Félix Vallotton, Nu couché sur un tapis rouge, 1909
Figure féminine Janus surmontée d’un avion, Yoruba, Nigeria, vers 1950.
Gustave Courbet, Paysage d’hiver, La gorge aux loups, 1870 (?),
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 (?),
The Pierre Arnaud Foundation’s second summer exhibition will highlight the deep relationship Western and African arts have built up over the centuries.
Since medieval times, Europeans have set up trading posts up and down the coast of Africa, providing welcome ports of call on the route to India which fostered trading in European fabrics, glass beads and metals for carved African objects and ivory.
However, it was not until the latter half of the 19th century that Europeans truly grasped the full extent of the wealth of the African continent and embarked on systematic colonization. Exploration of the vast inland areas involved the English, French, Belgians, etc., in a veritable race against time. The army would march in first, followed by the missionaries, scientists and merchants. This enthusiasm for Africa could be seen through the prism of the Great Exhibitions at the time and its influence was omnipresent, especially in art.
The exhibition presents works ranging from the 17th to the 20th century by European ‘Africanist’ artists as well as African artists. White and black would watch, discover and admire each other … offering their own view of the other and his characteristics: physical features, regalia, accessories, etc. The paintings, sculptures and photographs displayed show how, rather than revealing mutual influences, African and European arts enriched one another to generate new forms of expression.
Plane and "janus" figure, Yoruba, Nigeria, about 1950.
© Collection Alain Weill