The Metropolitan Museum of Art   (MET)


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PAINTERS IN PARIS: 1895-1950


Exhibition dates: March 8 - December 31, 2000

Exhibition location: Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, first floor


Painters in Paris: 1895-1950, an exhibition of more than 100 paintings by many of the 20th century's most illustrious modem masters - Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Dubuffet, L'eger,Matisse, Mir'o, Modigliani, Picasso, as well as others - will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 8 through December 31, 2000. Representing 36 painters of the School of Paris, including the Fauves, the Cubists, and the Surrealists, the exhibition - drawn entirely from the Metropolitan's collection - will trace the development of painting in France from its Impressionist roots at the turn of the century through the aftermath of World War II.

    The exhibition is sponsored by Aetna.
    "This astounding array of paintings by masters of the School of Paris reflects more than a half.century of collecting by the Metropolitan Museum," said Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Museum. "This collection has grown dramatically during the last two decades alone, as we have had the good fortune to gratefllly accept a number of extraordinarily generous gifts and bequests."

    Commented William S. Lieberman, the Museum's Jacques and Natasha Gelman
Chairman of the Modem Art Department and curator of the exhibition.. "This is the first such survey of masterworks from our collection, and it will be revelatory for our visitors. Not only will it recall a period and place of great vitality but it will also reveal unexpected relationships between the artists who so profoundly shaped the art of this century."

Painters in Paris.. 1895-1950 will contain acquisitions made between 1947 and 1999,including the notable bequests of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1967), Scofield Thayer (1982), Florene M. Schoenbom (1995), and Jacques and Natasha Gelman (1998); and distinguished gifts, including the Alfred Stieglitz Collection (1949), the Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. perls Collection (1997-98), and many others. The first School of Paris painting to enter the Museum's collection was Picasso's portrait Gertrude Stein (1906), bequeathed by the picture's
subject.

Painters in Paris: 1895-1950 will be installed in chronological fashion, allowing for juxtapositions of subject matter and aesthetic affinities between different artists. It will begin with Pierre Bormard,s The Children 's Meal of 1895 and paintings by Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard, although their predecessor Claude Monet will be represented by a later example - Reflections, the Water Lily Pond at Giverny (ca. 1920). The exhibition will conclude with works of the 1940s, late paintings by Georges Braque, Jean Helion, and Femand Leger, and three early paintings by Jean Dubuffet. Balthus, who will be represented by four paintings, is the
only artist aside from Helion and Dubuffet born after 1900, and the only living artist included. 

    In the decades following Paris's Great World Exhibition of 1900, which brought worldwide fame to the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, France was host to an influx of artists of varying nationalities - including Bulgarian, Czech, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Mexican, Russian, Spanish, and Swiss - and Paris was central to the development of modem art. The painters who developed a new style of painting in reaction against Impressionism, and who exhibited together at the Autumn Salon of 1905, became known as les fauves, or "wild beasts" With Henri Matisse as one of their major figures, they used vivid colors for emotional and decorative effect, and Fauvism became the first of the major avant-garde developments in European art between the turn of the century and the First World War.

    The Cubist movement, which originated with Pablo Picasso (represented in the exhibition with 23 works) and Georges Braque around 1909, is recognized as one of the great turning points in Western art. Cubism possessed a stylistic cohesion that set it apart from Fauvism. In analyzing the forms of objects into geometrical planes and recomposing them from various simultaneous points of view, its practitioners Juan Gris, Fernand Leger, Roger de La Fresnaye,and others - created three-dimensional representational forms in a two-dimensional plane. Picasso and his colleagues painted images of poets, writers, musicians, harlequins, and women,as well as still-life compositions with recurring guitars, violins, wine bottles, pipes, cigarettes,
playing cards, and newspapers - all iconographical accoutrements of the bohemian studio-and-caf'e lifestyle in Paris.

    Surrealism - a movement that sprang from the anti-rationalist philosophies in art after World War I and had among its precursors Marc Chagall and Giorgio de Chirico M nourished in art and literature during the 1920s and '30s. Characterized by a fascination with the bizarre, the incongruous, and the irrational, it was conceived as a revolutionary alternative approach to the formalism of Cubism and other forms of abstract art.

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)
Nasturtiums with the Painting "Dance, " 1912
Oil on canvas
H. 75-1/2, W.45-3/8 in. (191.8x 115.3 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982
@2000 Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Fernand L'eger ( French, 1881-1955)
Woman with a Cat, 1921
Oil on canvas
H. 51-3/8, W. 35-1/4in. (130.5 x 89.5 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gift of Florene M. Schoenborn, l994
@2000 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Gertrude Stein, 1906
Oil on canvas
H.39-3/8,W.32in.(100 x 81.3cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bequest of Gertrude Stein, 1946
@2000 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926)
Reflections, the Water Lily Pond at Giverny, ca. 1920
Oil on canvas
H. 51-1/4, W. 79in. (130.2 x 200.7 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gift of Louise Reinhardt Smith, 1983

 

Balthus (French, b. 1908)
The Mountain, 1937
Oil on canvas
H. 98,W. 144in. (248.9 x 365.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Purchase, Gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Nate B.Spingold and Nathan Cummings,
Roger Fund and The Alfred N ..Punnett Endowment Fund,

by exchange,and Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1982
@2000 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

 

Giorgio de Chirico (Italian, 1888-1978)
Ariadne, 1913
Oil and graphite on canvas
H. 53-3/8, W. 71 in .(135.6 x l80 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn , 1995
@2000 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

 

 

    Painters in Paris : 1895-1950 will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue by William S. Lieberman. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., it will be available in a paperback edition for $19.95 in the Metropolitan Museum bookshop. 
    A variety of educational programs, including gallery talks, lectures, films, programs for teachers, and student programs, will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition.
    An audio tour, part of the Metropolitan's new Key to the Met Audio Guide, is available for rental at the entrance to the exhibition ($5, $4.50 for members).
    The Key to the Met Audio Guide program is sponsored by Bloomberg News.
    The Web site for the Metropolitan Museum ( www.metmuseum.org ) will feature the exhibition.
The exhibition will be curated by William S. Lieberman with the assistance of Anne L. Strauss, Research Associate, of the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Modem Art. Exhibition design is by Daniel Bradley Kershaw, Exhibition Designer, with lighting by Zack Zanolli, Lighting Designer, and graphics by Constance Norkin, Graphic Designer.