers, the installation of the new Soviet society suddenly plunged her family into a precarious situation.

Olga is omnipresent in the work of Picasso. The numerous classic portraits by the artist of his wife portray her in an established, static and thoughtful manner. Her staring and often vacant look is perhaps the manifestation of her concern for her family. Picasso perfectly captures all the ambiguity of this woman whose beauty, underlined by the expressiveness of an Ingres line or an Antique roundness, is bathed in a soft and deep melancholy, a reflection of her tragic situation and powerlessness in the face of the dramas confronting her family.

Room 3. The story of a life
Shortly after her death in 1955, Olga’s son Paul retrieved his mother’s personal cabin trunk, bearing her initials: this is one of the major – and magical – objects that help reveal the story of a life of which, for a long time, little was known. What emerges from the contents of this trunk  letters in French and Russian, old photographs, various objects such as ballet slippers, tutus, crucifix or almanacs – is the extraordinary destiny of a woman who left her family in 1915 not knowing that she would never see them again. Enhanced by a collection of archives and works by Pablo Picasso, this room evokes more especially Olga’s career as a dancer, becoming a member of the Ballets Russes in 1911, her meeting with Picasso in Rome in February 1917 while preparing for the presentation of the ballet Parade, and their wedding in July 1918 at the Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky Russian orthodox church in rue Daru in Paris which, from 1917, was one of the main meeting places for the White Russian emigrant community.

Room 4. Changement de décor
While Russia was in the midst of a severe economic and food crisis that would have dramatic lasting effects on Olga’s family, the newlyweds were experiencing a dizzying social rise which corresponded with the increasing recognition of the works of Pablo Picasso. The couple’s circle of friends and their different dwellings, such as, from 1918, the apartment in rue La Boétie in Paris, the villa in Juan-les-Pins, or later, the château de Boisgeloup acquired in 1930, bear witness to this new social environment. Bohemian Montmartre, embodied by Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, gave way to an unprecedented modernity of post-war intelligentsia. New faces appeared in the Picassos’ immediate entourage: Eugenia Errazuriz, a rich Chilean who arranged the first meetings of Picasso with Serge de Diaghilev, as well as with Igor Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau and also Count Étienne de Beaumont, well known for regularly hosting those very grand balls that Olga loved.

Room 5. Maternity
With the birth of the couple’s first and only child, Paul, on the 4th February 1921, Olga became the inspiration for numerous maternity scenes, compositions that are suffused with a softness that was new in the work of Pablo Picasso. The family scenes reveal a serenity that comes to the fore in particular in the timeless figures which coincide with a new interest in Antiquity and the Renaissance that Picasso had rediscovered with Olga in Italy in 1917, and which was revived by a summer stay in Fontainebleau in 1921. This maternity brought the couple closer together but did nothing to relieve the latent melancholia of Olga who was constantly torn between the pleasures of her everyday life and the obvious distress she felt on reading the flow of alarming news from her family, whose fortunes were steadily worsening.

Room 6. Paul
The arrival of Paul in the life of the couple brought about a new lifestyle that included a nurse, a cook and a chauffeur. Paul was the focus of all Olga’s attentions. Their great complicity is revealed in numerous photographs and films. Picasso was also very proud of his son Paul. This filial relationship is asserted by Pablo in several portraits, in particular by transmitting to Paul the Harlequin costume with which the artist himself identified in his early years during the Rose Period. In another portrait he represents his little son drawing, perhaps trying to recapture the sensations that he himself, also the son of a painter, felt in his childhood. Paul did not know his Russian grandparents but received letters from them. The exchanges between the two families continued, with the Picassos providing support through money sent regularly and sometimes even a few works by Pablo, including a horse, no doubt similar to a découpage completed at the same time for Paul.

Room 7. Metamorphosis
1925 probably marks the year when Pablo Picasso realised that his marriage with Olga was over. In April he joined Serge de Diaghilev in Monte Carlo and produced numerous drawings of dancers at work. This trip almost certainly increased Olga’s bitterness as, for health reasons, she had been forced to give up her career as a dancer several years earlier. Henceforth and until the mid-1930s, the figure of the wife would be transformed in Picasso’s painting. In 1929, in Grand Nu au fauteuil rouge (Large Nude in a Red Armchair), she was reduced to pain, in a flabby, monstrous shape, an expressive violence reflecting the nature of the couple’s marital crisis. In 1931, it was clearly another women occupying the red armchair. The face remains undefined, partially erased, but the roundness and sensuality of the body shapes leave no doubt as to the existence of a new muse in the work of the artist.

