Thursday, July 27, 2017

Manet to Cézanne: Impressionist Drawings

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
27 May to 17 September 2017

Auguste Renoir, Two women, walking to the right, c. 1890, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (former collection Koenigs)

Edgar Degas, Nude study of jockey on horseback, seen on the back, 1834 – 1917, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (former Collection Koenigs)

Paul Cézanne, Rooftops of l’Estaque, c. 1878 – 1882, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (former collection Koenigs)
Edgar Degas, Dancer with Contrabass, 1880, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Legacy Vitale Bloch 1976
Georges Pierre Seurat, Landscape at Sunset, c. 1882 - 1883, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Edouard Manet, Study with five prunes, 1880, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Former Collection Koenigs.

The Impressionists, whose loose brushstrokes, bright colours and light effects brought about a revolution in painting around 1870, were also extremely innovative draughtsmen.  The medium lent itself to fleeting impressions of the landscape and urban life far better than paint – chalk and watercolours are quicker to use than oils. This summer Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents a magnificent selection of Impressionist drawings from its own collection.
The Impressionists usually used soft drawing materials to create a painterly result. Degas, Pissarro and Renoir often worked with chalk and pastel, Seurat had a distinct preference for conté chalk and Cézanne was an outstanding watercolourist. The Impressionists were not so fond of pen or hard pencil, which in their view defined shapes too sharply. The granular texture of chalk leaves the paper partially exposed, so that light is captured in the drawing. The use of loose and multiple outlines suggests movement in time.

Continuing Source of Inspiration

The Impressionists staged their own exhibitions because their innovative works were usually not accepted for the official exhibitions of the Paris Salon. There were always drawings in the eight group exhibitions mounted between 1874 and 1886 – around forty percent of the works exhibited, far more than were on display in the Salon. Thanks to the Impressionists, drawing, traditionally a part of academic training, also became a medium of the avant-garde. Their swift method – drawing against time – and the materials they used created a new freedom in art, which was of great significance to later generations of artists, from Picasso, for whom Cézanne and Degas were important examples, to Richard Serra, whose drawings attest to his admiration for Seurat.

Impressionism is an elastic concept. Most of the artists represented here took part in the group exhibitions staged between 1874 and 1886. Also there were Seurat and Signac, who were soon dubbed Neo-Impressionists, and Cézanne and Gauguin, whose work is regarded today as Post-Impressionist, like that of Toulouse-Lautrec. These late nineteenth-century trends were not about impressions of perceived reality. Compared with the original Impressionists, these later artists took a more conceptual approach, with greater structure and abstraction.

Impressionist Drawings from the Boijmans Collection

The museum has an important collection of drawings and a sizeable collection of prints in which the way art has evolved from the Middle Ages to the present day is clear to see. In the collection there are works by such masters as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Antonio Pisanello and Jean Antoine Watteau, and the museum also has a notable collection of Impressionist prints and drawings by many other artists. The thirty-four exhibited works are a selection from this collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist drawings. Among the highlights are five drawings by Manet, four by Degas, four by Renoir, four by Cézanne, three by Toulouse-Lautrec and one by Seurat. Most of them come from the former Koenigs Collection.

Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904)

Tate Britain, Linbury Galleries
2 November 2017 – 7 May 2018
This autumn, Tate Britain will bring together over 100 beautiful works by Monet, Tissot, Pissarro and others in the first large-scale exhibition to chart the stories of French artists who sought refuge in Britain during the Franco-Prussian War. The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904) will map the artistic networks they built in Britain, consider the aesthetic impact London had on the artists’ work, and present instantly recognisable views of the city as seen through French eyes.

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) Leicester Square  1901 Oil paint on canvas 805 x 648 mm Coll. Fondation Jean et Suzanne Planque (in deposit at Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence) Photo: © Luc Chessex

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) Leicester Square 1901 Oil paint on canvas 805 x 648 mm Coll. Fondation Jean et Suzanne Planque (in deposit at Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence) Photo: © Luc Chessex

The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London will look at French painters’ keen observations of British culture and social life, which were notably different to the café culture found in Paris.

