Monday, 21 August 2017

The New British Pottery of the 20th Century


Ewart Uncles © Bristol Culture

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in Bristol, the United Kingdom is showing a retrospective exhibition of 20th century British pottery.

Twentieth Century British Pottery
Fig.1 Hans Coper © Bristol Culture
In the 20th century, a ceramics industry born alongside post-industrial revolution mass production coexisted with a studio system that had a division of labor between artisans who painted and those who threw clay on wheels. In that environment arose a new trend of the individual pottery artist. These artists should be recognized as conveyors of the beauty of the combination of highly practical pottery and artistic expression.

The driving force behind this trend was Bernard Leach. In 1920, Leach returned from Japan with Shoji Hamada and created a style that fused the tradition and style of Eastern and Western, and Japanese and British ceramics. It was simple, solid and powerful pottery.
The New Shape of the New Pottery
The potters Lucie Rie from Austria and Hans Coper  (fig. 1) from Germany fled the battles of World War II and sought asylum in Britain. Both artists were influenced by the sudden spread at the time of abstract sculpture and pursued the spatial representation and figurative aspects of pottery. Their works were thin and light and gave rise to a new balancing of modulation. As mechanization allowed for high quality mass-produced goods and decreased the need for artisans to create daily commodities, the younger generation, led by Rie and Coper, experimented with new forms and expressions of pottery in their artistic quests.

“Radical Clay: Teaching with the greatest potters of the 1960s” Exhibition until June 10, 2018 (irregular closings on Mondays)

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Queens Rd
Bristol BS8 1RL
The United Kingdom
https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/
Opening times:
Tue to Sun 10:00-17:00
Closed:
Dec. 25, 26. Irregular Mondays (see website)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Outsider Painter –– Jean Dubuffet

Fig.1 Jean Dubuffet: Personnage hilare (Portrait de Francis Ponge), 1947,
oil on plaster on cardboard, 60.5 x 45.5 cm, collection Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam, donation of the artist

A forerunner of the art informel movement and an advocate of art brut (or raw art) who expressed a strong interest in the art of children, the mentally ill and primeval cultures, French painter Jean Dubuffet has had a major impact on the international art world. This summer two art museums in Amsterdam are simultaneously holding exhibitions on Dubuffet, a painter who is crucial in tracing the history of 20th century art.


Impasto Paintings
The Stedelijk Museum is showing Dubuffet’s paintings and lithographs from the 1950s. During this period Dubuffet was attempting to develop new textures in his paintings. He created his own unique textures by applying paints so thickly that they imparted a strong presence in themselves and then mixing in materials not normally used such as dirt, asphalt and bits of glass. In the Portrait of Francis Ponge (fig.1), Dubuffet used plaster.


Fig.2 Monument au fantôme (1969–1971) Fondation Dubuffet, Paris. ©2017
Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / Pictoright, Netherlands. Photo Johannes Schwartz
Graphic Outdoor Sculptures
Dubuffet’s works from the 1960s into the mid-1970s were often filled with patterns that are bordered with strong contour lines. His colors gradually became more organized to have a graphic effect. Around 1970 he made sculptures that looked as if they had jumped out of the patterns in his paintings (fig.2) and large-scale outdoor sculptures. Twelve of these are displayed in the Rijksmuseum Gardens.
The two exhibitions offer an opportunity to discover from various viewpoints the world of Dubuffet’s creations, built from his power of expression and unique sense of humor that broke the conventions of established art.

