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Suwa, Nagano Prefecture
Japonisme in Emile Gallé’s Work

With the opening of Japan near the end of the Edo period, ukiyo-e, ceramics, and other Japanese art objects crossed the seas. They had a powerful impact on Europe, where a fashion for things Japanese sprang up in many countries. The elegant use of color and the bold compositions found in those works had a profound influence on the birth of Impressionism and Art Nouveau, a fin de siècle movement to reform the decorative arts. The phenomenon we now refer to as Japonisme is strongly evident in the work of Emile Gallé, a standard bearer for Art Nouveau and a glass artist born in the city of Nancy, in eastern France. The distinctive world of his works, with a profusion of many-colored flowers in bloom and grasshoppers and dragonflies soaring about, is modeled on the natural world and admiration for the beauty of the changing seasons. In the background to the birth of that highly original Gallé style we can see his passionate regard for Japanese art. In this exhibition, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Kitazawa Museum of Art, we present his works related to Japonisme and other masterpieces from our Gallé collection, one of the finest in the world.

L’Opéra de Vichy, 1898-1903, le souffle d’un art nouveau

L’Opéra de Vichy, ancien Théâtre du casino, mis en service en 1901 et classé monument historique moins d’un siècle plus tard, fut longtemps l’une des plus vastes salles de spectacle de province. C’est aujourd’hui encore l’une des plus belles, sinon la mieux connue. La qualité et la variété de ses ornements en font un véritable théâtre de décors. Dans les galeries du pourtour ou sous sa monumentale coupole lumineuse, ferronneries, mosaïques, stucs et pochoirs déclinent à profusion un répertoire de fleurs, de masques et d’instruments de musique, qui tient de l’Art nouveau, autant que du japonisme et du symbolisme. Pour éclairer cet ensemble exceptionnel, l’exposition réunit environ trois cents pièces, pour la plupart inédites et provenant de diverses collections publiques et particulières : dessins, plans, photographies anciennes, livres d’art, éléments de mobilier, objets divers, etc.

Otto Wagner Pavilion

Breathing fresh life into a jewel of art nouveau: a permanent exhibition documenting Otto Wagner is being presented in the Stadtbahn Pavilion on Karlsplatz. He was a trailblazer of modernism and one of Vienna's most influential architects: Otto Wagner. Yet there has never been a permanent exhibition documenting the life and work of this versatile architect. This gap is now filled by the Otto Wagner Pavilion, part of the Wien Museum and one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Vienna. This trade mark of Art Nouveau on Karlsplatz has been redesigned inside by the BWM architects' office and, from 26 August, will provide the authentic background for a close-packed Otto Wagner presentation. It documents the genesis of Wagner's most famous designs, including the Church in Steinhof, the K.K. Postsparkassenamt (Post Office Savings Bank), as well as the revolutionary Stadtbahn project (light urban railway) and the modern residential buildings. It will also reveal another perspective: Otto Wagner as a radical theorist and polemicist against traditionalism and the cliché of the "idyll".Besides numerous documents, the show includes two models and is not only a fascinating homage to the architect - it also invites the visitor to set off through the city of Vienna and explore his trail. The curators of the Otto Wagner Documentation are Renata Kassal-Mikula and Isabelle Exinger; Erwin Bauer is the graphic designer. Otto Wagner - Architect & Visionary Otto Wagner (1841-1918), architect, "artist of building", urban planning theorist and academy professor, was one of the great pioneers of the Viennese modern movement. He left the "Gründerzeit" (the period of industrial and cultural expansion in the late nineteenth century) and its mask-like historicism behind him to propagate a new form of architecture, more in keeping with the life and times of modern people. Wagner's designs combined technical and constructional functionality with high aesthetic criteria. Despite his many adversaries and disappointments, Otto Wagner was one of Vienna's most successful architects. His Post Office Savings Bank and the Church in Steinhof are key buildings of European architecture around 1900. As the general planner of the Vienna Stadtbahn (the light urban railway), he designed a Gesamtkunstwerk of constructional technology, a synthesis of the arts that added new accents to the cityscape. Wagner was also an incisive and polemic author. Although advanced in age, in his study "The Expanding City" he continued to develop radical ideas for a future mega-city, regulated and laid out according to practical requirements. The Otto Wagner Pavilion on Karlsplatz The Art Nouveau pavilion was erected in 1898 in the course of Stadtbahn construction. Otto Wagner planned two portal buildings of identical design. Today, the Wien Museum uses the west pavilion, where the trains once left for Hütteldorf. Wagner's design was revolutionary. The many decorative details make the station into a prime example of Viennese art nouveau. Metal and wood were painted apple-green, the signal colour of the Stadtbahn. Gold, and finest white marble were added on the exterior. The planning for the underground rail junction of Karlsplatz in the late sixties threatened the pavilion with demolition. Protests followed; the station building was dismantled and re-erected in 1977, but elevated 1.5 m above its old level on the square. Now at last the west pavilion is paying Otto Wagner the homage due to him - with the new Otto Wagner Documentation exhibition.