Room 8. On film
Contrasting with the representations of Olga in the painted, drawn and engraved works, the footage shot by the couple in their private life – in their apartment in rue La Boétie, on holiday in Dinard, Cannes and Juan-les-Pins, or in the Boisgeloup grounds – reveals a very different picture of Madame Picasso: here we see a woman in motion, extrovert and smiling, who captures the light and seeks to seduce the eye of the camera. This facet of Olga that Pablo Picasso shows us here is the more liberated and spontaneous secret side of the private life of an artist clearly enchanted by the magic of film and its dramatic drive. Regardless of the purpose of these documents, film footage, at the start of the 1930s, is where Olga stars and takes centre stage and seems willingly to reconnect with a certain taste for performance.

Room 9. Bathers
The meeting in 1927 of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Pablo Picasso, whose mistress she became, deepened the crisis that the couple were going through. Even though the relationship between the lovers was kept secret, notably because of Marie-Thérèse’s young age, it surfaces most explicitly in Pablo’s painting. In the same way that Olga appears implicitly in numerous surrealist figures that, more often than not, are disturbing and brutal, Marie-Thérèse is the inspiration of a series of Baigneuses produced in Dinard, a small seaside resort in Brittany where the family – and Marie-Thérèse secretly – stayed for a number of weeks in 1928 and 1929. Whereas Olga is depicted in muted, greyish tones with heavy and sharp shapes, Marie-Thérèse is, on the contrary, represented in a fresher palette and in airborne and often highly erotic postures which are indicative of all the energy and joy that she inspired in the artist.

Room 10. Circus
Major themes during the Rose Period, circus and acrobats reappear in the work of Pablo Picasso at the beginning of the 1920s, and later in the 1930. No doubt reactivated by the birth of Paul, the representation of the circus in 1922, which from 1905 was associated with the Harlequin paternity cycle (the artist’s double), continued to develop a wider iconography of the performing arts world. Picasso was less interested in the actual ring than in its fringes, this marginal and roving life, with women breast-feeding, tightrope walkers at rest and figures doing their hair. As before, Picasso continued to mix the sources of commedia dell’arte with the circus world, transposing his private life to the register of theatre. In 1930 his attention was caught by acrobatic feats and the anatomical liberties they allowed.

Room 11. Studio
Traversed by a unitary pictorial script, all in arabesques, Peintre et modèle offers a view of the studio in which the artist, model and painting are inseparably linked and interdependent. This is true also in real life. If Olga is omnipresent in the portraits from the so-called classic period and though her face disappears little by little from Pablo Picasso’s painting, this does not mean that she is absent from her husband’s work after 1925. Her idealised and melancholic image gives way to female representations that are radically deformed and often representing violent or aggressive attitudes. Olga truly haunts Picasso’s painting and engulfs the space of his studio, supposedly his refuge. Her image is transformed into a threatening, monstrous woman with a pointed nose like a dagger, grinning from ear to ear. In several paintings and drawings she even covers Picasso’s self-portrait in profile, thereby clearly demonstrating the hold she continued to exert on the man and the artist. The Baiser from 1931, which portrays a figure with eyes closed, abandoned, and a figure looking away, symbolises the decline and ambiguity of this amorous relationship which cannibalised the relationship between the couple.

Room 12. Crucifixions and corridas
Powerful and central themes in the work of Pablo Picasso in the early 1930s, bull fights (corrida) and the crucifixion are, over and beyond their own symbolism, intimately linked with the artist’s personal life. More especially, in the female bullfighter, we can identify the face of Marie-Thérèse Walter, while certain organic and threatening forms of the Crucifixion resemble, through their stylistic treatment, representations of Olga as they appear at the same period, especially in certain mineral bathers. At times reduced to a contest between the bull and the horse, the corrida, by evacuating the bullfighter (torero), increases the violence of the confrontation of two entities which, by extension, can be interpreted as the male and the female, Pablo and Olga. Here too Picasso appropriates a traditional iconography and revisits it from the perspective of his own personal history. His private life had an influence on his work and conveyed a tragic dimension which is both a reflection of a troubled historical period and a marital situation that Picasso was experiencing more and more as a painful test, for which corridas and crucifixions constitute poignant metaphors.