Jean Dubuffet –– The Deep End Until 2018, Jan. 6 (open daily)
Dubuffet in the Rijksmuseum Gardens Until 2017 Oct. 1 (open daily)


Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
1071 DJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
http://www.stedelijk.nl/en
Opening times:
Mon to Sun 10:00-18:00 (Friday until 10 pm)

Rijksmuseum
Museumstraat 1
1071 CJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/
Opening times:
Open daily 9:00-17:00

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Arp: The Poetry of Forms

Fig.1 Jean Arp, Cloud Shepherd, 1953, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo,
photo: Marjon Gemmeke
Hans Arp (1886-1966) was born in Strasburg, a city where the cultures of France and Germany are intertwined. A fluent speaker of French and German, Arp started off as a poet, and went on to success as a sculptor and painter in France, Germany and Switzerland. The Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands is showing some 80 works of Arp, including sculptures, paintings, poetry and other publications in the exhibition “Arp: The Poetry of Forms.” (fig.2)。

Form and Poetry
Arp’s works are characterized by the sense of affection they conjure in the viewer and their wavy lines and poetic titles as seen in Sculpture to be Lost in the Forest and Pagoda Fruit. No shepherd can be identified in his representative work Cloud Shepherd (fig.1), but its ambiguous shaping and fairy tale-like title express the world view of Arp who loved poetry and a utopian world. The rounded form of the work and the protrusions that grows out from it remind one of a living creature or a growing fruit. One can sense Arp’s compassionate view of the creations and modifications that take place in the natural world.


The Universe of Arp
Fig.2 Overview Arp: The Poetry of Forms, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo,
photo: Marjon Gemmeke
World War I prompted Arp to take part in the founding of Dadaism that aimed to destroy existing values. Rejecting the machine civilization and anthropocentric thinking that gave rise to the war, Arp looked for inspiration in nature or the meaningless forms in nature. Recognizing plants, clouds, stars and all natural forms in the universe along the same lines as his works, Arp created his ideal universe through abstract and soft shapes and poetry.


Arp: The Poetry of Forms : Until Sept. 18 (Closed Mondays)


Kröller-Müller Museum
Houtkampweg 6
6731 AW Otterlo
The Netherlands
www.krollermuller.nl/visit
Opening times:
Tuesday through Sunday and national holidays* from 10:00 to 17:00. The sculpture garden is open until 16:30.
* Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Christmas, King’s Day 27 April, Liberation Day 5 May
Closed   Monday and on 1 January

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Gardens exhibition



The ambitious exhibition on the theme of gardens underway at the Grand Palais offers a comprehensive look at the convergence of art and gardens by examining botanical history and the background of the art of gardens. From a Pompei fresco created in the first half of the first century to installations from contemporary artists, the exhibition presents a variety of genres over a wide period of time, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, sketches and films.

Garden of the Virgin Mary
The depiction of gardens by artists dates back to the Middle Ages. They portrayed “the enclosed garden Hortus Conclusus,” based on the Canticles from the Old Testament which attest to the virginity of Mary, as a garden of an abbey with white lilies and wild strawberries that symbolize the Virgin Mary and utilitarian plants such as medicinal herbs.

 Origins of the Botanical Garden
Illustration© Rmn-Grand Palais, Paris 2017
The “enclosed garden” underwent a major change during the Renaissance. Plants that were cultivated for practical use became objects of scientific study and were observed and collected extensively. In 1545 the first garden was created in Padua, colored by various plants discovered by explorers. Beautifully shaped and flourishing with rare plants, the garden offered new scenery for artists and stimulated their creative appetite.

Gardens Created by Artists, Gardeners and Landscape Artists
Beginning with the Pompei fresco believed to be the oldest depiction of a garden, extending to the paintings of Dürer, Monet, Cezanne and Picasso, the botanical specimens of Klee and an installation by the Japanese artist Koichi Kurita who collected soil from various locations, the fascinating exhibition allows the viewer to enjoy the diverse works related to the garden. There is also a garden created with dried samples of flower and fruit and a section that displays design plans for gardens.

