Pierre Bonnard, Le Café, 1915, Oil on canvas, 73 × 106.4 cm, Tate, Photo: © 2012, Tate, London © 2012, ProLitteris, Zurich

29 January – 13 May 2012 – Foundation Beyeler

With the exhibition “Pierre Bonnard”, the Fondation Beyeler celebrates the great French colorist and one of the most fascinating of modern artists. More than 60 paintings from renowned museums and private collections provide insight into all phases of his career.
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) was a co-founder of an artist‘s group known as the Nabis, who admired the style of Paul Gauguin and Japanese woodblock prints. In Paris, Bonnard depicted the bustling life on the streets and in the cafés, before retiring first to Normandy, very close to Monet‘s water-lily garden, then to the sunny Côte d‘Azur, where he was inspired by the light and colors of the Mediterranean environment. Continually experimenting, he produced variants in ever-new color combinations and from surprising points of view on subjects from everyday life, in which time only apparently seems to stand still. The artist‘s favorite model was the mysterious Marthe, his muse and wife. Bonnard created harmonious still lifes, enigmatic interiors, intimate female nudes, moving self-portraits, and decorative landscapes whose magnificent palette is unique in modern art.

Pierre Bonnard - Place Clichy, 1906–07 Oil on canvas, 102.1 × 116.6 cm Private collection © 2012, ProLitteris, Zurich

ne of the principal lenders is the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Further outstanding loans come from the Tate London; the Musée national d’Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Kunstmuseum Basel; the Kunsthaus Zürich; and from distinguished private collections, not least from the Hahnloser successors.

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