Sunday, 22 April 2018

From Monet to Picasso - 2

From Monet to Picasso 

at the Albertina, Vienna.

Continuing with this amazing collection of classics of the 20th century, collected by two people, the Batliners.

Herbert Boeckl, Portrait of M.B., 1919

'The artist places some spot onto the canvas and then unconsciously gives it an essential shape. [He] doesn't know what this spot means. [He] adds a second, a third, and a fourth spot. [He] still doesn't know for a long time what it will be, yet [he] instinctively senses early on what the shape requires'. This painting is composed of large spots of colour, which, through the black contours, eventually took the shape of a human figure.

Franz Sedlacek, Evening Landscape, 1933

Franz Sedlacek, Mountain Landscape with Automobile, 1931

Josef Floch, Interior with a Black Folding Screen, 1947

Max Beckmann, Woman with Cat, 1942

In this painting Beckmann describes an existential situation - one he and Quappi, his wife, must repeatedly have experienced in their Amsterdam exile: an enforced leisure is evoked by the narrow, unusual room, which frequently had to be darkened because of the danger of air raids. Only the sleeping cat and the flowers seem to introduce a relaxed and easy-going tone.

Rene Magritte, The Enchanted Domain, 1953

Paul Delvaux, Landscape with Lanterns, 1958

Like all of Delvaux's paintings this has a mysterious dream atmosphere. This particular one may be understood as a melancholic, retrospective glance at the past. In the centre appears a woman in black looking after a funeral cortege moving into the picture's depth. On a path lit by gaslights, two men carry a shroud-covered corpse towards a hilly landscape from which several ancient ruins rise up.

Pablo Picasso, The Playing Cards, 1912

Pablo Picasso, Woman in a Green Hat, 1947

Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Guitar, 1942

Pablo Picasso, Nun Persecuted by the Devil, 1945

Pablo Picasso, Nude Seated in a Chair, 1963

Pablo Picasso, Nude Woman with Bird and Flute Player, 1967

Pablo Picasso, Sylvette, 1954

Pablo Picasso, Earthenware Vase with Two Figures, 1959

Georges Braque, The Sideboard, 1920

Joan Miro, Birds and Insects, 1938

Francis Bacon, Seated Figure, 1960

Bacon displayed disfigured and decrepit bodies which radiate vitality and aggressiveness. In Seated Figure, the deformation of reality has been pushed to the limit. Enclosed within a narrow black case, a man in street clothes appears to be lashing about desperately. His face and hands are severely injured, if not maimed. In Bacon's art, distortion is carried as far as the dissolution of form and motif. His works are essentially metaphors of life based on the dialectics of growing and perishing, of life and death.

Yves Klein, Work: ANT 88, 1960

Alberto Giacometti, Four Women on a Plinth, 1950

Alberto Giacometti, Landscape, 1952

Alberto Giacometti, Portrait of Annette, 1958

Alberto Giacometti, Slender Bust on Plinth (Amenophis), 1954

Friday, 20 April 2018

From Monet to Picasso - 1

From Monet to Picasso,

at the Albertina, Vienna.

It's been great revisiting this exhibition which we saw in Vienna three years ago. While doing this post I was amazed at how well I remembered the paintings and in some cases, exactly where they were situated in the gallery space. A collection of  some great classics, bequeathed to the Albertina by Herbert and Rita Batliner.

Henri Lebasque, On the Green Bench, 1911

The bench mediates between the colours of background and foreground. Moreover, it ties the motif to the two-dimensional surface, with the flatness skilfully emphasised by the patterned bathrobe.

Claude Monet, View of Vetheuil, 1881

The atmosphere of a hot summer day and the air glistening in the sunlight are represented with brilliant colours and nervous brushstrokes. Monet's vigorous yellows and greens in the foreground and delicate pastel hues for the sky capture how the intensity of the colours change from nearness to distance.

Paul Cezanne, Farm in Normandy, 1885-86

There is a timelessness and permanence to this scene achieved through order and clearly organised structural patterns. The fabric of lines is reduced to a minimum. The pictorial structure is governed by a system of coloured fragments that evokes closeness and distance, light and shadow, as well as three-dimensionality.