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903) Saint Anne’s Church at Kew, London 1892 Oil paint on canvas 548 x 460 mm Private collection

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903) Saint Anne’s Church at Kew, London 1892 Oil paint on canvas 548 x 460 mm Private collection

 Camille Pissarro, Kew Green 1892

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903)
Kew Green
Oil paint on canvas
460 x 550 mm
Musee d’Orsay (Paris, France)

Evocative depictions of figures enjoying London parks such as Pissarro’s Kew Green 1892 will be shown, that were in stark contrast to formal French gardens where walking on the grass was prohibited.

Scenes of regattas fringed with bunting as painted by Alfred Sisley and

James Tissot (1836-1902) The Ball on Shipboard c.1874 Oil paint on canvas 1012 x 1476 x 115 mm Tate. Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1937

James Tissot (1836-1902) The Ball on Shipboard c.1874 Oil paint on canvas 1012 x 1476 x 115 mm Tate. Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1937

James Tissot in The Ball on Shipboard c.1874 will also be shown, demonstrating how British social codes and traditions captured the imagination of the Impressionists at the time.
While in London, French artists gravitated towards notable figures who would help them develop their careers and provide them with financial support. The exhibition will look at the mentorship Monet received from Charles-François Daubigny and consider the significant role of opera singer and art patron Jean-Baptiste Faure – works that he owned including

Sisley’s Molesey Weir, Hampton Court, Morning 1874 will be displayed. One of the most influential figures to be celebrated will be art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who first met Monet and Pissarro in London during their exile in 1870-71. Durand-Ruel purchased over 5000 Impressionist works over his lifetime which, in Monet’s own words, saved them from starving.
Part of the exhibition will examine the central role of Alphonse Legros in French émigré networks. As Professor of Fine Art at the Slade School in London from 1876 to 1893, he made a dynamic impact on British art education both as a painter and etcher, and exerted a decisive influence on the representation of peasant life as can be seen in  

The Tinker 1874.

He introduced his patrons Constantine Alexander Ionides and George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle, to sculptor Aimé-Jules Dalou who then, together with fellow sculptor and émigré Edouard Lantéri, shaped British institutions by changing the way modelling was taught. Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s sojourns in London, which he initially planned in order to stay close to his great patron, the exiled Emperor Napoleon III, will also be examined.

Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903), Charing Cross Bridge, 1890. Oil paint on canvas, 600 x 924 mm. National Gallery of Art (Washington, USA)

The final and largest section of the exhibition will be dedicated to representations of the Thames. 

 Claude Monet The Houses of Parliament Sunset

The Houses of Parliament With the Sun 1904 
Houses of Parliament, Effect of Sunlight in the Fog, 1904 

 Claude Monet  Houses of Parliament at Sunset, 1903 

Claude Monet (1840-1926) Houses of Parliament, Sunlight Effect 1903 Oil paint on canvas 813 x 921 mm Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York

Claude Monet The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog) 

Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, London, Sun Breaking Through, 1904 
  Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, Fog Effect

Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, London 1905 (50 Kb); Oil on canvas, 81 x 92 cm (31 7/8 x 36 1/4 in); Musee Marmottan, Paris


Claude Monet, Houses of Parliament, Sunlight Effect, 1903
Featuring a group of Monet’s Houses of Parliament series, this room will examine how depictions of the Thames and London developed into a key theme in French art.

A selection of André Derain’s paintings of London landmarks, which answer directly to Monet’s, will demonstrate the continuity of this motif in art history.  The show will conclude with the Entente Cordiale – a formal pact of peace and unity between Britain and France – which, in the case of Monet in particular, coincided with the culmination of an artistic project which started in 1870.
The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904) will be curated by Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons in collaboration with the Petit Palais and Paris Musées. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and a programme of talks and events in the gallery.

Alfred Stieglitz and Modern America

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
July 22–November 5, 2017

This exhibition presents a selection of the MFA’s exceptional holdings of works by Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946), the great American impresario of photography at the turn of the 20th century. Featuring 36 photographs, the exhibition showcases fine examples of his New York views, portraits and photographs that Stieglitz took at his family’s country home at Lake George.

