Glyptotek Opens its Exhibition 'Pierre Bonnard. The Colour of Memory'

Sunday, May 19, 2019
Glyptotek Opens its Exhibition 'Pierre Bonnard. The Colour of Memory'

This is the first time in more than 25 years that it has been possible to experience a solo exhibition of the French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) in Denmark: an exhibition which will follow Bonnard as a modern artist into the 20th century.

Image: Nude in the Interior, 1935, Pierre Bonnard, Courtesy the National Gallery of Art, Washington © PR Photo

 

This is the first time in more than 25 years that it has been possible to experience a solo exhibition of the French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) in Denmark: an exhibition which will follow Bonnard as a modern artist into the 20th century.

In the exhibition you will be able to see more than 100 works by one of French art’s superlative colourists and gain an insight into his unique method: Bonnard paints from memory, detaching himself from his subjects and resurrecting them in the colours of memory.

The Colour of Memory

Pierre Bonnard is one of French art’s most magnificent colourists and innovators of composition and perspective. His paintings open windows into a private world of quiet everyday events. But they are rarely direct translations of what the artist has seen.

 

Nude in the Interior, 1935, Pierre Bonnard, Courtesy the National Gallery of Art, Washington © PR Photo

 

Bonnard paints from memory, detaching himself from his subjects and resurrecting them in colour, plane and form. He fills his canvas with the colour of memory.

Soundscapes

Award winning sound designer Peter Albrechtsen, known for his work on films like Thelma, Generation Wealth and Dunkirk, and film director Sun Hee Engelstoft, who recently premiered with the praised film Forget Me Not, have created three unique soundscapes for central works in the exhibition: The Dining Room, The Studio with Mimosas and Lunch in the Garden. The selected works are brought to life through sound compositions which guide the eye around in complex surfaces of the paintings and their concealed motifs. 

 

The Dining Room, 1925, Pierre Bonnard, © Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

 

With atmospheric sounds of nature recorded in the parts of France where Bonnard lived, the experience becomes total and the paintings’ wealth of colour gains an extra dimension.

A modern artist?

Bonnard’s place in the history of art has long been debated, especially because his work straddles two centuries. Does he belong in the late 19th century, where he enjoys early success as an artist? Or should he be written into 20th-century modernism alongside artists like Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)? The gist of the discussion is whether Bonnard’s paintings are “modern”. This also involves the question of what we expect of so-called “modern painting”. Bonnard divides opinions, not only today but also in his own time. Matisse praises Bonnard’s paintings, while Picasso calls them a “potpourri of indecision”.

 

The Bowl of Milk (Le Bol de Lait), c.1919, Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). TATE. Photo Credit ©Tate, London 2019

 

The exhibition looks at Bonnard as being a modern artist in 20th century. His modernity is not conspicuous, in the way of Matisse and Picasso. He does not reduce his subject to pure geometric forms or colour planes. He never abandons figuration but weaves it into abstraction. Bonnard insists on being free and independent, including of the fast-changing art movements of the 20th century.

 

The Exhibition 'Pierre Bonnard. The Colour of Memory'

7 June - 22 September, 2019

Glyptotek, Copenhagen

 

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