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European Secessions: Munich, Vienna, Prague, Rome - The wave of modernity

The Secession brought modern art to a new, more dynamic, debate that widened early in other cities such as Prague (Secession), Budapest (Magyar Szecesszió), Sofia, Warsaw (Secesja), Belgrade and Zagreb (Secesija), propagating a stiffened taste of the fluxes of French Art Nouveau and Anglo-Saxon Liberty, but which included styles of various national traditions.

Saint-Gilles - Bruxelles
Henry van de Velde, dessins et pastels (1884 – 1904)

Henry van de Velde (1863 – 1957) est considéré à juste titre comme un des créateurs les plus talentueux et protéiforme. Mais son style si personnel ne se limite pas pour autant à l’art fin-de-siècle. Durant l’entre-deux-guerres, de retour en Belgique, il prend conscience de son rôle dans le mouvement moderne dont il fut le juste propagateur au sein de l’Institut Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs de La Cambre et par de nombreuses réalisations architecturales.

Cette exposition permet non seulement de plonger dans une œuvre encore très inspirante en ce début du XXIème siècle : la délicatesse de ses compositions mariée à la puissance de sa ligne conserve toute sa force. De plus, son œuvre témoigne, par elle-même, de la modernité la plus téméraire de cette fin-de-siècle. Enfin, indépendamment de la qualité des œuvres exposées, cette exposition offre l’occasion de comprendre le parcours et l’évolution artistique d’un tel artiste.

Cette exposition est une invitation à (re)découvrir l’œuvre de van de Velde sous un angle tout à fait inédit et à plonger dans un des pans les plus audacieux de la peinture fin-de siècle.

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.

A Bird's Eye View of Art Nouveau

A photo exhibition set up in front of the Reök Palace shows Szeged's most beautiful art nouveau buildings from an unusual perspective. The emphasis is on details that are often hidden from view. An exhibition of recent drone photos taken of 14 lovely Szeged buildings are now on display for passers-by on Ede Magyar Square. The exhibition's title also refers to an anecdote told about Ödön Lechner, one of the greatest geniuses of Hungarian art nouveau architecture. The story goes that one of Lechner's students had lodged the criticism that it was a shame to design such a splendid roof for one of the master's palaces, because nothing could be seen of it from street level. To this, Lechner replied, “The birds will see them!” The collection being displayed in front of the Reök Palace uses this thinking as its starting point. The novelty of the images is the fact that they show these stunning buildings from an angle that we only rarely see them, if ever. These thrilling photos reveal hidden details. The Reök Palace, built in 1907, is the most beautiful art nouveau building in Szeged, and perhaps all of Hungary. Often compared to Gaudí's structures in Barcelona, it was designed by the brilliant architect Ede Magyar as a residence for the hydraulic engineer Iván Reök. Even by European standards, the palace is one of the finest examples of art nouveau architecture. It serves as the point of origin for the A Bird's Eye View of Art Nouveau exhibition. Also included in the overview along with from the palace are the Ungár-Mayer House, also designed by Magyar, and the Raichle Palace. The latter was built based on the plans of architect J. Ferenc Raichle, a leading light of the art nouveau style in the Vojvodina region, in the same year that the Reök Palace was completed. Raichle was also responsible for the Gróf Palace, a beautiful and iconic Szeged building that also appears among the photos. Other images include the Deutsch Palace, the New Synagogue and the Tömörkény High School building. The exhibition will remain open in front of the REÖK Regional Art Center until 20 December. Compiled from footage from EURO-TV, it was organised by students working on a curatorial specialisation in the University of Szeged's philosophy master's degree programme under the direction of art historian Dr Róbert Nátyi.

Hokusai and Japonisme

In the latter half of the 19th century, Western artists were fascinated by the new expression they found in Japanese art, and this led to the phenomenon known as Japonisme. It was the genius ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) to whom they turned the most. Hokusai’s influence spread across the entire West, including Monet, Degas and the other Impressionists, and can be found throughout myriad art forms, from paintings to prints, sculpture, posters and decorative arts. This exhibition, organized in Japan and the first of its type worldwide, examines the development of modern Western art through the lens of Hokusai and Japonisme. Bringing together artworks from museums and private collections in Japan and worldwide, the exhibition will compare around 200 Western artworks, including those by Monet, Degas, Cézanne and Gauguin, with about 90 works by Hokusai (around 30 color woodblock prints and 60 woodblock-printed books).* We hope that exhibition visitors will discover yet new intriguing aspects of how the West viewed and learned from Hokusai, all while enjoying Western art masterpieces born from the West’s encounter with this standard-bearer of a foreign culture.

Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897

This is the first museum exhibition on this revelatory and significant yet frequently overlooked series of Salons which were held annually in Paris from 1892 to 1897. Images of femmes fragiles and fatales, androgynous creatures, chimeras, and nightmares were the norm, as were sinuous lines, attenuated figures, and anti-naturalistic forms. Featuring highlights from the Salons, this exhibition will include approximately forty works by a cross section of artists and invite a fresh look at and new scholarship on the legacies of late nineteenth-century Symbolist art.

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.

Walthamstow, London


May Morris: Art & Life is the most comprehensive survey of May Morris’s work to date, bringing together over 80 works from collections around the UK, many of which have never been on public display.

The exhibition reveals the breadth of May's creative pursuits, featuring wallpaper and embroidery alongside jewellery, dresses and book designs, as well as sketches and watercolours. It focuses on May’s development of art embroidery – elevating needlework from a domestic craft to a serious art form – and highlights the extent of her influence in the UK and abroad, particularly the US.

A number of rarely seen works from public and private collections are featured in the exhibition, including a pair of expansive silk hangings, which May designed and embroidered in 1895 under the auspices of Morris & Co. The Spring and Summer, and Autumn and Winter panels are thought to have been commissioned for £150 making them most expensive entry in the Morris & Co. order book for that period, and a highlight of the exhibition.

Also on display for the first time is a hand painted Valentine card made by May for George Bernard Shaw in 1886, which was recently discovered among an uncatalogued album of cards sent to Shaw in the British Library's collection. May and Shaw were in love though he maintained he was too poor to marry her. He would later insist that a "Mystic Betrothal" had existed between them, yet this did not prevent him from establishing close relationships with other women at the same time. Despite being emotionally rebuffed, May recovered and the pair remained good friends.

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.

The Challenge of Modernism - Vienna and Zagreb around 1900

In the years around 1900, the multi-ethnic realm of the Habsburg Monarchy experienced a lively exchange of art and culture between Vienna, its center, and the main cities of the Crown lands such as Zagreb. For the development of Croatian art around the turn of the century, this exchange was very significant.

In the exhibition, the connections and points of reference at the start of the twentieth century are presented by key works of Austrian and Croatian artists of that period. Artists and architects who were trained in Vienna brought the new trends in art to Zagreb and, within 20 years, the overall character of cultural life at the time was fundamentally changed.

On show are works by Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Carl Moll, Vlaho Bukovac, Ivan Meštrović, Robert Auer, Tomislav Krizman as well as other protagonists of the Viennese and Modernism.

The exhibition is a cooperation with the Klovićevi dvori Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia.

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.