- Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebook Travels to High Museum of Art in Atlanta
- Andrea de Chirico Exhibits "The Commedia dell’Arte”, in The Royal Palace of Milan, Italy
- ART HK ~ The Hong Kong International Art Fair 26th to 29th May
- Art Unlimited ~ 10 Years of Ambitious Large-scale Art Projects at Art Basel
- The Museum Kunst Palast Reopens its Collection After Two years
- Stunning Nudes and Models by Photographer Rankin at Annroy Gallery
- 20th Century Masterpieces in Private Swiss Collections on View at Fondation de l'Hermitage
- Joslyn Treasures Return ~ Well Traveled & Rarely Seen at the Joslyn Art Museum
- "333 Group Art Show" at Cactus Gallery
- "Paris Mon Amour" Evocative Pieces of Paris to be Auctioned at French House Drouot
- The National Gallery of Denmark opens "Nature Strikes Back"
- Kiasma presents Olav Christopher Jenssen ~ a Contemporary Norwegian Painter
- Mexican Masks exhibition at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
- Denise Grünstein Exhibits Four Series of Photographs at Kiasma
- Monet and Abstraction on View at Musée Marmottan Monet
- Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:54 PM PDT
ATLANTA, GA - An exhibition of 44 medieval and Renaissance masterpieces from one of the world's finest collections will be on view at the High Museum of Art beginning September 13, 2008, through January 4, 2009. This internationally traveling exhibition of rare treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) presents works dating from 300 to 1600 AD, many of which have never before traveled to the U.S. Following the tour, the works will be returned to newly restored galleries at the V&A in London.
Leonardo's notebooks reveal the extraordinary range of his interests and pursuits. He described himself as a 'disciple of experience' and stressed the importance of verifying knowledge through the senses. This volume contains two notebooks subsequently bound together and reflects Leonardo's fascination with geometry and mathematics. On this page, Leonardo calculates volume by sectioning a solid body into portions whose volume can be determined individually.
Highlights including a Leonardo da Vinci notebook, the "Codex Forster I"; the "Symmachi Panel," a 5th-century Roman ivory possibly carved to commemorate a wedding; the front cover of the "Lorsch Gospels," a richly decorated ivory cover of the Gospels made for an abbey in Charlemagne's Germany; the "Basilewsky Situla," a small vessel used by priests to hold holy water and gifted to the Emperor Otto II in 980; a pair of gilt-bronze statuettes of prophets from an altarpiece by Hubert Gerhard; and Donatello's bronze "Putto with Fish."
"Medieval and Renaissance Treasures" is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. This exhibition is supported by The Buckhead Community Bank and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The exhibition debuted at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (June 23 through October 7, 2007), and then traveled to the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla. (October 20, 2007, through January 6, 2008). Additional venues include the Speed Art Museum, Louisville (January 22 through April 20, 2008); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (May 19 through August 17); the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (September 13, 2008, through January 4, 2009); and Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, U.K. (January 29 through May 24, 2009). In fall 2009 the works will be reinstalled in the new galleries at the V&A.
"Medieval and Renaissance Treasures" is accompanied by a fully illustrated program book featuring the works that will be on view at the High Museum of Art, in addition to other pieces from the V&A's collections.