Paul Signac, Antibes, the Towers, 1911

Theo Van Rysselberghe, Seated Nude, 1905

Having seen Seurat's pointillist painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Van Rysselberghe moved to Paris in order to join the Neo-Impressionists. Like Henri-Edmond Cross, to whom Rysselberghe dedicated this painting, he was interested in the theories of spectral colour division and their translation into pictures.

Auguste Rodin, Large Danaide

Paul Signac, Venice, the Pink Cloud, 1909

Claude Monet, House among the Roses, 1925

Claude Monet, The Water Lily Pond, 1917-1919

Edgar Degas, Two Dancers, 1905

Pierre Bonnard

Amedeo Modigliani, Young Woman in a Shirt, 1918

Robert Delaunay, Nudes with Flamingos, 1907

Henri Manguin, Back View of a Nude Under Trees, 1905

Georges Braque, The Bay of Antwerp, 1906

Impressed with Fauvism, the 23-old Braque embraced its liberal brushwork and arbitrary use of colour.  His preoccupation with Fauvism only lasted a short while though: Cezanne would turn out to be more influential on Braque's way to Cubism.

Andre Derain, The Harbour at Collioure, 1905

Henri Matisse, Parrot Tulips, 1905

Maurice De Vlaminck, The Seine at Chatou, 1906-07

Augusto Giacometti, Peace, 1915

Henri Matisse, Street in Arceuil, 1903-04

Henri Matisse, The Striped Dress, 1938

Alexej Jawlensky, Abstract Head, 1928-29

Otto Mueller, Bathing Girls at the Forest Pond, 1916-19

Alexej Von Jawlensky, Young Girl with a Flowered Hat, 1910

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Female Nude (Dodo), 1909

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Train Station Approach, Loebtau Train Station, 1911

The painting shows the rail tracks leading up to the Dresden-Loebtau station and the adjacent backyards of Kirchner's neighbourhood. The conspicuous colour harmony of subdued green and violet tones marks Kirchner's departure from the clear, powerful palette of his earlier paintings and anticipates the work of his years in Berlin, when he would use nuanced shades of broken colours.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Cattle at Sunset, 1918-19

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Still Life with Yellow Tulips, 1912

Erich Heckel, Reclining Woman, 1909

Emil Nolde, Moonlit Night, 1914

Max Pechstein, Irises in the Evening Shadows

Oskar Schlemmer, Interior with Six Figures, 1937

Joannis Avramidis, Mittlere Figur II, 1959

Johannes Itten, Lichtkreis, (Wheel of Light), 1915

Wassily Kadinsky, Innerer Bund, 1929

Frantisek Kupka, Aufragende Formen, (Ascent), 1922-23

This painting can be understood as an attempt to render invisible cosmic forces visible. It belongs to a group of works in which the artist dealt with the ideas of ancient Hindu culture and for which he chose such titles as Upward Thrust, Ascent, Rising Forms. In this group of works, Kupka deliberately alluded to the forms of giant Hindu temples, with their towers rising steeply towards the skies.

Frantsisek Kupka, Green and Blue, 1921-23

Fernand Leger, Two Profiles, 1928

Leger was primarily influenced by Cezanne. In 1909 he came into contact with Picasso and Braque. His art however, differs from their monochrome Cubist works by its brilliant colours. Leger's post-war production is dominated by the belief in progress of the machine age. His objects are outlined by clear, orderly contours and set apart from one another as distinctly autonomous organisms, thereby reflecting a yearning for order and harmony.  'There is no longer a landscape, a still life, a face. There is the image, the object, the useful, useless, beautiful object'.

Robert Delaunay, Air, Iron, Water. 1936-37

Marianne Von Werefkin, Stormy Night, 1915-17

Heinrich Campendonk. Horses by a Lake, 1913

Lyonel Feininger, The High Shore, 1923

Lyonel Feininger, Promenade in Arcueil, 1915