Room 13. Eros and Thanatos
Figure par excellence of the uniting of the forces of life and death, the Minotaur, the new alter ego of Pablo Picasso, symbolises the complexity and ambivalence of the relations that the artist maintained with women in the early 1930s. Torn between his passion for Marie-Thérèse, who gave birth to a daughter – Maya – in September 1935, and his duty as the husband of Olga, Picasso transposed his own story to ancient mythology. The violence of the amorous relations and the impetuosity of desire are personified in the depictions of abduction, scenes inspired by Dionysian antiquity. Picasso will even go so far as to create his own personal mythology, merging several iconographic sources (corrida, crucifixion and Minotaur) in the celebrated Minotauromachy, a tragic fable that crystallises the turmoil in his life at that time and which also saw a temporary halt in his painting in 1935. From that year, during which the married couple finally separated, the presence of Olga in Picasso’s work becomes more discreet and less aggressive, reflecting the solitude and suffering of a woman who would continue to write daily to the man who – in the eyes of the law – would remain her husband up until her death in 1955.

Room 14. Olga Forever
An Italian artist born in Brescia in 1971, Francesco Vezzoli has always been fascinated by cultural icons, actresses, dancers and singers. His work incorporates images of stars and questions the way in which fame or talent can alter identity. It also reveals the gap that may sometimes exist between the public image and private reality. Completed in 2012, Olga Forever comprises a series of nineteen oil painting portraits of Olga Picasso inspired by photographs of her selected from the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA) private archives. Enlarged and reworked using collage and embroidery techniques that overlay patterns of tears and characters from the Ballets Russes, these portraits materialise the suffering and longing of this woman who was both rich and famous. “Olga weeps for all the ballets she never danced out of love for Picasso,” explains Vezzoli. “Through this work I am paying homage to Olga, who embodies my sensitivity and obsessions.”

Website : Musée national Picasso – Paris
Website : Artdaily

Exhibition devoted to the partnership between Michelangelo & Sebastiano – London – 15.03.2017-26.06.2017 – 10513

The National Gallery had the honour of welcoming its Royal Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to a Private View of The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano.

During his visit The Prince of Wales toured the exhibition with the National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi and Chair of Trustees, Hannah Rothschild, before meeting members of staff and other invited guests at a reception.

The Prince of Wales and the National Gallery have enjoyed a long and beneficial association. The Royal Patronage was announced at a Private View of Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art in February 2016. The Prince of Wales was previously a Trustee of the National Gallery from 1986 to 1993.

Commenting on the occasion of the Royal visit, Hannah Rothschild, Chair of the National Gallery Trustees, said “We are delighted that our Royal Patron, The Prince of Wales has chosen to open this important exhibition which is a celebration of the friendship between two great artists, Michelangelo and Sebastiano and a demonstration of what can be achieved through a spirit of collaboration and creative exchange.”

The National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, added: “The Prince of Wales’s friendship with the National Gallery is longstanding and we are very grateful for his ongoing support as we care for the nation’s pictures, exhibiting great works of art which are open to all”.

Michelangelo & Sebastiano explores the complementary talents, yet divergent personalities, of the two artists. It encompasses approximately seventy works – paintings, drawings, sculptures and letters – produced by Michelangelo and Sebastiano before, during and after their association. Examples of their extensive, intimate correspondence offer us a unique insight into their personal and professional lives; their concerns, frustrations and moments of glory.

In 1511, Sebastiano, a young, exceptionally talented Venetian painter, arrived in Rome. He was quickly embroiled in the city’s fiercely competitive art scene. He met Michelangelo, who was working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the two quickly became friends and allies against the prodigious Raphael; another recent arrival whose star was rising with the most influential patrons in Rome. As the only oil painter in the city to rival Raphael, Sebastiano was an ideal collaborator for Michelangelo, who did not care for the medium but wanted to marginalise his younger competitor. For his part, Sebastiano profited immensely from Michelangelo’s drawings and conceptual ideas. Together they created several works of great originality and rare beauty.

Their friendship lasted over twenty-five years, far beyond Michelangelo’s long-term relocation to his native Florence (1516) and Raphael’s death (1520). It ended acrimoniously after Michelangelo’s permanent return to Rome to paint the ‘Last Judgement’ in the Sistine Chapel, apparently with an argument over painting technique. Their partnership unfolded during a remarkably dramatic time for Italy – one of revolution, war and theological schism, but also of great intellectual energy and artistic innovation.