Originally founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum of Art received its first permanent home in 1926 when Mrs. Joseph M. High donated her family's residence on Peachtree Street. In 1955, the Museum moved to a new brick structure adjacent to the original High house. When the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center opened in 1968, the High Museum of Art was at its center. Visit : The High Museum of Art at : http://www.high.org/
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:53 PM PDT
Milan, Italy.- Alberto Savinio - real name Andrea Francesco Alberto de Chirico - (1891-1952) was an Italian writer, painter, musician, journalist, essayist, playwright, set designer and composer. He was the younger brother of 'metaphysical' painter Giorgio De Chirico. His work often dealt with philosophical and psychological themes, and he also was heavily concerned with the philosophy of art. Early in their lives, Andrea and his brother, Giorgio were nearly inseparable, even referring to themselves as Castor and Pollux, the warrior twins. As children, there was tremendous collaboration between the brothers that led to strong overlap of themes later in life. The most well noted of these overlapping themes was that of the mythical Greek Argonauts, as a metaphor for their development and journey as artists.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:52 PM PDT
Hong Kong.- ART HK 11, Asia's preeminent Art Fair and one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the international art calendar returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where 260 galleries from 38 countries will come together to offer the largest display of contemporary art ever seen in Hong Kong. From 26th to the 29th of May, ART HK 11 will present works from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso through to important contemporary artists such as Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst, offering visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the very best and most extensive showcase of modern and contemporary art in Asia.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:51 PM PDT
BASEL - This year's Art Unlimited exhibition marks the tenth edition of this sector and features 59 artists from 24 countries. The lineup of artists showing at this ambitious exhibition of contemporary art, generously supported by UBS, reads like a cross-section of the current international art scene. Many of the pieces on show in hall 1 have been created especially for the Art Unlimited platform. Alongside this exhibition in the Art Unlimited hall, the Art Statements section presents 27 one-person shows of young artists this year. The hall will also play host to the Artists Books, Artists Records, a Videotheque, Art Lobby and a Bookshop.
Since the launch of the platform in 2000 many of the world's leading contemporary artists have exhibited at Art Unlimited. The concept of this year's exhibition - drawn from proposals by the exhibitors, and similar in quantity and quality to previous editions – has once again been devised by the accomplished Geneva curator Simon Lamunière.
Complementing the wide array of art on display in the main sectors at the show, Art Unlimited holds exciting discoveries in store. In the 12,000-square-meter exhibition hall, Art Unlimited offers artists and galleries a platform for works that exceed the possibilities of the conventional art-fair booth. It showcases outsize sculptures, video projections, installations, wall paintings, photographic series, and performance art. In addition, separate limited-edition catalog (costing 40 Swiss francs) accompanies the exhibition and for the first time includes descriptive texts about each artwork presented in Hall 1 and on Messeplatz.
This year works by legendary artists such as Sigmar Polke, Lawrence Weiner, Franz Erhard Walther, Mel Bochner, Bruce Connor, Daido Moriyama, Nan Goldin, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Jesús Rafael Soto are joined by pieces from younger and emerging stars as Thea Djordjadze, Ayse Erkmen, Bharti Kher, Mai Thu Perret, Falke Pisano, Sterling Ruby, Banks Violette and Andro Wekua.
The works described below represent a selection of the projects on display at Art Unlimited:
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Sigmar Polke (Michael Werner Gallery, New York) has consistently reimagined the nature and role of painting with a radically inventive approach to material and process. Throughout his career the artist has explored an interest in implied connections to "higher powers" and other worlds through the use of unconventional materials such as meteor dust, magnetic graphite, pure violet, cinnabar, and silver oxides, to name only a few. In the early 1990s, he began a series of monumental paintings called "Cloud Paintings" (1992). The "Cloud Paintings" at Art Unlimited is the only installation of its type by Polke and exerts the mystery and magic of this mercurial artist at his greatest.
"The Ballad of Sexual Dependency" (1973-1986) is the central work in the career of Nan Goldin (Matthew Marks Gallery, New York). Beginning as an impromptu evening performance in a New York nightclub in 1979, "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency" took its present form in the early 1980s and has continued to evolve over the years as a slide presentation employing over 700 images. The original portfolio of prints from the publication that informed this masterwork has until Art 40 Basel never been on public view in Europe.
The video installations of Aernout Mik (carlier gebauer, Berlin) look like trial runs, reconstructing events on the periphery of social reality in lavishly depicted situations, through everyday confrontations such as the travelers at the security check in an airport in "touch, rise and fall" (2008). Mik's mise-en-scène depicts a scenario shaped and forged by hierarchy. No clear narrative has been supplied; instead, his work extrapolates the extremes of order to such an extent that the camera ends up floating through the absurdity of a crumbling reality characterized by repetitions, recasting, and mimetic courses of action with an almost ritual air and irrational excess.
In "Universe" (2008), a major new body of work, Stephan Balkenhol (Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich; Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris / Salzburg) presents five large architectural and sculptural reliefs. Bringing together two-dimensional and three-dimensional planes, the artist combines carvings and reliefs of his "everyday man" alongside landscapes, city scenes, nature, and detailed patterns.