Garden, until July 24 (Closed Tuesdays)


※ Curator Laurent Le Bon talks about the exhibition (Auto-translation available)
Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower
75008 Paris, France
http://www.grandpalais.fr/en
Opening times:

Sun, Mon, Thu 10:00-20:00
Wed, Fri, Sat 10:00-22:00
Closed:
Tue

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

World Traveling Exhibition: Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, ca. 1657-1658. Oil on canvas. 45.5 x 41 cm. Amsterdam,
Rijksmuseum © Amsterdam, The Rijksmuseum

The world traveling exhibition “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting,” likely to be the most talked about art event of this year, has opened at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The exhibition displays 12, or about one third, of Vermeer’s works that exist today, including The Milkmaid , (fig. 1), A Woman Holding a Balance, and Allegory of Faith,. The exhibition was organized by the Louvre Museum, which owns one of the world’s leading collections of Dutch genre paintings including works by Vermeer, the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The exhibition will travel to each of these museums.

Enjoying Art in the 17th Century Dutch Republic
In the mid-17th century, the Netherlands entered an era of peak economic and cultural prosperity. Wealthy Dutch citizens bought paintings and displayed them in their homes. Friends and art lovers gathered to compare works, enjoying discussion of the characteristics and common themes and structures employed by the artists and the influences they had on each other. Vermeer’s works were also among those enjoyed in this manner.


Vermeer Amid Dutch Genre Painting
The exhibition “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” displays Vermeer’s works alongside those of his contemporaries in an attempt to reassess Vermeer in the context of Dutch genre painting. Vermeer undoubtedly left great works, but in reality he was one of many Dutch painters who escaped the world of great, traditional themes such as religion and wars to depict the likes of the daily life of a wealthy merchant by the canal. At this exhibition one can perceive how Vermeer and his rival contemporaries influenced each other in the same way that 17th century art lovers did.

Characteristics of Vermeer
A careful observation of Vermeer and his contemporaries reveals the distinctive characteristics of Vermeer. The colors used by Vermeer contain more light than the other painters and create a fresher atmosphere. Vermeer distinguishes himself from the others with his use of such colors.

Vermeer list of exhibited works, in order of creation
  1. The Milkmaid around 1657-1658 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  2. Woman with a Lute around 1662-1664 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  3. Woman with a Pearl Necklace1663-1664 Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
  4. A Woman Holding a Balance around 1664 National Gallery of Art, Washington
  5. A Lady Writing a Letter around 1665 National Gallery of Art, Washington
  6. The Astronomer 1668 Louvre Museum
  7. The Geographer 1669 Städelsches Kunstinstitut museum, Frankfurt
  8. The Lacemaker around 1669-1670 Louvre Museum
  9. Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid around 1670 National Gallery of Ireland
  10. Allegory of Faith around 1670-1672 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  11. A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals around 1670-1672 The Leiden Collection,
    New York
  12. A Lady Seated at a Virginal around 1671-1674 National Gallery, London


Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting
  - 2017 Feb. 20-May 22 Louvre Museum (*Advance reservations are required for all visitors)
  - 2017 Jun. 17-Sep. 17 National Gallery of Ireland
  - 2017 Oct. 22-2018 Jan. 21 National Gallery in Washington
Simultaneously with “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting,” the Louvre Museum is also showing the exhibitions “Masterpieces of the Leiden Collection – the Age of Rembrandt,” and “Drawing the Everyday Holland in the Golden Age.”

Musée du Louvre
75058 Paris
France
http://www.louvre.fr/en
Opening times:
Mon, Thu, Sat, Sun 9:00-18:00
Wed, Fri 9:00-21:45
Closed:
Tue, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Musée de L’Orangerie in Paris exhibits “Masterpieces from Bridgestone Museum of Art – The Ishibashi Foundation Collection”

Fig.1
Pierre-Auguste RENOIR, Miss Georgette Charpentier Seated,
1876, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation
An exhibition of works from the Bridgestone Museum, known for its Ishibashi Foundation collection, will be held from April 5th to August 21st, 2017 for four months at the Musée de L’Orangerie in Paris. The Bridgestone Museum, together with Musée de L’Orangerie and Musée d’Orsay, held the exhibition “Debussy, Music and the Arts” in 2012, which led to the current endeavor proposed by the French side.