A key loan to the exhibition is the ‘Lamentation over the Dead Christ’, also known as the Viterbo ‘Pietà’ (about 1512–16) after the central Italian town where it resides. This painting is Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s first collaboration and eloquently represents their combined vision. Rarely seen outside of Italy, it is also the first large-scale nocturnal landscape in history, iconographically original for its separation of Christ from his mother’s lap.

In its time, the Viterbo ‘Pietà’ was received with widespread praise, and on its merits Sebastiano garnered his next two major commissions, both of which were completed with Michelangelo’s input – the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome (1516–24) and The Raising of Lazarus (1517–19). The latter was painted in competition with Raphael’s great ‘Transfiguration’ (now Vatican Museums) for the Cathedral of Narbonne, France, from which it was removed in the 18th century. ‘The Raising of Lazarus’ eventually became part of the foundational group of paintings forming the National Gallery Collection in 1824, where it was given the very first inventory number, NG1.

Recent scientific research conducted at the National Gallery has provided new insights into the two artists’ respective work on ‘The Raising of Lazarus’. Infrared reflectography has revealed Sebastiano’s contribution to be more substantial and independent of Michelangelo’s influence than previously assumed. It is now understood that Michelangelo only intervened at a relatively advanced stage in the painting’s development, revising in drawings the figure of the revived Lazarus, which Sebastiano had already painted.

Among other exhibition highlights is ‘The Risen Christ’ by Michelangelo, a larger-than-life-size marble statue carved by Michelangelo in 1514–15, generously lent by the Church of S. Vincenzo Martire, Bassano Romano (Italy). ‘The Risen Christ’ will be shown with a 19th-century plaster cast after Michelangelo’s second version of the same subject (1519–21), which resides in – and never leaves – the S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. Never attempted before, this juxtaposition presents visitors with the first ever opportunity to see these statues side by side.

Sebastiano’s ‘Visitation’ from the Louvre, Paris, and the ‘Lamentation over the Dead Christ’ from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, also left their collections for the first time to travel to Trafalgar Square. The latter has been united with Sebastiano’s ‘Christ’s Descent into Limbo’ (1516) from the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and Francisco Ribalta’s 17th-century copy of Sebastiano’s lost ‘Christ Appearing to the Apostles’. The three paintings are being presented in their original triptych format for the first time since they were separated in 1646.

To evoke the experience of seeing the works in situ, groundbreaking technology is being used to present a spectacular three-dimensional reproduction of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome. Using the most advanced digital imaging and reconstruction techniques, the National Gallery brings the chapel to London for an immersive experience of the structure much as it was created.

Website : National Gallery
Source : Artdaily

Major exhibition of Picasso’s portraits opens at Museu Picasso Barcelona – 17.03.2017-25.07.2017 – 10512

Pablo Picasso, Maya in a Sailor Suit 23 January, 1938. Oil on canvas; 1216 x 863 mm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jacqueline Picasso in honor of the Museum’s continuous commitment to Pablo Picasso’s art, 1985 © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence/2015 © Succession Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2017.

Picasso Potraits accents the importance of the portrait in Picasso’s work. It brings together more than 80 pieces from public and private collections, revealing the technical media and variety of styles used by Picasso in working in portraiture, which was to always have an important place in his art.

The exhibition explores how Picasso redefined the establish parameters of the portrait throughout his career, and the place of caricature in his portraits as well. Unlike more professional caricaturists, who tend to focus on public personalities, Picasso’s subjects were almost always his personal friends and those close to his family circle. In this regard we find portraits of Dora Maar, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, Nusch Éluard, Françoise Gilot, Max Jacob, Lee Miller, Fernande Olivier, Jacqueline Roque, Olga Khokhlova, Jaume Sabartés, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Miguel Utrillo and Marie-Thérèse Walter, amongst others. Given that hardly any of his portraits were done on commission, Picasso felt free to depict and interpret his subjects as he saw fit.

The show was first presented in London in October, 2016. It will be seen in Barcelona from the 17th March to the 25th July, 2017. Painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking from all Picasso periods feature in a selection with important loans from museums from around the world, accompanied by a generous selection of photographs and documents.

