Georges Braque at the Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna





Bank Austria Kunstforum, Wien

Georges Braque
Ausstellung >1. März 2009




The Bank Austria Kunstforum is putting on a sensational show on Georges Braque, the long-standing companion in art of Pablo Picasso.

In comparison with Picasso, the omnipresent “torero of the art arena”, Braque is incomparably calmer, more meditative as a painter, always consistently pursuing his own style of painting. While one Picasso exhibition chases another all over the world, the last Georges Braque retrospective in Central Europe was twenty years ago.

Now, 45 years after Braque’s death, the Bank Austria Kunstforum is dedicating the first Braque show ever held in Austria to this superlative, frequently underrated avant-garde artist. A great many international museums are supporting this ambitious exhibition project with generous loans, among them the London Tate Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum, the MoMA New York, and the Kunstmuseum Basel.


Georges Braque

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Georges Braque
Landschaft in der Provence, L’Estaque (Paysage de Provence, l’Estaque), 1907
Privatbesitz, Deutschland
© VBK, Wien, 2008/09



The exhibition presents an opportunity of (re-)discovering Braque’s extraordinary oeuvre. Around 80 paintings and the most important printed graphics will highlight the special path Braque took in European modernism and illustrate the unique quality of his adventure in painting: Braque in the circle of the Fauves, Braque the methodical, Braque the inventor of papier collé, the influence on Braque of the painting and decorating trade to which he was apprenticed, Braque the master of “modern still life” and, last but not least, Braque the “lyrical constructor”.

A core section of the exhibition is devoted – how could it have been otherwise? – to the groundbreaking invention of cubism. In a unique artistic collaboration starting in 1907, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso propelled the process by which painting won its autonomy, thus heralding in the most important artistic revolution of the twentieth century. For Braque himself, too, cubism remained the path-breaking discovery that enabled him to compose a pictorial fact, “fait pictural”, as he said, rather than an “anecdotal fact”. The First World War interrupted this crucial creative phase – Georges Braque suffered a grave injury to his skull in 1915 and could only resume work at the beginning of 1917

The exhibition will trace how Braque’s work – based on the repertoire of cubist forms – noticeably manifests a vein of consolidation and a classical impression asserting itself during the 1920s and 1930s. There is a partial reintroduction of naturalist forms, a beauty of line in contours, and an emphasis on the inherent material quality of colour; so we find a measured form of cubism emerging with the tactile sensuousness so typical of Braque and quite alien to purism. This is evident in variations on the subject of the fireplace or the small table, in which Braque carries the interplay of transparency and opaqueness, realistic and abstract forms to extremes. During the Second World War Braque produced plain interiors and still life pictures expressing the arduousness and monotony of life in Paris during the war years.


Georges Braque

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Georges Braque
Der Hafen von La Ciotat (Le Port de La Ciotat), 1907
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. And Mrs. John Hay Whitney
© VBK, Wien, 2008/09

Georges Braque

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Georges Braque
Das Atelier VIII (L’Atelier VII), 1954/55
Colección Masaveu, Oviedo
© Foto: Gonzalo de la Serna, Madrid
© VBK, Wien, 2008/09

Georges Braque

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Georges Braque
Der weiße Vogel und der schwarze Vogel, Die Vögel (L’oiseau blanc et l’oiseau noir, Les oiseaux), 1960
Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
© VBK, Wien, 2008/09



The “total Braque” will be on show in the Kunstforum, and this means including the late work, which has slipped relatively far into the background in the history of critical reception. In the early 1950s – once again in his childhood environment in Varengeville in Normandy – Braque returned to landscape painting, producing small-scale, strongly textured strips of the coastline and farm fields. A key position within the exhibition is taken up by the visionary picture series of the Ateliers, in which Braque makes his immediate working environment his subject, thus most closely approaching his objective of achieving the greatest concentration of material and space, a tactile space that can be experienced.

Georges Braque never stopped spurring on the development of his ideas, with a sense of metamorphosis that made conventional pigeon-holing untenable – whether between figuration and abstraction, or between the genres.


Publication for the exhibition

Edited by Ingried Brugger, Heike Eipeldauer and Caroline Messensee.
Contributions by Neil Cox, Heike Eipeldauer, Edith Futscher, Christopher Green, Caroline
Messensee, Nicolas Surlapierre and Juliane Vogel.
248 pages, approx. 150 illustrations
Published in November 2008 by Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 29 euros,
available in the Bank Austria Kunstforum Shop and in good retail booksellers.


    © Bank Austria Kunstforum
    © Images. VBK Wien




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Stampfli & Turci Art Dealers – Espaces Arts & Objets





~ by Stampfli & Turci on January 14, 2009.

6 Responses to “Georges Braque at the Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna”

  1. I placed you on “my favourite sites”, do you mind? I would ask, but I thought that I can delete if there is any anger.
    Best regards, Dan.

  2. thanks, dan

  3. very nice very nice
    my favourites are les oiseaux and l´estaque
    we can see th difference in the simplesity.

  4. Bonjour s’il vous plait j’ai bien aimer votre site mais est-ce-que vous pourrais m’en dire plus sur le port de la ciotat de georges braque ce serait gentil . C’est urgent !
    Merci d’avance .

  5. Hello please I really love your website but is it-you could tell me more about the port of La Ciotat by Georges Braque would be nice. It’s urgent!
    Thank you in advance.

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