Until January 20, 2013 – Denver Art Museum
An in-depth exploration of Vincent van Gogh’s unconventional path to becoming one of the world’s most recognizable artists, Becoming Van Gogh examines critical steps in his artistic evolution through more than 70 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh, along with works by artists to whom he responded such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Camille Pissarro. Becoming Van Gogh brings together loans from more than 60 public and private collections throughout Europe and North America to tell the story of a number of key formative periods throughout the artist’s career.
Tag: van gogh
Until January 20, 2013 – Denver Art Museum
From September 19 2012 to January 6, 2013 – Musee du Luxembourg
On 29 January 1906, a group of art collectors and artists formed the Modern Art Club (Cercle de l’Art moderne) in Le Havre. Among the members were Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy and Emile Othon Friesz and some of the town’s biggest collectors at the beginning of the 20th century: Olivier Senn, Charles-Auguste Marande, Pieter van der Velde, Georges Dussueil, Oscar Schmitz, Edouard Lüthy…They set themselves the objective of promoting modern art in Le Havre.
Between 1906 and 1910, the group organised exhibitions, lecture series, poetry readings and concerts. Frantz Jourdain, Guillaume Apollinaire and Claude Debussy supported the club, which was linked from the outset to the newly established Salon d’Automne.
On its initiative, works by the great artists of the time were shown in Le Havre, especially at four annual exhibitions: the “old” Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir, and the Neo-Impressionists, but above all the young Fauves, brought by their friends Braque, Dufy, and Friesz. Le Havre, which was not too far from Paris, gave the Fauves a warm welcome and a potential outlet for their recent production, the very works that had sparked the scandal of the “wild beasts’ cage.”
Who were these men? What did they have in common? What was it about the historical, economic and cultural context of Le Havre that favoured the emergence of the club?
Le Havre was an industrial town, founded relatively recently (1517); by the mid 19th century, its flourishing port had become a major gateway for imports of exotic products. Local businessmen and notables were keen to give the city a “soul”. Consequently, a museum was established near the waterfront in 1845 and well-known artists were invited to regular exhibitions organised by the Art Friends Club (in 1868 Manet won a prize for his Dead Bullfighter, which had been refused five years before at the Salon de Paris). The merchants interested in these activities took an active part in the cultural life of the town and the success of their businesses had a direct influence on the fate of the artists, hence Eugène Boudin’s pithy comment: “No cotton, no paintings”.
In the late 19th century, a new generations of collectors appeared. They were all members of the Art Friends Club (Société des Amis des Arts), but had a particular interest in the work of young artists and often went to Paris to see the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, the galleries run by Druet, Bernheim and Vollard, artists’ studios and auction rooms. They joined Dufy, Friesz and Braque in this singular adventure.
The collections of two of them, Olivier Senn and Charles-Auguste Marande, are now in the Musée d’Art moderne André Malraux in Le Havre, donated by the artists themselves or by their descendants. The collections of van der Velde, Dussueil, Schmitz, Lüthy and others, although scattered, are well known.
Each one tells us something of the collector’s personality. Although there are some similarities due to shared tastes (for Boudin, Pissarro, Marquet…), the collections reveal individual quirks and daring choices. For instance, Senn started his collection with two major works by Delacroix and Courbet from the 1850s and went on to collect Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces, while Dussueil and van der Velde were immediately attracted by the very latest work, buying Matisses at the same time as the Steins, and before the Morozovs and Shchukin. Degas and Cross are well represented in the Senn collection, while Van Dongen was preferred by van der Velde or Dussueil. There was obviously complicity and emulation between them and paintings circulated and sometimes changed hands.
The exhibition presents some 90 works and takes visitors into the collectors’ world. Going beyond their private interests, they joined the club to defend a conception of their commitment to modern art and artists, and to the public interest. The show also looks at the personal careers of the artists linked to the club, at first united in the defence of Fauvism and then gradually going their separate ways. The Cercle de l’Art moderne can be seen as a unique and short-lived provincial phenomenon, an instant of grace due to a handful of people convinced of the need to defend modernity. Its avant-garde image stuck to the town and region in which it developed.