  Alfred Stieglitz's “The Terminal”1893

Alfred Stieglitz “The Steerage” 1907

Alfred Stieglitz “From the Shelton, Looking West,” 1934
The New York views reveal the artist’s lifelong interest in the urban city, from his early explorations of the picturesque effects of rain, snow and nightfall to later ones that focus on the inherent geometry of modernity’s rising architectural structures.

 Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (4), 1918. Photograph, gelatin silver print. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection—Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, Sophie M. Friedman Fund and Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund.

The portraits include 10 images from Stieglitz’s magnificent extended series of images of his wife, the celebrated painter Georgia O’Keeffe—a “portrait in time” that reflects his ideals of modern womanhood and is evocative of their close relationship. These portraits are accompanied by additional images of members of his family and friends.

The Lake George photographs include, in addition to views of the family property, a sequence of the mystical cloud studies that Stieglitz called “equivalents,” which explore the interpretation of inner states of being.

Many of the photographs on view were donated by Stieglitz to the MFA in 1924—making it one of the first museums in the US to collect photography as fine art. Enhanced by an additional gift from O’Keeffe in 1950, the MFA’s Stieglitz holdings form an outstanding survey of the photographer’s career, as well as the cornerstone of the Museum’s photography collection.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'Something Resembling Truth': Major Jasper Johns Retrospective

Royal Academy of Arts, London

Sep. 23 through Dec. 10, 2017 


The Broad, Los Angeles

Feb. 10, 2018 through May 13, 2018

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels), 33 1/2 x 56 1/4 in., Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.  The Eli and Edythe L.  Broad Collection
Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels), 33 1/2 x 56 1/4 in., Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection

Artist Jasper Johns (b. 1930), who rose to prominence with his paintings of flags, targets and other familiar objects, will be the sole subject of a special exhibition at LA's The Broad in early 2018.

Johns’ 60-year career of work will be presented in the most comprehensive survey in the U.S. in two decades. Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is the first major survey of the artist’s work to be shown in Los Angeles, and will be on view at The Broad Feb. 10, 2018 through May 13, 2018.

A collaboration with the Royal Academy, London, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will feature more than 100 of the artist’s most iconic and significant paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, many never before exhibited in Los Angeles. With loans from international public and private collections, including significant works from the Broad collection, the exhibition will trace the evolution of the artist’s six-decade career through a series of thematic chapters.

The exhibition encompasses the full range of Johns’ materials, motifs and techniques—including his unique use of encaustic (heated beeswax) and foundmaterial collage in paintings—and the innovations he has achieved in sculpture and the graphic arts by expanding the possibilities of traditional media.

Johns’ use of accessible images will be thoroughly examined, seen continually transformed through the artist’s engagement with a wide range of human experiences. In a departure from a retrospective approach, Johns’ artistic achievements will be illuminated through the juxtaposition of early and late works throughout the exhibition.

One of the most influential and important living artists to emerge in the 20th century, and one of America’s great living artists, Johns has been seminal to the Broad collection. His work emerged with and has influenced numerous other collection artists represented in depth, including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Sherrie Levine.

Organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with The Broad, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is curated by Edith Devaney, contemporary curator at the Royal Academy, and independent curator Dr. Roberta Bernstein, author of Jasper Johns’ Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Sculpture, who has written and lectured extensively on contemporary artists including Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Rauschenberg. Heyler and Associate Curator Ed Schad are host curators at The Broad.

The exhibition title is taken from a 2006 interview, in which Johns said, “Yet, one hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work.”
At The Broad, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will begin with an entire gallery devoted to Johns’ complex treatment of the American flag, arguably his best-known image, deployed famously at the outset of his career in the 1950s as testing ground for a new direction for 20th century art, and for decades afterward, as an enduring, compelling and everevolving subject evoking a variety of social meanings.

The exhibition will reveal the continuities and changes in Johns’ work throughout his career. His use of accessible and familiar motifs established a new vocabulary in painting as early as the 1950s—his treatment of iconography and the appropriation of objects and symbols made the familiar seem unknown through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his groundbreaking paintings and sculptures, Johns charted a radical new course in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism.