Picasso had an early gift for suggesting a subject’s character in a humorous way, while at the same time faithfully representing those he portrayed. While always original, Picasso was in constant dialogue with the art of the past, using formats and postures with subtle allusions to the work of the great masters. These references are reflected in his personal vision of physical types, the personality in question or the relationship he himself had with those portrayed. The curator of the exhibition is Picasso specialist Elizabeth Cowling, Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh

Website : Museu Picasso Barcelona
Source : Artdaily

Exhibition presents a unique series of insider photographs of Romanov family life – The Hague – 04.02.2017-17.09.2017 – 10511

 

Romanov family 1913

On the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the Hague Museum of Photography presents a unique series of insider photographs of Romanov family life, taken by the Swiss writer and academic Pierre Gilliard (1879-1962). As private tutor to the tsar’s children, he built up a close relationship with them over a period of thirteen years. His intimate, disarming and sometimes surprising pictures of boat trips and games show the still apparently carefree years before Russia’s last tsar met his fateful end.

On 8 March 1917, Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate when his army joined the revolution. Years of war and famine had led to demonstrations and strikes. Once the armed forces joined the uprising, the days of the imperial Romanov family were numbered. After months of house arrest and being moved to a ‘safer place’, Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei – were executed by Bolshevik troops. Their gruesome death, the rare bleeding disorder suffered by the little heir to the throne, Alexei, and the murky role of faith healer Rasputin give the story of the Romanovs a lasting fascination. For example, a host of books have been written and films made about just one small facet of it: the life of Anastasia and the uncertainty surrounding her death.

Pierre Gilliard began photographing the family in around 1911 and remained with them until shortly before their death. Over that period he recorded both official occasions and domestic scenes, went on holiday with them and snapped the children as they ‘played at war’ and pursued other leisure activities. The exhibition features over seventy modern gelatin silver prints made from his original negatives.

An exhibition produced by the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, presented in The Netherlands in collaboration with The Hague Museum of Photography. This exhibition is curated by Daniel Girardin, Musée de l’Elysée, with Frouke van Dijke, associate curator for the presentation in The Netherlands.

Another exhibition on the Romanovs is on show from 4 February to 17 September at Hermitage Amsterdam

 

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein presents exhibition of works from the Hilti Art Foundation – Vaduz – 16.12.2016-08.10.2017 – 10510

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Exhibition view Hilti Art Foundation, photo: Roland Tännler © Hilti Art Foundation.
The second exhibition of the Hilti Art Foundation has opened in Vaduz. The show focuses on classical modernism and includes works by Gauguin, Picasso, Kirchner, Beckmann and Klee. Contemporary art is prominently featured, with artworks by Imi Knoebel, Gotthard Graubner and Sean Scully amongst others. The exhibition presents 36 selected paintings and sculptures from the internationally renowned private art collection.

After its exceptionally successful exhibition premiere in its own gallery, which is an extension of Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, the Hilti Art Foundation is proud to present the next instalment, titled “Kirchner, Léger, Scully & more”. Visitors will recognise some of the paintings and sculptures presented on the three levels of the building: 16 of these artworks were featured in the first exhibition. Curator Uwe Wieczorek has picked them again to enable visitors to view them in a new context. Another objective is to keep specific key artworks on display over a longer period of time.“The outstanding works of the pioneers of modernism and of the important representatives of the avantgardes of the first half of the 20th century are a huge benefit for the public. And in regard to art after 1950, there are a lot of links between the collections of the Kunstmuseum and the Hilti Art Foundation”, says Dr. Friedemann Malsch, Director of Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

The exhibition starts on the lower ground level of the building with a French touch; this part of the show is devoted to an exploration of the human form, and more specifically the female form. The depictions of women by Lehmbruck, Hodler, Picasso, Léger and Laurens show life in full bloom and at its most beautiful. In contrast, Giacometti’s Quatre femmes sur socle (1950) sculpture conveys a sense of tangible sensuality withdrawing into aloof immateriality.

Paintings, and particularly ones by German artists, define the character of the first floor. This part of the exhibition includes four paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, the key representative of the artist group “Brücke”. Another focal point is set with paintings by Max Beckmann, such as Selbstbildnis mit Glaskugel (Self-Portrait with Crystal Ball), which is now surrounded by other Beckmann paintings from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

The upper floor is devoted to paintings from 1980 to the present day. This section includes works by Imi Knoebel, Gotthard Graubner and Sean Scully, three artists who applied completely different approaches and techniques, but who all represent abstract art in its most mature form.

Michael Hilti, President of the Hilti Art Foundation, is very pleased about the solely positive response to the exhibition. “I have been approached by people who wanted to express their gratitude for the allocation of the artworks and the building itself. It is very satisfying to know that the Hilti Art Foundation is so well received by the public.”