Art Of The Day Weekly
#540 - from 24 January 2019 to 30 January 2019
John Ruskin, Study of Spray of Dead Oak Leaves, 1879. Watercolour and bodycolour on paper © Collection of the Guild of St George / Museums Sheffield.
IN THE AIR
Ruskin, surprisingly modern
LONDON – Two Temple Place is the surprising neo-gothic home built in 1895 for William Astor, the wealthiest man in the world at the time. It ahs been impeccably renovated and is now generally rented out for private events, as well quality exhibitions, many of them quite original if we look back at the Industrial Collections of the North-West in 2015, or Modernism in Sussex in 2017. This time, it is Ruskin who is the guest of honor, to celebrate the bicentennial of his birth. Known for his work The stones of Venice, for his love of Gothic art, and for his friendship with the Pre-Raphaelites, Ruskin was above all a social reformer who believed in the virtues of education and of vocational training. In 1871 he founded in Sheffield a philanthropic society, the Guild of St. George, as well as a museum to which he donated part of his works. 150 years later these two institutions pay a tribute to their founder by bringing together nearly 200 works from their own collections and those of the Ashmolean, the Fitzwilliam, and the Tate Britain, among others. These works include of course works of Ruskin himself, such as a copy of Saint Georges and the dragon by Carpaccio, as well as works by Turner, Audubon, or Watts. The aim of this collection was solely to educate the masses to beauty and knowledge. Such a utopia could seem less vital in today’s world, where everybody knows how to read. Actually it is so much more important today as we are threatened by the reappearance of movements that openly disdain culture and knowledge…
• John Ruskin, the Power of Seeing at Two Temple place, from 26 January to 22 April 2019.
Paolo Grassi, a giant of Italian culture
MILANO – When one says Piccolo Teatro, we immediately think of Giorgio Strehler (1921-1997), who in the eyes of the world embodied the soul of the famous theater from Milano. Actually, he had an alter ego who has been widely forgotten, especially out of Italy, Paolo Grassi (1919-1981). Together or separately, they led it for half a century, from its creation in 1947 until 1997. Grassi was neither an actor nor a theater director, but rather an organizer, and the first real “cultural manager” in Italy according to this exhibition that is a tribute to him and his work. A true jack-of-all-trades, he not only delved in the theater adventure, but also worked with opera at the Scala (1972-1977), he programmed the first live broadcasts, worked with public television, created the number one cultural TV station, Rai3, and went on to work in the publishing world at the highest level as president of Electa, the greatest Italian publishing house of art books. He unfortunately died too young, from heart trouble.
• Paolo Grassi at the Palazzo Reale, from 26 January to 24 May 2019.
The brotherhood of redheads
PARIS – Sonia Rykiel shared a characteristic with nearly 1% of the world’s population: she was redheads. While in the past this trait was considered mainly Jewish or for ogres, today it is spontaneously believed to be an Irish trait. It is strange that there is a specific word in France where there are few redheads, while English simply uses the color – red- and Italians, in a similar way, rosso. Henner, a discreet painter from the 19th century (1829-1905), had a preference for the color, but waited until he was practically forty years old when he finally represented it with his Idylle in 1872. After that he became almost obsessed with it and used it for many of his female models. France and Belgium have the novel Poil de Carotte and the comic strip Spirou, but who knows that the Papua idols are also painted in that color? The exhibition plays with these alignments between eras and civilizations.
• Roux, de Jean-Jacques Henner à Sonia Rykiel at the musée Henner, from 30 January to 20 May 2019.
Bonnard, color above all
LONDON – The Tate explores three decades of the works by the former Fauve artist. As of 1912, at the age of forty, he dedicated himself to his real passion, color and did so increasingly until his death in 1947. Simple, calm indoor scenes hang next to others that burst with color, and to some nudes as well.
• Pierre Bonnard. The Colour of Memory at the Tate Modern, from 23 January to 6 May 2019.
1989, it was a very good year
VALENCE – This year the anniversaries of 1919 and 1969 are being celebrated. The IVAM has decided to focus on the year 1989, another great vintage year, and just as important as the others. Of course it witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as that of a certain number of regimes, among which the one of Ceauscescu, as well as the decline of apartheid. For the curators of this exhibition, this year is also the advent of multiculturalism, the first step towards globalization.
• 1989 at the IVAM, from 24 January to 19 May 2019.
Cut outs, by Rodin
He knew how to sculpt, obviously. He painted, and drew, of course. He also photographed. This catalogue, that accompanies an exhibition in his museum, unveils another talent Rodin held secret, cut outs. He dedicated himself to this art at different periods in his life. First in the 1880s, a lot more in the period between 1903 and 1905, on erotic figures or characters that were bent backwards, twisted. This allowed him, in a very unique procedure, to manipulate them, to assemble them, to turn them around. The book also looks into abstract cut outs, that is, the type done with flat, colored patches to isolate a figure: Rodin did it on drawings as well as on photos, thus anticipating the practices developed by Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Schwitters…
• Rodin, dessiner, découper, by Sophie Biass-Fabiani, Hazan, 2018, 192 p., €35.
OPENINGS OF THE WEEK
FRED KLEINBERG - Germination
30 January 2019 - PARIS - Loo & Lou Gallery
An artist sensitive to nature and its regenerative powers