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Exhibition Review – Pierre Bonnard : Colour of Memory at Tate Modern from 23rd January to 6th May 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tate Modern presents the UK’s first major Pierre Bonnard exhibition in 20 years, the exhibition entitled  Pierre Bonnard : Colour of Memory explores the work of French painter and how he developed his own unique style. The exhibition brings together around 100 of his greatest works from museums and private collections around the world.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition spans four decades from the emergence of Bonnard’s unique style in 1912 to his death in 1947 and  shows how the artist constructed his paintings to express moments of particular significance.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition begins with Young Women in the Garden which illustrates how Bonnard would take an initial image but would continuously work on the canvas for months or years to get to a stage where the artist is satisfied. This particular painting was started in 1921-3 but was not finished till 1945-6. Not all his paintings took so long to complete but Bonnard liked to explore the idea of time and memories.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Bonnard lived with his partner Marthe de Meligny for 30 years before they got married in 1925, Man and Woman 1900 seems to celebrate their unconventional lifestyle and many of the artist’s early paintings featured Marthe in domestic scenes or vibrant landscapes  like Dining Room in the Country 1913, The Lane at Vernonnet 1912-14 and Coffee 1915.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Marthe was often the model for a series of nude studies especially that often involved water like Nude in the Bath 1936, and Nude crouching in tub 1918.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Bonnard bought his first car in 1911 and travelled extensively all over France, on these trips he developed his work on landscapes. His landscapes like Summer 1917 were generally more concerned with colour than just representation. Bonnard often visited Monet at Giverny and was inspired by the large water-lily canvases.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

After the First World War, the death of his mother led Bonnard to work on a series of domestic scenes often centred around meals, The Bowl of Milk 1919 illustrates how Bonnard was using different perspectives to record domestic scenes.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

His house in Vernonnet in Normandy was a constant inspiration where he could explore the relationship between man-made and natural environments. These studies led a more abstract approach with The Violet Fence 1922 and Studio with Mimosa 1939-46 .

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition concludes with a group of works created towards the end of Bonnard’s life, while spending the Second World War in Le Cannet in the South of France.  The war led the artist to look back on a lifetime of memories and create works that showed the beauty of the world and not the horror and  devastation.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition offers the opportunity to study the works of Pierre Bonnard, although often overshadowed by other French painters of the period, Bonnard deserves to be recognised for this own unique style. Bonnard’s use of intense colours and modern compositions inspired many later artists to experiment with capturing fleeting moments, memories and emotions on canvas. In a period in which the world was tearing itself apart, Bonnard concentrated on the small pleasures of everyday life that enabled himself and other people to survive the severe political and social turmoil. 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Pierre Bonnard : Colour of Memory at Tate Modern – 23rd January to 6th May 2019

In January 2019, Tate Modern will stage the UK’s first major Pierre Bonnard exhibition in 20 years, showing the work of this innovative and much-loved French painter in a new light. The exhibition will bring together around 100 of his greatest works from museums and private collections around the world. It will reveal how Bonnard’s intense colours and modern compositions transformed painting in the first half of the 20th century, and will celebrate his unparalleled ability to capture fleeting moments, memories and emotions on canvas.

Spanning four decades from the emergence of Bonnard’s unique style in 1912 to his death in 1947, Tate Modern’s exhibition will show how the artist constructed his vibrant landscapes and intimate domestic scenes from memory. At once sensuous and melancholy, these paintings express moments lost in time – the view from a window, a stolen look at a lover, or an empty room at the end of a meal. These motifs can be seen in breakthrough works like Dining Room in the Country 1913 (Minneapolis Institute of Art) in which he brought interior and exterior spaces together to create a vibrant atmosphere, while the bright colours of works like The Lane at Vernonnet 1912-14 (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh) exemplify how his palette could still evoke the poignancy of a moment gone forever.

The exhibition will emphasise Bonnard as a 20th century artist who – like his friend and contemporary Henri Matisse – had a profound impact on modern painting and would become an influential figure for later artists like Mark Rothko and Patrick Heron. Bonnard will be repositioned as a man who engaged with the world around him, revealing overlooked areas of his activities – from his frequent travels around France and his practice of working on different subjects side by side, to his response to the crises of both the First and Second World War. Alert to his surroundings, he developed unconventional compositions in his paintings of everyday life: his landscapes collapsed into layers of dense foliage, such as Summer 1917 (Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence) and street scenes, as in Piazza del Popolo, Rome 1922 (private collection), were simplified into friezes. Perhaps most famously, his interior scenes like Coffee 1915 (Tate) and Nude in an interior c.1935 (National Gallery of Art, Washington) caught domestic life at uncanny moments and reframed them from snatched points of view.

