|Fondation Pierre Arnaud ©Sebastien Crettaz 2014|
Devoted to Divisionism, the Pierre Arnaud Foundation’s first winter exhibition highlighted how painters in a same artistic movement branched out to explore unique individual ways of painting. The second exhibition in the winter cycle presents the many aspects of Realism which can be seen as a nexus of somewhat contrasting influences.
With each reference to Realism, all manner of adjectives are associated with it such as poetic, social, idealized, allegorical, committed or utopic Realism … At a time marked by keen antagonism between Romanticism and Classicism, Realism opened up new pathways by evoking reality without idealizing it and by focusing on political or social topics. However, Realism is not necessarily about mimesis.
Artists were not slavishly imitating nature but, as an emblematic figure of the movement Gustave Courbet pointed out, they were seeking to “express the mores, ideas and appearance of their era […] by highlighting its distinctive character”.
The aim of this exhibition is to focus on the fundamental ambivalence of pictorial Realism constantly swinging between idealism and naturalism, protest and reaction, modernity and melancholy, genre scenes and the historical genre. Works by Gustave Courbet, Ernest Biéler, Albert Chavaz, Rudolf Schlichter, Mario Sironi, Gustave Jeanneret and André Derain will shed light on all the various shades of this multifaceted movement.
Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), Paysage d’hiver, La gorge aux loups, 1870 (?),