RA Magazine Autumn 2011
Issue Number: 112
International Preview: Prêt à Paris
Paris is the place to see unmissable art this autumn, from Picasso and Matisse, to German Expressionists, and Etruscan influences on Giacometti. Ben Luke reports
Henri Matisse, 'Woman with a Hat', 1905 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Bequest of Elise S. Haas. STEINS REUNITED
In the early 1900s, when Matisse and Picasso were rival enfants terribles causing outrage in Paris, the American writer Gertrude Stein and her family – brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael’s wife Sarah – were among the few enlightened individuals to spot these artists’ greatness early. They amassed extraordinary collections of works by the two masters, their peers and forebears, and became central figures in Parisian cultural circles. An intriguing exhibition at the Grand Palais reunites their collections. Sarah and Michael had a particular interest in Matisse, while Gertrude and Leo preferred Picasso, whose portrait of Gertrude is one of many masterpieces in the show, along with Matisse’s revolutionary Fauvist portrait Woman with a Hat, of 1905.
Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso…The Stein Family, Grand Palais, Paris, 5 Oct–16 Jan, 2012 www.rmn.fr
Fra Angelico, 'St Francis Receiving the Stigmata and the Death of St Peter Martyr', 15th century Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg/© Photograph Britta lauer. MASTERS OF LIGHT
Perhaps the holiest artist in history is Fra Angelico, one of the supreme early Renaissance painters. Known in his Italian homeland as Il Beato (‘the blessed one’ – he was officially beatified in 1980), he is celebrated for his clear perspective and the natural modelling of his figures, as well as the vividness and passion of his compositions, which engage the viewer in their biblical and saintly tableaux. The Musée Jacquemart-André is presenting around 25 of his works, along with several by his early-fifteenth-century contemporaries. Among Fra Angelico’s chief achievements was his ability to breathe new life into gold, a common medieval material; in his paintings it becomes deeply expressive as well as shimmeringly decorative.
Fra Angelico and the Masters of Light, Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, 23 Sep–16 Jan, 2012 www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com
(L-R) Alberto Giacometti, 'The Walking Man I', 1960. Etruscan bronze, '3 Evening Shadow', third-century BCE. Collection Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence/Photo Claude Germain © Succession Giacometti/ADAGP, Paris 2011. © Photo Arrigo Coppitz. TWENTIETH-CENTURY GREATS
Two fascinating autumn shows at the Pinacothèque de Paris reflect on major developments in twentieth-century art. One unpicks the relationship between the two groups within German Expressionism – the more intellectually grounded, visually calmer images of Der Blaue Reiter, which included artists Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky, and Die Brücke, whose artists sought a direct physical engagement with nature, and by extension, with ‘primitive’ cultures, as reflected in the works of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and also in the vivid paintings of Die Brücke founder Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. One artist’s obsession with ancient cultures is also explored in a show reflecting on the seismic effect of Etruscan art on the great Italian existentialist sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Highlights include his Walking Man I (1960) with Evening Shadow, a third-century BCE figure whose lengthened physical form profoundly influenced Giacometti. It is the highlight among 150 Etruscan objects which are shown alongside 30 Giacometti sculptures.
Expressionismus & Expressionismi: Berlin-Munich 1905-20, Der Blaue Reiter vs Die Brücke, 13 Oct–11 March, 2012, Giacometti and the Etruscans, 16 Sep–8 Jan, 2012, Pinacothèque de Paris, www.pinacotheque.com
Edvard Munch, 'Pubertet' [Puberty], 1894-95 Oil on canvas, 151.5 x 110 cm. © Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Oslo, Norway. Edvard Munch is the latest great artist to be reinvented for the twenty-first century in an exhibition beginning at the Pompidou Centre in Paris this autumn, before travelling to Tate Modern next year. Subtitled ‘The Modern Eye’, the exhibition suggests that Munch was not an essentially nineteenth-century symbolist, but was driven by decidedly twentieth-century concerns, using fledgling technologies such as photography and film, and regularly addressing current affairs. Among the highlights are works reflecting Munch’s film-inspired compositions, such as On the Operating Table (1902–03) and his repeated photographic and painted self-portraits – many of which were seen in the RA’s Munch exhibition in 2005.
Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 00 33 01 44 78 12 33, www.centrepompidou.fr
, 21 Sep 2011–9 Jan 2012
Click here to read about more international exhibitions on the RA Magazine Blog
© RA Magazine
Editorial enquiries: 020 7300 5820
Advertising rates and enquiries: 0207 300 5661
Magazine subscriptions: 0800 634 6341 (9.30am-5.00pm Mon-Fri)
Press office (for syndication of articles only): 0207 300 5615