Bonnard’s process of reimagining through memory also allowed his paintings to become more abstract. This is already evident in the bands of contrasting colour in works like The Violet Fence 1922 (Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh) but reaches a high-point in the vivid Studio with Mimosa 1939-46 (Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris). The exhibition will conclude with a group of works created towards the end of Bonnard’s life, while spending the Second World War in Le Cannet living with scarce resources and the anxiety of invasion. These panoramic views and vibrant garden scenes show the artist looking back on a lifetime of memories and working on the brink of abstraction.

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review : Matisse in the Studio at the Royal Academy – 5th August to 12th November 2017

The Royal Academy presents an exhibition which explores the relationship between Henri Matisse and some of his most treasured objects. The exhibition considers how these items played an important role in his work and how it influenced the development of the artist’s art.

Whilst Matisse was firmly within the Western art tradition, the objects in his collection provided influences from the far corners of the world. Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, furniture and textiles from North Africa provided the backdrop to his studio in which objects could be used in different guises across decades.

Each section of the exhibition presents the interplay of objects with paintings and drawings. Matisse’s Lilacs 1914 illustrates how the small object of a nude is included in a still life painting.

Matisse often saw objects as actors playing various parts in a variety of media, one of his favourite objects was a nineteenth century Venetian rocaille chair which stands in the exhibition in front of a series of paintings and drawings.

The exhibition provides plenty of evidence that Matisse was greatly influenced by African art and this provided a vehicle to reinvent the way that nudes were represented with a simplified and disproportionate bodies. The exhibition features of Bamana figures from Mali which illustrate this point.

Matisse also began to use African art and in particular African masks to influence his attitude to portraiture. The Italian Woman 1916 shows a woman with almost a mask like face.

Matisse often adorned his Nice studio with props from the Islamic world to create the sensuous sets for his ‘odalisques’, often these paintings included a reclining female model in front of a very decorative background. Matisse was keen to point out that the subject in the painting and the background were of equal importance.

In Matisse’s later years, he entered what is known as his cut-out period, he was inspired by the concise precision of Chinese calligraphy and African textiles to create his own simple way of bringing different forms together.

This fascinating exhibition offers an opportunity to understand elements of the creative process and how an artist’s personal collection can inspire paintings, sculptures and drawings. Part of this process was not imitation but understanding how different cultures have created their own images in many different ways. From this Matisse developed his own particular method which brings many of the influences together.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Video Review available here

Admission

£15.50 full price (£14 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

For more information , visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Exhibition Review – Vogue 100: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery from 11th February to 22nd May 2016

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The National Portrait Gallery present a major exhibition celebrating the  remarkable range of photography that has been commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. The exhibition features over 280 prints from the Condé Nast archive and international collections being brought together for the first time to tell the story of one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world.

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Exploring the exhibition, decade by decade allows the visitor to understand the photographs in their historical and cultural context. The early decades featured many ‘society’ women like Lady Diana Cooper who tended to populate the magazines and provide a particular upper class view of British glamour, even if there were occasional photographs of the more ‘exotic’ like the portrait of Josephine Baker.

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By the 1930s and 1940s, films stars became the new ‘beauty elite’ with the rising photography star of British Vogue, Cecil Beaton taking photographs of Marlene Dietrich and Vivien Leigh which are featured in the exhibition. It was at this time that Beaton also began to photograph royalty with his portrait of Queen Elizabeth in 1939.

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The Second World War often saw fashion photographers being used to take pictures of the war effort, Beaton produced a number of these , however his Fashion is Indestructible which features a well dressed model in front of some bombed out ruins seems bizarre and out of touch with the thousands dying in the blitz, perhaps more in touch with the period are the remarkable pictures by Lee Miller.

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In the 1950s, British Vogue seemed to try to recapture the glamour of the 1930s and 40s, but the world was changing and by the 1960s , Beaton and his contemporaries were looking distinctly old-fashioned and were being overtaken by the more modern photographers like David Bailey who documented the ‘swinging sixties’.