South African artist Willem Boshoff (The Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg) has lived like a Druid for much of his life. For the duration of the art show, Boshoff will reside in a custom-made cubicle where the spectator can observe the "Big Druid" (2009) in his otherworldly battles with shadows, aesthetic constructs, and words. The cubicle has an area of retreat, which is outfitted with exhibition shelves and a work area where "Big Druid" makes and shows artworks and the thought processes behind them.
Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg (Gió Marconi Gallery, Milano) began working on larger scale in 2008, including installations and bigger sculptures into her filmic work. The installation "The Rhinoceros and the Whale" (2008) consists of a wooden structure, on which the animated film "Putting Down the Prey" (2008) is projected. On the reverse side of the screen, one can see the animation "The Rhinoceros and the Whale". Both films are connected, one showing a girl hunting down a walrus, cutting it open and sewing herself into the body, the other one presenting a monstrous woman giving birth to a rhinoceros.
Tatjana Doll (Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisboa; Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden/Berlin) presents "Container Ship" (2009), an almost ten-meter wide painting that depicts the back of a container ship. On top of this are 24 additional paintings stacked in four rows of six, each measuring 190 x 160 cm, where each quasi-monochrome painting represents a container.
"The Waq Tree" (2009) by Bharti Kher (Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Zürich / London) references the Waqwaq Tree of Islamic tradition, the Speaking Tree, a tree of hallucinations or epiphanies. Its trunk suggests the dryness of bone, while its fruits suggest living skin that has ripened slowly to wax. The branches bear more than 2,500 fruits in all; each fruit is a head, either human, gnomish, angelic, animal or chimera.
Hans Op de Beeck (Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin) has created the monumental sculptural installation "Location (6)" (2008), based on the historic panorama constructions created over the past two centuries particularly in Europe. "Location (6)", is made up entirely of a sculpted trompe l'oeil grove, replete with fog and white light, evoking a vast snowy landscape of barren trees viewed from central observatory, and reached via a long, narrow corridor.
"By the Window" (2008) by Andro Wekua (Gladstone Gallery, New York; Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zürich) combines sculpture and film to create a liminal space, both physically and psychologically. The installation as a whole, mixing different media, collages both found and imagined imagery with charged emotions to create a world of Wekua's creation, a world in which the viewer must remain forever perched on the threshold of understanding.
The provocative work titled "The Starving of Sudan" (2008) by Xu Zhen (Long March Space, Beijing) re-enacts the tragic situation of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken by Kevin Carter, who committed suicide shortly after receiving the award. For Xu Zhen, the complex system of interpretation that was controversially built around the context and reception of Carter's photograph is problematic, particularly in relation to the plight of this young baby being left unknown. Xu Zhen's work thus calls into question the relationship of power between viewer and work; between concept and ethics; between passivity and subjectivity.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:50 PM PDT
Dusseldorf.- After more than 2 years of closure, the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf reopened its collection with a a selection of 450 selected works from the middle-ages to the present-day. As a living art museum with a diverse, cross-cultural archive, with the rich collection from the Düsseldorf Art Academy and the archive of the artistic photography of the Rhine Kunsszene (AFORK), the new presentation allows the Museum Kunst Palast to let these collections speak for themselves and illustrate the history of the Düsseldorf art collection. The new exhibition includes works from the collection of late medieval sculpture, Dutch and Flemish paintings of the 16th to 18 Century, European paintings from Romanticism to Impressionism, a special focus on the Düsseldorf School, works of German Expressionism, the ZERO group and post 195 color field painting.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:49 PM PDT
LONDON.- Rankin blurs the boundaries of fashion, photography and fine art in Painting Pretty Pictures, a collection of painterly studies of feminine beauty. Using digital retouching as a tool for artistic effect, stunning nudes of some of the world's top models, including Yasmin Le Bon, Heidi Klum, Lindsay Lohan and Lily Cole, are transformed into apparent oil paintings. Painting Pretty Pictures will run through 29th August at Annroy Gallery, Rankin's own Kentish Town gallery space. Rankin lives in London with his wife Tuuli and his son Lyle.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:43 PM PDT
LAUSANNE.- In 2009 the Fondation de l'Hermitage celebrates its 25th anniversary! Twenty-five years of dedicated and enthusiastic commitment to art and artists which have seen the graceful residence built by the Bugnion family in the middle of the 19th century welcome hundreds of thousands of art lovers. The exhibition will carry an important scientific, commemorative publication reproducing many of these masterpieces from Swiss collections, some of which are being shown to the public for the first time, and taking stock of twenty-five years of activity at the Fondation de l'Hermitage.