From May 25 to September 3, 2012 – National Gallery of Canada
Van Gogh: Up Close is the first major exhibition in Canada in over 25 years of works by this famous Dutch artist. It brings together more than 40 of Van Gogh’s paintings from private and public collections around the world, as well as a selection of Japanese woodblock prints, nineteenth-century photographs, and works on paper from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
This exhibition explores Van Gogh’s love for nature and his gift for representing the world around him, from landscapes down to the smallest blade of grass.
For example, the show includes Iris (1889), from the National Gallery of Canada’s collection, as well as paintings that depict another corner of the garden where Van Gogh painted Iris, but from a wider angle. Van Gogh: Up Close will demonstrate how these paintings became the most radical and innovative in the artist’s body of work.
In early 1886 Van Gogh arrived in Paris from the Netherlands and came face to face with a revolutionary new way of painting. For the first time he was exposed to the art of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists, which compelled him to revise his painting in both content and style. He quickly abandoned the sombre hues of his earlier Dutch works in favour of a brighter palette and modernized brushstroke, beginning with a series of flower still lifes painted in a typical 19th century Western style. But Van Gogh swiftly departed from this tradition and focused increasingly on the subject itself, eliminating the surrounding space.
At the same time, Van Gogh developed a keen interest in Japanese woodblock prints, which he admired for their aesthetic qualities. Like the Impressionist painters who had discovered these prints earlier, Van Gogh became fascinated with Japanese art. This led him to experiment with unusual visual angles, decorative use of colour, cropping and flattening of his compositions.
Often remembered for his battles with mental illness and suicide in July 1890, Van Gogh was first and foremost an ambitious, well-read and sophisticated thinker whose work was informed and deliberate.
Born in 1853, he was fluent in English, French and Dutch, and he had a great love for the written word. Throughout his life he read a vast amount of literature that stretched from the Bible to French Naturalist writings. Vincent Van Gogh also had a strong understanding of art history that extended from Old Master paintings right up to the emergence of photography.
From February 10, 2012 to May 13, 2012 – Albertina
Masterworks on Paper is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to the significance of drawing to the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist avant-garde movements—and to the development of modern art.
The Albertina, Vienna, Austria – The exhibition will present up to 200 drawings, watercolours and pastels by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Active in France during the second half of the nineteenth century and closely associated with avant-garde movements, artists such as Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Seurat, Gauguin, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec created works on paper that may be less well known than their paintings but which are just as significant. This is the first international exhibition devoted exclusively to drawings by these artists and will considerably extend knowledge of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
The starting point for Impressionism on Paper is the fact that a large proportion (40%) of all the items shown in the eight Impressionist exhibitions held in Paris between 1874 and 1886 were works on paper. Many of these can be identified and are included on the selection list. To this core will be added numerous other examples by these artists and others that will provide an overview of their drawing skills at this critical stage in the development of a widely appreciated moment in the development of French art.
The aim is to demonstrate the different types of drawing pursued by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists and to demonstrate the various purposes to which their works on paper were put.
Drawing is not an activity with which the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists have so far been closely associated. The exhibition, however, will illustrate unequivocally and for the first time that for these artists drawing was a primary function and not a secondary activity. Although drawings were used as part of the preparatory process towards a painting, more and more they came to be regarded by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists as finished works of art in their own right. Many of the pastels by Degas, the watercolours by Cézanne, the pen and ink drawings by Van Gogh or the works in mixed media by Toulouse-Lautrec were made on a large scale specifically for exhibition.
Impressionism on Paper, therefore, will show that far from ignoring the art of drawing the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists chose to emphasize its primacy thereby ceasing to uphold or even recognize the traditional distinction between drawing and painting. Instead, they elevated the status of drawing to the level of painting itself regarding both practices as part of a single aesthetic.
The result was that the traditional hierarchy separating painting from drawing established during the Renaissance ceased with the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. This, in turn, had considerable consequences for the development of modern art in so far as the fusion of line and colour resulting from a series of multiple gestural acts, which characterizes the best examples of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist drawings, paved the way for such artists as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly and Bridget Riley.
Closing date not set – Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
A new look at the collection of the MASP, Look and Be Seen celebrates the art of portraiture and self-portrait of the 16th century to the present day. We can see the changes over the years, through works of masters like Renoir, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Rivera, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Frans Hals and five paintings by Goya, among them the portrait of Ferdinand VII.