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The fashions of the 60s, 70s and to some extent the 1980s tended to dictate the photography which was more naturalistic and informal.

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Remarkably, the late 90s and the 21st century saw the fashion compass move back to glamour but with a modern twist. The exhibition includes the entire set of prints from Corinne Day’s controversial Kate Moss underwear shoot, taken in 1993.

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Fashion designers like Dior, Saint Laurent and McQueen began to define the looks of the later decades and more bizarre fashion shoots were used to get noticed in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

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Vogue 100: A Century of Style includes work by many of the leading twentieth-century photographers, including Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller, Irving Penn, Lord Snowdon, David Bailey, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts and Mario Testino. It also includes many of the famous faces of the twentieth century, from Henri Matisse, Charlie Chaplin, Francis Bacon, Marlene Dietrich, Lady Diana Spencer and David Beckham.

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This is an intriguing and entertaining exhibition that explores many of the social and cultural aspects of the last 100 years. Whilst no one would suggest the exhibition is a true reflection of British society, Vogue 100: A Century of Style  illustrates the various periods of style, taste and the arts in British society with many iconic photographs of celebrities and famous people. It is an exhibition that will appeal to a wide range of people not just those interested in fashion and photography. Theatre and opera set designer Patrick Kinmonth has designed the exhibition with a great deal of imagination to present a visually stunning display of remarkable photographs and other visual information.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like more information or book tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition : Henri Matisse – The Cut Outs at the Tate Modern, 17 April – 7 September 2014

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Henri Matisse, The Snail 1953

Gouache on paper, cut and pasted on paper mounted to canvas,Tate
© Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2013

Tate Modern: Exhibition – 17 April  – 7 September 2014

Location – Bankside, London SE1 9TG

The Henri Matisse Cut – Outs Exhibition at the Tate Modern which begins on April 17th brings together an extraordinary 120 works of one of the most influential artists of Modern Art which cover the period between 1936 and 1954.
This landmark show explores the period of Matisse’s life that ill heath prevents him from painting, so he develops his ‘painting with scissors’ technique.

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With the aid of assistants he set about creating cut paper collages, often on a large scale, called gouaches découpés. The exhibition explores how the technique began on small commissions and developed into larger works.

The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see so many of the artist’s works in one place, Tate’s The Snail 1953 is shown alongside its sister work Memory of Oceania 1953 and Large Decoration with Masks 1953 .

Matisse’s famous series of Blue Nudes are bought together to illustrate the artist’s renewed interest in the figure.

London is first to host, before the exhibition travels to New York at the Museum of Modern Art and after which the works return to galleries and private owners around the world.

Visiting London Guide Review

An intriguing aspect of this exhibition is that with so many pieces of Art it is possible to see the development of his ‘painting with scissors’ technique from rather modest beginnings in the first few rooms to larger and more developed pieces.

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The iconic Blue nudes are the largest number ever exhibited together in Room 9 with the added attraction of some reclining nudes sculptures.

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One of the largest Matisse Cut Outs, The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952 in Room 10 shows how an increasingly home confined Matisse brings nature into his studio with vibrant colour.

Large scale compositions follow including the famous The Snail, Large decorations with Masks, Memory of Oceania, Ivy in Flower and The Sheaf.

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The last room is fittingly is Nuit de Noel a stain glass window commissioned by Life magazine.

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Walking around the exhibition it slowly dawns on you that Matisse in a stage of his life when ill health severely impairs his painting and with the spectre of death maybe on the horizon rather than drowning in depression goes in completely the opposite direction by celebrating life in all its shapes and forms.

It is often said that many of the works are almost childlike in their simplicity, this is an important part of their appeal because Matisse celebrates the joy of creativity often found in children who paint and create without preconceptions. For this reason the exhibition would be one that children would enjoy.

This is without doubt a major exhibition and likely to be very popular with admirers of Matisse and with a wider public who can relate to the naturalistic symbolism and extraordinary sense of colour.

If you are visiting London over the summer this is an exhibition not to be missed.

Visiting London Guide – Highly Recommended

 

Tickets
Adult £18.00 (without donation £16.30)
Concession £16.00 (without donation £14.50)
Additional booking fee of £1.75 (£2 via telephone) per transaction applies
Under 12s go free (up to four per parent or guardian)

Tate Modern Opening Times
Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–18.00
Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00

To Book Tickets visit the Tate Modern Website here