Common Features of the Collections
The Ishibashi Foundation collection was started with works gathered by Bridgestone founder Shojiro Ishibashi, while works owned by the art dealer and collector Paul Guillaume occupy a significant place in the Musée de L’Orangerie. The two collectors shared a passion to contribute to the world of art by offering magnificent works widely to the general public.

First Overseas Exhibition of “A Gift of the Sea”
A total of 76 works from the Bridgestone Museum will be shown, ranging from impressionist to post-war abstract paintings. They include modern Western-style paintings by Japanese artists such as Aoki Shigeru’s A Gift of the Sea, traveling overseas for the first time, and Black Fan by Takeji Fujishima who studied in France. Renoir’s Miss Georgette Charpentier Seated (fig. 1) and Picasso’s Saltimbanque Seated with Arms Crossed will also be displayed.

Resonance between Japan and France
As symbolized in the Water Lilies series that Monet painted for Musée de L’Orangerie, the impressionist painters were heavily influenced by Japanese art, particularly the ukiyoe paintings and prints. French painting, including impressionism, also had a strong effect on Japanese art. This exhibition will draw attention to the simultaneous influences that the art of Japan and France had on each other.

The Bridgestone Museum in Kyobashi, Tokyo, is currently closed for construction of the new museum building and is scheduled to re-open in the fall of 2019.

Masterpieces from Bridgestone Museum of Art – The Ishibashi Foundation Collection
April 5 (Wed) to Aug 21 (Mon), Closed Tuesdays, May 1, Jul 14, Dec 25.
Musée de l'Orangerie
Jardin des Tuileries
75001 Paris, France
http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/en
Opening times:
Mon, Wed to Sun 9:00-18:00
Closed:
Tuesdays, 1 May, the morning of 14 July, and 25 December

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Mondrian to Dutch Design: 100 Years of De Stijl



2017 marks 100 years since the launch of De Stijl, the magazine that impacted modern art and modern design. To commemorate this anniversary, exhibitions and events that examine the path of De Stijl’s key figure Piet Mondrian to Dutch Design have begun around The Netherlands.
De Stijl in 1917
By tracing nature back to its most fundamental principles, Mondrian reached the unprecedented aesthetic concept of a combination of the composition of vertical and horizontal lines and the primary colors of red, yellow and blue. He left behind numerous works based on these principles and together with Theo van Doesburg, launched the magazine De Stijl. Painters, architects, designers and artists from other fields who approved of Mondrian’s aesthetic flocked to the magazine. In addition to art objects, they worked with furniture, household goods, housing and urban planning, and Mondrian’s aesthetic thus permeated daily life.
The Style of Dutch Design in 2017
In the 90s, design trends from the Netherlands created a new force in design worldwide and came to be called “Dutch design.” Emulating Gerrit Rietveld, these artists applied to manufactured goods, an individual style and sense of authorship typically found in artwork. They used a wide variety of colors and materials in experimental endeavors. The design group Droog, one of the driving forces of Dutch design, continues to lead the design world today. The revolution started by De Stijl artists lives on among the artists today of Dutch modern design.


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Mondrian to Dutch Design: 100 Years of De Stijl
Main Events (in chronological order)


Mondriaan and De Stijl 
All year, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Rietveld Schröder House
All year, Central Museum in Utrecht

Villa Mondrian
All year, Winterswijk (Gelderland)

De Stijl at the Stedelijk
Currently on show until May 21, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Rietveld’s Masterpiece; Long Live De Stijl
March 4 to June 11, Central Museum in Utrecht

The World of Piet Mondrian (permanent collection)
from March 7, Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort

Discovery of Mondrian
June 3 to September 24, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

The Architecture and Interiors of De Stijl
6June 10 - Sept 17, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Droog – Ontdek het begin van Dutch Design (Finding the Beginning of Dutch Design)
Sept 23 – Dec 3, Central Museum in Utrecht

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*Other information