The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago
Through February 16, 2014
On October 6, 2013, The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago opened at the Kimbell Art Museum, the only venue for this first-ever loan of its kind from the Art Institute. The presentation of nearly 100 works----including both paintings and sculptures from the Art Institute's superb collection ----features some of the greatest modern European masterpieces of the 20th century. The exhibition will coincide with the opening of the new Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell and continue through February 16, 2014.
FORT WORTH, TX----
"The modern holdings at the Art Institute are among the greatest in the world, and we are honored and thrilled to be the chosen venue for this exhibition," commented Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. "Chicago's collection of works by the great masters of early 20th-century art is renowned----particularly for such painters as Picasso and Matisse, but also Léger, Kandinsky and Miró. This will be a landmark exhibition during a momentous time in the Kimbell's history."
Following upon the success of the Kimbell's 2008 exhibition of Impressionist masterworks from the Art Institute, The Age of Picasso and Matisse will tell the story of European art in the first half of the 20th century through the holdings of one of the world's foremost encyclopedic museums. Including the works of artists from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain and Switzerland, the exhibition will survey the significant art movements that shaped the history of modern art.
"Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse are the critical figures of early modern art," said George T. M. Shackelford, the Kimbell's deputy director. "We are pleased to be able to show ten works by each of these men, who were friends and rivals for decades."
Picasso's Old Guitarist of 1901, one of the painter's most beloved icons, begins the visitor's journey; his monumental Nude under a Pine Tree of 1959 is its conclusion. The Art Institute's signature Bathers by a River, one of Matisse's most important large-scale paintings, is shown with works from virtually every stage of his career. Bathers by a River represents Matisse's most important response to the language of Cubism invented by Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and Juan Gris in the years around 1910.
An important selection of Cubist paintings is presented, including works that extend Cubism's language----works by Robert Delaunay and Gino Severini, for example, who applied the aesthetic to images of Paris. At another extreme, Expressionist painters in Germany----Lyonel Feininger, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and others----rejected tradition and sought out profound spiritual meaning in art, painting subjects laden with personal evocations of nature and its powers.
Their colleague, the Russian painter Vasily Kandinsky, tried to reject figurative art altogether; his nonobjective paintings, groundbreaking expressions of abstraction, often took their inspiration from music. His Romanian contemporary Constantin Brâncusi, working in Paris, was preoccupied with a limited range of forms----the human head, a torso, a majestic bird----and spent decades exploring their essence. Brâncusi's inspired Golden Bird is one of three sculptures by him in the exhibition.
The Catalan artist Joan Miró will be represented by six paintings, including the large Policeman of 1925. Miró's sophisticated "dream paintings" are among the most important works of his career, influencing the course of abstraction in the art of a later generation. Miró's paintings are among a large group of Surrealist paintings and sculpture in Chicago, richly represented in the exhibition with works by Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti and the best known of the Surrealists----Salvador Dali, another Catalan painter who became an art-world celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s.
The richly illustrated 132-page catalogue that accompanies The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago is written by Stephanie D'Alessandro, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, with contributions from Renée DeVoe Mertz, research associate in the Department of Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Published by the Art Institute of Chicago, it is available for purchase in the Kimbell's Museum Shop and online at kimbellart.org.
This exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Presenting sponsorship for the exhibition is provided by the Leo Potishman Foundation and J.P. Morgan. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Promotional support is provided by American Airlines, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and NBC 5.
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves and displays works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods as well as hosts special exhibitions. With a collection of more than 260,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, early 20th-century European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, Japanese prints and photography. The museum's 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts approximately 40 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours and special performances on a daily basis.
Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum, owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation, is internationally renowned for both its collections and for its architecture. The Kimbell's collections range in period from antiquity to the 20th century and include European masterpieces by artists such as Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Poussin, Velázquez, Monet, Picasso and Matisse; important collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and Asian, Mesoamerican and African art.
The Museum's building, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn, is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. A second building, designed by celebrated Italian architect Renzo Piano, is scheduled to open November 27, 2013, and will provide space for special exhibitions, allowing the Kahn building to showcase the permanent collection.