In the 1960s he added devices within his works, including studio objects, imprints and casts of the human figure, while works from the 1970s are dominated by abstract ‘crosshatchings.’ During this time Johns began to explore printmaking and is now one of the most celebrated printmakers today.

His work continued to evolve throughout the 1980s, as he introduced a variety of images that engaged with themes involving memory, sexuality and the contemplation of mortality. From this time, Johns increasingly incorporated tracings and details of works by other artists, such as Matthias Grünewald, Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch.

The works of the 1990s built on the increasing complexity of subject and reference, and by the early 2000s Johns had embarked on the pared down and more conceptual Catenary series which, along with other recent works, shows the rich productivity and vitality of this late phase of his career.

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ brings together artworks that rarely travel, including significant loans from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute, Chicago; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition, the artist has generously loaned a number of his works to the exhibition.

Works exclusive to The Broad’s presentation of the exhibition include

Three Flags, 1958 (The Whitney Museum of Art, New York)

and In memory of my feelings, Frank O’Hara, 1995 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago).

Other highlights include

Jasper Johns, Target, 1961. Encaustic and collage on canvas. 167.6 x 167.6 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: © 2017. The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY / Scala, Florence
Flag, 1958 (private collection);

0 Through 9, 1961 (private collection);

Periscope (Hart Crane), 1963 (The Menil Collection on Loan from the Artist);

Jasper Johns, Between the Clock and the Bed, 1981

Between the Clock and the Bed, 1981 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C);

Ventriloquist, 1983 (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston);

 Summer, 1985 (Museum of Modern Art, New York);

and Bridge, 1997 (private collection).

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue featuring writings by the curators Devaney and Bernstein, as well as essays from curator and critic Robert Storr, art historian Hiroko Ikegami and writer Morgan Meis. The contributing authors will discuss Johns’ extensive body of work from viewpoints of literature, contemporary culture and international significance. The exhibition debuts at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, from Sep. 23 through Dec. 10, 2017.

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 24–October 9, 2017
The Met Breuer, New York, November 14, 2017–February 4, 2018
Munch Museum, Oslo, May 12–September 9, 2018

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940–43; oil on canvas; 58 7/8 x 47 7/16 in. (149.5 x 120.5 cm); photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has opened the exhibition Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, on view June 24 through October 9, 2017. Featuring approximately 45 paintings produced between the 1880s and the 1940s, with seven on view in the United States for the first time, this exhibition uses the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s last significant self-portrait as a starting point to reassess his entire career.

Organized by SFMOMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Munch Museum, Oslo, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed brings together Munch’s most profoundly human and technically daring compositions of love, despair, desire and death, as well as more than a dozen of his self-portraits to reveal a singular modern artist, one who is largely unknown to American audiences, and increasingly recognized as one of the foremost innovators of figurative painting in the 20th century.

“When you consider that Munch felt that he didn’t really hit his stride until his 50s and that his career doesn’t map against traditional paths of art history, then the latter part of his career warrants a closer look,” said Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. “Munch’s influence can be felt in the work of many artists such as Georg Baselitz, Marlene Dumas, Katharina Grosse, Asger Jorn, Bridget Riley and particularly Jasper Johns, who became fascinated by the cross hatch patterns in Munch’s Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed.”

“Munch really presents an alternative to the traditional school-of-Paris-driven history of modernism that has long been dominant, but tells an incomplete account of the art of the past century,” added Caitlin Haskell, associate curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA.

Seven works in the exhibition make their United States debut including

Lady in Black (1891),

Puberty (1894),

Jealousy (1907),

Death Struggle (1915),

Man with Bronchitis (1920),

Self-Portrait with Hands in Pockets (1925–26)

and Ashes (1925).

The exhibition will also include an extraordinary presentation of

Sick Mood at Sunset. Despair (1892),

the earliest depiction and compositional genesis of

The Scream, which is being shown outside of Europe for only the second time in its history.

About the Exhibition

As a young man in the late 19th century, Edvard Munch’s (1863–1944) bohemian pictures placed him among the most celebrated and controversial artists of his generation. But as he confessed in 1939, his true “breakthrough came very late in life, really only starting when I was 50 years old.”

