Friday, 17 June 2016

Exhibition: French modernists

La Seine vue des Quai des Grandes Augustins,
Albert Marquet, 1906
The French textile manufacturer Pierre Lévy and his wife Denise loved art and they were friends with artist like André Derain en Maurice Marinot.

They began collecting modern art and brought together a selection together with paintings from modern French painters.

They loved figurative art, but also bought a few abstract works, and they usually bought paintings with domestic scenes or modern life.

They created a very diverse collection and that gives a beautiful cross section of French modern painting.

From the 19th century they bought Gustave Courbet, Paul Gaugain and Georges Seurat.

They liked fauvism that came up shortly after 1900, and bought several paintings by Henri Matisse, André Derain, Kees van Dongen and Maurice de Vlaminck.
L'embouchure de la Laita, Henri Hayden 1908
But they also bought later works from Pablo Picasso, Chaim Soutine, Amadeo Modigliano, Corneille, Juan Gris, Maurice Marinot and Nicolas de Stäel. 
Hyde Park, André Derain, 1906
At the end of their lives Pierre and Denise Lévy decided to give their collection to the French state and in 1982 a new museum in Troyes was opened to house this amazing collection.

And now a large part  of the collection of the musée d’Art moderne de Troyes can be seen in the Singer Museum in Laren. 
Les cocquelicots, Pierre Bonnard 1912
And it is such a beautiful exhibition, it surpassed all my expectations. They grouped the paintings chronologically so you get a good overview of modern French painting. I loved how the colors from the paintings popped against the colored walls, this was done beautifully.
Jeanne Hébuterne,
Amadeo Modigliano 1918
There were many paintings that made me quiet, because they really touched me.

The collection is very diverse and covers many famous French painters or painters who worked in France. (I just do not like the works by Chaim Soutine, I am afraid). 
Christ aux outrages, Georges Rouault, 1930
It was also great that all these were are relatively unknown, because they were part of a private collection and are now in a museum in Troyes. I did not know most of the works and certainly was not familiar with all the painters who were exhibited here, but I can say firmly that I am a huge fan of French painting! 
Composition abstracte, Nicolas de Staël 1948
Part of the collection of the Singer museum is in Troyes at the moment, but a part of their own collection is used for a small exhibition called Summer at the Singer, and this also worthwhile.

French modernists can be seen until August 28th 2016, and I hope you have a chance to go there, because it is absolutely magnificent. 

2 comments:

  1. These are amazing. I'm a huge fan of Derain and Modigliani. How cool that you got to see all these wonderful paintings. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was amazing, and it was so much better than I ever expected.

      I really enjoyed the German expressionist exhibition, but I loved, loved, loved this exhibition of the French modernists.

      Kind regards,

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