Josef Hoffmann - Otto Wagner: On the use and effect of architecture

This year’s special exhibition JOSEF HOFFMANN—OTTO WAGNER. On the Use and Effect of Architecture in the Josef Hoffmann Museum in Brtnice is dedicated to the relationship of Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) with his teacher Otto Wagner (1841–1918), the centenary of whose death is approaching in 2018. His training under Otto Wagner at the Specialschule für Architektur at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, their joint work in his studio and in the Secession, as well as Wagner’s facilitation of his appointment as professor at the Imperial Royal School of Arts and Crafts were decisive for Hoffmann’s career.

In his “Selbstbiographie,” Josef Hoffmann still writes enthusiastically about Wagner even in old age: “Now we finally had a strong personality amongst us, who, full of ideas, followed his own path and was able to inspire us with regard to everything new and necessary. His charming residence and studio in the Rennweg, with the two flanking residential buildings, especially impressed us, and we were enthusiastic students of our present teacher and master.” In 1909 he described his work: “Wagner forsakes the purely formalistic, meaning that he doesn’t view his structures as compositions of conventional forms, but instead primarily as attempts to explain or to crystallize the design and the purpose of the structure with the usual means of expression.” Josef Hoffmann’s design for the monument to Otto Wagner in Vienna can be considered as his last “homage” to his teacher.

It is a nine-meter high, simple stone pylon, a reduction of a victory column with a block of type at eye level. It was erected in 1930 on the occasion of the Werkbund congress near the palace gate in Vienna, but was removed during World War II. In 1959, Roland Rainer, then Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts, had the Otto Wagner monument erected once again near the Academy. The exhibition juxtaposes the work of Josef Hoffmann with that of his teacher Otto Wagner on the basis of designs and objects.

Curators: Rainald Franz, Curator, MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection Rostislav Koryčánek, Curator, Curator for Architecture and Design, Moravian Gallery, Brno

The exhibition is held under the patronage of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Austria.

Klimt and Antiquity Erotic Encounters

This exhibition explores the fascinating dialogue between Gustav Klimt’s work and classical art. A selection of examples from the artist’s oeuvre illustrates a fundamental shift in his understanding of antiquity. Whereas his early work, influenced by Historicism, reveals an interest in the details of classical art, after 1900 he translated the spirit of antiquity into his own formal language. The exhibition illustrates this development through juxtaposing Klimt’s work with classical vase painting and casts of sculptures that inspired the artist. Further highlights are Klimt’s illustrations for a new edition of Dialogues of the Courtesans by Lucian (c. 120–185 A.D.). Published in 1907, this erotic compilation represents a perfect pairing of Klimt’s risqué drawings with Josef Hoffmann’s Wiener Werkstätte design to create one of European Jugendstil’s most beautiful books. Select examples of Attic red-figure vase paintings offer a glimpse of the world in which the classical author Lucian set his Dialogues of the Courtesans. Although separated by more than two millennia, the interplay between classical vase painting and Klimt’s linear art reveals surprising correlations, unveiling new perspectives on how the artist appreciated antiquity.

Ferdinand Hodler : Elective Affinities from Klimt to Schiele

This presentation at the Leopold Museum will be the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition of works by Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918) in Austria since the artist’s resounding success at the 1904 Secession exhibition. An exponent of Symbolism and Jugendstil, a pioneer of Expressionism, and not least an innovator of monumental painting, Hodler was an important inspiration to numerous artists of Viennese Modernism, such as Gustav Klimt and Koloman Moser, as well as Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. The presentation focuses on the three main themes of Hodler’s art: landscapes from plein air painting to abstraction, portraits with an emphasis on female depictions, self-portraits, the haunting series of works accompanying the death of his lover Valentine Godé-Darel, as well as his eminent Symbolist figural compositions.