From the outset, while constantly working on the developments essential for its success and the growth of its activities — the construction of a reception/bookshop wing and new exhibition and conservation areas, assembling a collection, building and equipping an auditorium and educational workshops in the farmhouse -, the Fondation de l'Hermitage has made it its mission to organize major exhibitions in the field of fine arts. More particularly focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, these events have enabled it to consolidate a special relationship with private collectors in Switzerland for over a quarter of a century. Their great generosity, strong commitment in favour of the arts and their unfailing, loyal support of the Hermitage is at the heart of most of the events organized in the fine old mansion.
By way of a homage to the Fondation's inaugural exhibition, L'impressionnisme dans les collections romandes (1984), and above all as a tribute to the clairvoyance of Swiss collectors, the exhibition this summer 2010 will mark the Foundation's anniversary in style by giving pride of place to all those who have so generously accepted to share their treasures since 1984 with as many people as possible. With 'passion for art' as its keynote, the show will bring together over a hundred 20th-century masterpieces from private Swiss collections for a celebration lasting all summer long.
Bacon, Braque, Bonnard, Calder, Cézanne, Dalí, Derain, Dubuffet, Duchamp, Ernst, Gauguin, Gertsch, Giacometti, Hodler, Kiefer, Klee, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Richter, Rothko, Signac, Soulages, Vallotton, Van Velde, Vuillard, Warhol… All these artists, and many more besides, will be present in this "coup de coeur" exhibition which will take visitors on a voyage along the crests trail of modern art, from Impressionism to abstract Expressionism. The Fondation de l'Hermitage also has its own collection, although it is not always on permanent display.
Started barely twenty years ago, the Fondation de l'Hermitage Collection today includes nearly 800 works. A selection of works from the collection is presented to the public at regular intervals. The collection is mainly made up of donations, bequests and deposits which spontaneously flowed into its care right from its inauguration in 1984, showing what a very special place the Hermitage holds in the hearts of the Vaudois population. Initially, the Foundation was given the rich Bugnion Family collection which notably includes a group of portraits going back to the mid-18th century as well as an important ensemble by Bocion. Among the numerous donations made to the Foundation were a nucleus of Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters (Sisley, Guillaumin, Morren, Puigaudeau), and a fine selection of works by 20th-century Vaudois artists (Gleyre, Chavannes, Vallotton, Bosshard, Domenjoz).Visit : www.fondation-hermitage.ch/
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:35 PM PDT
OMAHA, NE.- Joslyn Art Museum's collection is not only known and admired by those in Omaha who consider the museum their own, but is respected by institutions worldwide. A quick look at the itinerary of the Museum's most popular works over the past years would make even the most seasoned traveler jealous — requested for over three dozen exhibitions, objects from the Joslyn collection have toured from coast to coast as well as to Europe. Joslyn Treasures: Well Traveled and Rarely Seen reunites these familiar and important favorites with highlights from the vaults to showcase forty works from antiquity through the twentieth century. The exhibition is on view at Joslyn from June 4 through August 28.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:33 PM PDT
Los Angeles, CA - Cactus Gallery is pleased to announce "333," a group art show featuring the works of more than 30 artists. The artists were asked to depict the number 3 in some way. Amongst the works on canvas, wood, and sculpture are numerous mixed media works and art made from recycled parts.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:30 PM PDT
PARIS (AP).- Pieces of old Paris from a lamp post to a park bench go on the auction block next week, with the piece de resistance 40 iron steps from the Eiffel Tower, all 7.8 meters (25.6 feet) of them. Among the 301 items to be auctioned is a section of glass broken during the construction in 1987 of the glass pyramid now standing at the entrance to the Louvre Museum. Estimated at €500 to €1,000 ($735-$1,470), it is accompanied by a photograph taken at the time. "Paris Mon Amour," the title given to the auction Monday, December 14th at the famed French house Drouot, brings together an eclectic batch of memories that evoke a bygone era as well as the present.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:27 PM PDT
COPENHAGEN.- Throughout history, mankind has perceived nature differently at different times. During the Middle Ages, nature was mostly regarded as evil and mankind was prey to its whims, which only God could protect us from. This understanding was replaced by a more positive view of nature in the Renaissance, where man begins to regard nature as a useful resource that can be controlled. This way of thinking became increasingly striking in modern times. Nature came to be regarded as inexhaustible and something to be mastered and completely subjected to human needs.
