On the heels of last month’s previews of Old Master exhibitions in Europe earlier last month, OMNP follows up with comprehensive coverage of some of the major shows, along with a rundown of those recently announced, both in the US and abroad.
“Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian, “now on view until January 18, at the UK National Gallery, London [NG exhibition minisite]
OMNP’s view: Looks to be pretty essential viewing material if you are in London this fall. One knows a show is good when old material can be successfully reorganized into something fresh. As Laura Cummings put it:
“Part of its genius is to begin with such a jolt that everything appears new from the start, for the first picture you see – of a strawberry blond aristocrat bristling with golden hairpins – is also the only female portrait that survives from as far back as 1400. Portraits were as rare as hens’ teeth, so imagine how they must have startled those who had never seen one before.”
OMNP’s view: Also highly recommended, this show is the first comprehensive survey to present the rich holdings of Northern Renaissance and Flemish Art within the UK Royal collection.
OMNP’s view: Turner is just doing it huge these days, what with the major retrospective of his work stateside, and this response from across the pond. This isn’t essential viewing, but works from the show reveal the artist in full control of his power to evoke the pastoral and spiritual landscape.
“Rembrandt: History Painter,” now on view until January 6, at the Prado, Madrid [Prado Museum]
OMNP’s view: In the age of the blockbuster exhibition, big museums are constantly trying to find new ways to rehash proven stars. This can lead to trivial results [see below,] however this first-time retrospective of Rembrandt’s work at the Prado seems to be a balanced survey of his entire career, covering his perspective on a range of religious, historical, and classical themes.
“Picasso and the Masters,” now on view through February 2009, at the Grand Palais, Louvre and Musee d’ Orsay, Paris
OMNP’s view: Purists seem to be deriding this exhibition as exhaustive and shallow-an intellectual parlor-trick of compare and contrast. Notwithstanding, it seems worthwhile to check this out, if only to experience such juxtaposed masterpieces as separately from one another.
OTHER EUROPEAN SHOWS:
A Superb Goya portrait on loan from the Prado is now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao [Art Daily]
“Ideal (Dis-) Placements: Old Masters at the Pulitzer,” now on view through June 20, 2009, at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis [Pulitzer Arts Foundation]
OMNP’s view: This has to be the most intriguing show this Fall, not necessarily for the material, but for viewing experience, itself. Old Masters art in a Contemporary designed space? That is fulfilling this publication’s vision. A description from the PR release sounds captivating enough:
“Since Ando [architect of the building] sought to emphasize the effects of ever-changing daylight at the Pulitzer, the visitor will also see the majority of the works without the assistance of electric lighting to understand better the viewing conditions of the past and to appreciate these works outside of the confines of today’s traditional museums.”
“Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered”, now on view through January 11, 2009, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC [Art Daily]