Retour aux sources - Quand Lalique s'inspire du monde

Observateur attentif des êtres et des choses, René Lalique a trouvé dans la nature une inspiratrice féconde. Il l’a disséquée et examinée, épiant ses lignes, ses formes et ses structures particulières, cherchant et trouvant l’étincelle d’une vie inspiratrice. Il a scruté les plantes et les fleurs, interrogé la vie aquatique, observé les reptiles et les oiseaux et a été fasciné par les insectes. Mais il n’a pas seulement interrogé le sol et le ciel, les plantes et les arbres, la créature humaine, le visage et le corps féminin ont également instillé en lui un souffle créateur.

Son génie provient de sa capacité à adapter et à composer. Il ne copie pas la nature, il ne stylise pas les différents éléments, il crée en transformant. Des créations que font vivre la magie de la matière. Si René Lalique met toute sa sensibilité dans son interprétation, celle-ci se nourrit également des grands mouvements artistiques. En 1900, l’écrivain Pol Neveux soulignait en effet que les chefs d’œuvres des Egyptiens, des Italo-Grecs n’ont jamais été considérés d’un œil plus pénétrant que le sien et l’art des Byzantins, des Florentins et des Japonais ne fut plus jalousement étudié que par lui. Comment ne pas voir en effet l’influence de l’art japonais dans ses représentations de paons ou de branches de prunus ? Ou encore de l’Egypte ancienne dans certains de ses scarabées ou fleurs de lotus ?

Lorsqu’il s’oriente vers le verre, il dessine des lignes épurées et l’ornement, souvent géométrisé, se décline dans des rythmes nouveaux, à des cadences syncopées, associées à ces années folles lancées dans la vitesse. Mais il sait aussi, au besoin, les adoucir de sculptures de végétaux, d’animaux ou de femmes de conception très naturaliste. Ainsi, au fil du temps,René Lalique a-t-il non seulement eu le courage, mais aussi le talent, d’adapter son inspiration aux nouvelles tendances sans pour autant se départir de sa personnalité.

Rappelons également l’influence de la fille de René Lalique, Suzanne, qui a longtemps collaboré avec lui et fait souffler un vent de modernité sur les créations de la Maison dans les années 1920. Elle aussi, comme d’ailleurs de nombreux artistes de cette période, a été inspirée par l’art d’autres contrées. Evoquons ainsi l’art précolombien ou l’art africain qu’elle a découverts grâce aux collections de son mari et de son beau-frère, Paul et Franck Burty Haviland. N’oublions pas non plus la skyline new-yorkaise du début du XXe siècle que son époux a tant aimé photographier lorsqu’il vivait là-bas. Mais on aurait également pu citer l’art khmer que lui a fait découvrir son ami d’enfance, Paul Morand.

L’exposition Retour aux sources. Quand Lalique s’inspire du monde qui se déroule au musée Lalique du 24 juin au 5 novembre 2017 est l’occasion d’un voyage aux sources de l’inspiration Lalique. Un regard croisé entre les créations signées René Lalique et les œuvres qui ont pu l’inspirer offre une nouvelle manière de découvrir son imaginaire.

Exposition organisée avec le soutien du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy

Retour aux sources, quand Lalique s'inspire du monde

René Lalique a beaucoup observé le monde qui l'entourait. 3 "F" sont souvent utilisés pour décrire ses sources d'inspiration : la Femme, la Faune et la Flore.

Le musée Lalique propose une nouvelle approche avec cette exposition : un regard croisé entre les créations Lalique et les œuvres qui ont pu l'inspirer. René Lalique avait su s'emparer de l'esprit de son temps mais aussi de celui des siècles précédents pour ses créations.

Comment ne pas voir l'influence du japonisme dans des représentations de paons ou de branches de prunus ? Ou encore de l'Egypte antique dans certains scarabées ou fleurs de lotus ?

Venez profiter de ce voyage aux sources de l'inspiration Lalique... 


Winter Park, Florida
Secrets of Tiffany Glassmaking

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) began his work in glass with the same tools and ingredients that had been used by artisans for thousands of years before him. Tiffany took the science of glassmaking, however, and elevated it to an art form of new brilliance and beauty. Under his watch, teams of talented designers and craftspeople translated Tiffany’s all-encompassing vision into some of the most memorable glass creations of our time. Tiffany’s studio system was not a simple enterprise; he needed specialized employees—a hierarchy of artists and artisans—to accomplish his goals. This exhibition, updated and reinstalled on September 4, 2012, addresses the processes that Tiffany’s many companies used to produce everything from glass mosaics and molded buttons to leaded-glass lamps and windows.