After a good 150 years of exploitation, pollution, and other catastrophes, a new picture evolved at the end of the 20th century, with nature as the weak victim that must be protected. Today we have arrived at the traumatic realization that nature simply reacts to that which we subject it to, and that it strikes back, so to speak, without regard to mankind's needs. On exhibition 10 October through 7 March, 2010.
An artistic journey through the ages' view of nature
The exhibition "Nature Strikes Back" at the National Gallery of Denmark seeks to place in perspective our present relationship to nature by telling the story of how Western culture has perceived nature in different ways through the ages. With about 110 works from practically all of art history, the exhibition provides a visual story about the varying views of nature from ancient times, to the religious doomsday rhetoric of the Middle Ages, through the baroque period's staging of nature, to the present day's necessary attempt to create new ways of relating to nature.
Famous works in new contexts
The exhibition has a broad embrace. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and graphic works from almost 2,000 years of art history are carefully arranged with a view to bringing out the poetic and symbolic ideas about the relationship between man and nature that are expressed through visual art. Here we find works from some of art history's major figures, from Mantegna, Dürer, Bruegel the Elder, Titian, and Rubens through Cezanne, Braque, and Asger Jorn, to Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Per Kirkeby and Olafur Eliasson. But there is more here than just a parade of art history's great icons, for the exhibition casts a fresh glance at art that we may have thought we knew . The works are part of an overall theme and are experienced from a particular point of view, i.e. as both unique and coherent statements from history about mankind's understanding of nature.
Powerfully communicative staging
The exhibition's many works are arranged in thematic chapters that produce a visual impact based on the most striking change in mankind's changeable view of nature. The story is an essential and leading element in the exhibition. As something quite new, each theme is introduced by an animated film in which the organizers of the exhibition introduce and discuss the subject at hand, just as they provide analyses of chosen works. The set design of the exhibition aims for a visually tight framework in order to create order among the many different artistic expressions, as well as the themes, techniques, media, and time periods spanned by the exhibition.
The exhibition appears on the occasion of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen later this year. The goal of the National Gallery of Denmark with this exhibition is to seek out the historical background for our view of nature as it can be read in visual art. Rather than supply scientific expert knowledge of the relevant climatic conditions, it is the intention of the exhibition to show how the western world through time has read nature into different world views and dealt with nature on this basis. Precisely by pointing out the variability in mankind's relation to nature, the exhibition comments on the current climate crisis and puts it into perspective.
Visit the National Gallery of Denmark at : http://www.smk.dk/smk.nsf/
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:25 PM PDT
HELSINKI.-The 2010 main exhibition series in Kiasma will be launched by the Berlin-based Norwegian painter Olav Christopher Jenssen's exhibition, Panorama. Presenting the latest work by the internationally renowned and constantly innovative painter, the exhibition also demonstrates that painting remains an extremely interesting and vibrant form of contemporary art. We have the pleasure to invite a representative of your staff to meet the artist and view the exhibition from 11am on Thursday, 28 January in Kiasma. The artist will be available for interviews.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:21 PM PDT
Kalamazoo, MI - The colorful world of Mexican masks is the topic of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts' exhibition Magic and Intrigue: Masks of Mexico. Drawn from a private collection assembled over more than 20 years, the exhibition opens Saturday, October 28, 2006 and continues through Sunday, January 7, 2007.
