RA Magazine Editor Sarah Greenberg looks around the world to select her favourite exhibitions and new museums this Spring.
Musée de la Vie romantique, Romantic French Gardens 1770-1840: From Enlightenment to the Romantics,
8 March–July 17, 2011
The Museum of Romantic Life deserves a visit regardless of the exhibition on display. This atmospheric villa - once frequented by Chopin and George Sand - has a lovely garden and makes a perfect respite from the teeming Parisian boulevards. This show of over 100 paintings, watercolours and drawings, focuses on how the French adopted 'English style' gardens, on the model of Capability Brown, swapping the traditional French formality for the apparently more natural romantic landscape that originated in England.
Jacquemart-André Museum, The Caillebotte Brothers’ Private World: Painter and Photographer, 25 March-11 July 2011
This small, but perfectly formed, show focuses on the Caillebottes, not household names perhaps, but nonetheless many will be familiar with the distinctive Parisian street scenes of the artist Gustave Caillebotte, who was both a painter and a patron of his Impressionist friends. His brother Martial, a photographer, has been relatively unknown until now. But recent research has shown that his photographic subjects relate directly to his brother’s paintings and the Musée Jacquemart-André is comparing Martial’s photographs to Gustave’s paintings for the first time, to explore the world in which Impressionism was created. Some paintings from private collections have never been seen in public before.
The Jacquemart-André, a jewel-box of a house museum (with an excellent café), is always worth a visit, but this show gives an added incentive.
Van Gogh Museum, Picasso in Paris, 1900-1907, 18 February-29 May 2011
Just when you thought we knew virtually everything about the life, loves and art of Picasso, along comes an exhibition to show us a new side of the protean painter. ‘Picasso in Paris: 1900-1907’ reveals a fascinating portrait of the artist as a young man, showing us the art Picasso looked at and learned from when he first arrived in Paris at the age of 19, alongside his own early work. With more than 70 works of art on display, the show shines a light on a key moment of modern art and gives a sense of Paris as a creative capital. By showing how Picasso became exposed to artists, including Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin and Cézanne, this original exhibition invites viewers to consider how other artists may have inspired Picasso’s work, while spurring him to experiment and create his own vision.
Lismore Castle Arts, Still Life, 9 April-30 September 2011
It seems appropriate that Lismore Castle Arts should present an exhibition bringing together ideas of old and new. The contemporary art gallery here is located in a converted wing of this fairytale castle, once home to Sir Walter Raleigh and in whose landscaped gardens Spenser is said to have written The Faerie Queene. But the idea behind the space has always been to look at the art of today and bring new, original work to this idyllic corner of County Waterford – to provoke visitors, as well as to please. The current show does just this, using the historic genre of the still-life to provide an evocative theme linking six diverse artists, working in a variety of media. Gillian Carnegie’s exquisite paintings create contemporary interpretations of still-lifes and are worth making a trip to Lismore to see. Meanwhile Turner-Prize winner Mark Leckey (who also has a show at the Serpentine this summer) makes multi-media sculptures, and Richard Wright makes site-specific wall paintings that dazzle and amuse.
Neue Galerie, Birth of the Modern: Style and Identity in Vienna 1900, 24 February-27 June, 2011
This major show about Vienna at the turn of the last century should be right at home in the Neue Galerie, a museum which focuses on the art and culture of this period. Curated by Gill Lloyd (who organised the RA's Kirchner exhibition), the exhibition explores the great age of Viennese modernism and features major paintings by Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka and furniture design by Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffman and Adolf Loos, all of whom were pioneers of modernist design.
MOMA, German Expressionism, 27 March - 11 July 2011
This Spring, New York provides a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the great age of Austrian and German Modernism. While the Neue Galerie shows 'Vienna 1900', MoMA offers a broad view of German Expressionism from 1905 through the 1920s by looking at the movement's most popular medium: woodcut prints. From Kirchner to Beckmann, the German Expressionists took up printmaking with a collective fervor virtually unparalleled in the history of art. The show includes work from the Brucke artists, Kandinsky, Kokoshka, Heckel and Nolde and focus on themes such as the modern urban experience, the body and sexuality. Its pivotal moment is World War I and its aftermath, with searing images by Otto Dix, Kathe Kollwitz and Max Beckmann.