One of Munch’s last works, Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed (1940–43) — with its themes of desire, mortality, isolation and anxiety — serves as a touchstone and guide to the approximately 45 works in the exhibition. Together, these paintings propose an alternative view of Munch as an artist as revolutionary in the 20th century as he was when he made a name for himself in the Symbolist era.

Born and raised in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway, Edvard Munch’s career spanned 60 years and included ties to the Symbolist and expressionist movements, as well as their legacies. Following a brief period of formal training in painting at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania, Munch exhibited widely throughout Europe affecting the trajectory of modernism in France, Germany and his native Norway. While best known for the paintings and prints titled The Scream, Munch was a prolific creator who left a body of work that includes approximately 1,750 paintings, 18,000 prints and 4,500 watercolors as well as sculpture, graphic art, theater design and film.

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed unfolds in eight thematically-focused galleries that explore Munch’s long-term engagement with particular subjects that recur throughout his career — love, death, sickness, psychological turmoil and mortality, especially his own. The paintings on view, many deeply personal works from Munch’s own collection now held by the Munch Museum, as well as loans from institutions and private lenders from around the world, also demonstrate Munch’s liberated, self-assured painting style and technical abilities including bravura brushwork, innovative compositional structures, the incorporation of visceral scratches and marks on the canvas and his exceptional use of intense, vibrant color.

The exhibition begins with a double gallery of self-portraits featuring works created between the 1880s and 1940s that follow the artist’s path from a self-conscious young man with the future ahead of him to an elderly painter whose time is nearing an end. But for all of their confessional qualities, the paintings are not simply documentary. Perhaps more than any artist of his time, Munch also uses the self-portrait to fictionalize his personal narrative. In

Self-Portrait with Spanish Flu (1919),

a painting that appears in a later gallery, Munch depicts himself as suffering from the illness though later research suggests that he may never have had it and instead sought to ingratiate himself with the Norwegian public. From this opening gallery, the exhibition progresses through galleries devoted to inner turmoil, jealousy, scenes of the artist in his studio, illness, death and romantic love.

The works in the exhibition also demonstrate the progression of Munch’s technique from an early

Self-Portrait (1886) with its thick impasto and chipped away dry paint, to

Self-Portrait with Cigarette (1895),

an example of a “turpentine painting” in which Munch uses heavily diluted oil paint and a flat brush to create an ethereal, smoky glaze that allows the white ground of the canvas to become part of the painted surface. This technique, not typical to the 1890s, incorporates some of the strategies of watercolor painting, using the canvas color as a constructive element and part of the composition.

“Munch was an artist who never stopped looking. Never stopped feeling. Some people think the first part of his career is the classic Munch, and the best. But he’s, in a way, challenging these kinds of simple conclusions. He never stopped processing his own art and often did new versions of some of his most central motifs, referencing his own art into his late years,” explained Jon-Ove Steihaug, director of exhibitions and collections at the Munch Museum.

Illustrating Munch’s restless revisiting of themes and his skill as an observer of human nature, the final painting in the exhibition,

The Dance of Life (1925),


a picture of the same title The Dance of Life (1899) that was part of the monumental cycle The Frieze of Life.

In total, the exhibition contains seven scenes from this series, which offers visitors a metaphoric “dance” across many of Munch’s key themes — attraction, love, jealousy, rejection — and culminates in a poetic meditation on the joys and sorrows that define a life.

Exhibition Organization and Support

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Munch Museum, Oslo.

The exhibition is curated by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Jon-Ove Steihaug, director of exhibitions and collections at the Munch Museum, Oslo, with Caitlin Haskell, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Exhibition Catalogue

A fully illustrated catalogue, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, will accompany the exhibition. Edited by Gary Garrels, Jon-Ove Steihaug and Sheena Wagstaff, the catalogue includes a foreword by celebrated Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard. It includes essays by Patricia Berman, Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art at Wellesley College; Allison Morehead, associate professor at Queen’s University, Ontario; Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at the University of Texas at Austin; and Mille Stein, paintings conservator emerita at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU). The catalogue is published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and distributed by Yale University Press.