Used throughout history in dance ceremonies, Mexican masks are recognized worldwide for their artistic appeal and exquisite craftsmanship. Masks of Mexico will feature more than 100 works assembled by Helmuth and Terrie Goede, whose collection is exceptional in both its scope and quality.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:20 PM PDT
HELSINKI.- The first extensive Finnish exhibition by Denise Grünstein (b. 1950), one of the best known Swedish photographic artists, showcases approximately 40 large works of photographic art and one video installation. The show exhibits four series of photographs, offering a cross-section of Denise Grünstein's work in the 2000s. She finds the subject matter that is used from her personal experiences, memories, and roots. The lyrical, atmospheric photographs have a strong relationship with art history, romantic painting, and surrealistic photography. The artist works with traditional film and uses an analogue large format view camera. She emphasizes stage-like, artificial ambiance in her photographs.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:18 PM PDT
PARIS.- Co-organised by the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, La Caja Madrid and the Musée Marmottan Monet, the exhibition Monet and abstraction is presented at the Musée Marmottan Monet through 26 September 2010. Monet's heritage continues to prompt new comparisons: in recent years, his influence on the abstract painters of the second half of the 20th century has been extensively explored. The new exhibition at the Musée Marmottan Monet examines this modernist legacy, bringing together forty-four Impressionist and abstract works, mostly from the sister collections of the Musée Marmottan Monet and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation.
The Impressionists broke with the models of the past, spearheading a new, dissident movement in art. In their wake, the American Expressionists and European Informalists leapt into the breach, widening the gulf between traditional and new forms still further. Gradually, a new concept of art gained widespread acceptance – as an autonomous, self-referential, expressive medium, engendering and exploring its own formal language. Painting was no longer about the pictorial representation of the real world, but about the materiality of painting itself – the canvas or support, the brushwork, handling and colour.
Curated by Jacques Taddei, Director of the Musée Marmottan Monet, and Paloma Alarcó, Director of the Department of Paintings at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, the exhibition highlights Monet's pivotal influence, and the interpretation of his legacy in the work of selected abstract – chiefly American – painters.
The exhibition itinerary explores the following main themes:
The Musée Marmottan Monet houses the world's largest collection of works by Claude Monet. This year, the museum is devoting two major temporary exhibitions to his extraordinarily prolific oeuvre, including an exploration of the artist's own private collection – Marmottan – Monet – La Collection – to be staged in autumn 2010. The present, summer exhibition, conceived in association with the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid, examines the relationship between Monet's work and the abstract movements of the second half of the 20th century.
Anyone who has seen Monet's Waterlilies at the Musée de l'Orangerie – hailed by the exhibition's curator Paloma Alarcó as the unrivalled archetype of "pure painting" – will know that of all the Impressionists, Monet took the exploration of the materiality of paint to its furthest extreme. For the viewer, it is fascinating to observe how Monet's determination to capture the world as closely as possible – as perceived through his own eyes – leads him to a growing awareness of the very essence of creative expression in paint, and to enshrine that awareness as the central focus of his work, treating the physical matter of his paintings as a means of "re-presenting" not only the realistic apearance of nature, but its essential inner life. Ultimately, in his last works, figurative representation was supplanted by the translation of optical sensations and recollections into paint.
By asserting the importance of subjectivity in the act of painting, Monet broke new ground, opening the way to the modern movements of the 20th century. Monet's work was rediscovered in the 1950s – chiefly by the American Abstract Expressionists, and painters of the second Ecole de Paris – since when numerous studies and exhibitions have addressed his essential "modernity". The present exhibition continues that exploration, in particular highlighting the resonances between Monet's work and that of leading abstract painters of the second half of the 20th century: Pollock, Rothko, Hofmann, Gottlieb, Vicente, Riopelle, Krasner, Tobey, Still, Francis, Mitchell, Zao Wou-ki, etc.
This exhibition will, we hope, shed new light on the originality and complexity of the work of one of the leading exponents of Impressionism, who went on to contribute – in the first decades of the 20th century – to the birth of a new approach to painting, increasingly divorced from the ideal of figurative representation that had underpinned the medium from its earliest beginnings.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 06:17 PM PDT
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