This section contains an overview of the most relevant exhibitions. Each item is connected to the organizing museum.

The Danish Way


Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909), Selfportret, 1897. © Sammlung Hirschsprung, Kopenhagen

The decisive shift towards modernism took place in Danish art during the 1880s: grand narratives were replaced by snapshots of reality – unvarnished depictions of Danish country life, stripped of all idealism and devoid of the pathos of history painting. In the preceding decades, artists had continued to adhere to Romantic ideals and focussed mainly on national themes. Art played such a key role in this far-reaching modernisation process, which affected many areas of Danish society at the end of the 19th century, that this period is now described as the era of the ‘modern breakthrough’. Danish painters offered a new, more realistic perspective on rural life. Influenced to a certain extent by modern French art and the ‘return to nature’ advocated by the painters of the Barbizon School, artists such as Theodor Philipsen (1840–1920) and Joakim Skovgaard (1856–1933) also presented a different view of the Danish landscape. This involved paying particular attention to the realistic depiction of light and atmospheric conditions at different times of day and throughout the year.
The Hirschsprung Collection in Copenhagen is one of the finest and most extensive collections of 19th-century Danish painting. All the leading Danish artists of the period are represented in this collection, which was built by the tobacco manufacturer and passionate art collector Heinrich Hirschsprung (1836–1908) and has been on display in its own museum since 1911: from the painters of the ‘Danish Golden Age’ during the first half of the 19th century, such as Christoffer Eckersberg (1783–1853) or Christen Købke (1810–1848), through to the Danish Impressionists and Symbolists in the latter half, including the internationally renowned painters Peder Krøyer (1851–1909) and Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864–1916).

Henri Matisse and the Fauvists


Henry Matisse in 1933. Photo: Carl van Vechten.

The Albertina in Vienna is presenting around 160 works by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and the fauvists. Most of the works of the young artists, who art critics at the time compared with “fauves” (“wild animals”), are available to view for the first time ever in Vienna and Central Europe. Henri Matisse was the head and the spokesman of the fauves. Together with his group of artists, he caused a stir in 1905 at the 3rd Paris Autumn Salon. Their paintings literally roared from the walls. The public was appalled by the violent, apparently hastily applied brush strokes and the colourful, intensely luminous colours. The motif was secondary; what counted was expression. In addition to the famous paintings, the exhibit demonstrates that Matisse and the fauves also strived for expression and intensity in their bronzes, ceramics, stone sculptures and furniture. Fauvism lasted only two years, but was, as the first avant garde movement of the 20th century, of epochal significance for the development of Modernity.

Asterix in Paris


Catalogue of the exhibition. Photo: BnF, Paris

The exhibition in Paris is dedicated to the famous cartoon enjoyed for over fifty years by children and adults in 34 albums, 35with the latest album included. The cartoon has been translated into 107 languages and dialects and with over 350 million copies sold throughout the world. Covering gestation of the work, its world and its phenomenal reach and universality, this retrospective offers a playful journey to the sources, full immersion in the world of these indomitable Gauls and an analysis of the magic potion which has led to the incredible success of their adventures. The exhibition provides a setting for a comic approach to be constantly rediscovered, understood here as closely as possible to the creative process. Original or printed plates, handwritten notes and typed storylines carry on a dialog with archeological items which are the emblematic attributes of the series, recalling its historical anchoring as well as its inherent parody. The third part of the exhibition measures the “Asterix phenomenon” through its national and international impact, film adaptations, derivative toys and games, advertising use and the creation of an amusement park. Finally, the exhibition takes a moment to analyze this unequaled success by playfully dissecting the uproarious humor conveyed by storylines, dialogs and drawings. It also highlights the strength of the values incarnated by this epic parody.

The young hare


Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), the youug hare. 1506. Photo: Wikipedia

The Städel Museum presents Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) – presumably the most important artist of the German Renaissance . The show will encompass more than 280 works, including some 200 by Dürer himself. It will feature the German master’s oeuvre in the full breadth and diversity of the artistic means of expression he employed. Panel and canvas paintings, drawings, prints made with various printmaking techniques, and books written and illustrated by Dürer will all be on view. Dürer’s on-going exploration of the works of German, Netherlandish and Italian artist colleagues will be one of the central themes of this Old Master exhibition in Frankfurt, which will place his works and their emergence in their historical context. To this end, works by forerunners, contemporaries and pupils such as Martin Schongauer, Hans Baldung Grien, Hans von Kulmbach, Jacopo de? Barbari, Giovanni Bellini, Joos van Cleve or Lucas van Leyden will enrich this major exhibition project. Through this form of contextualization, light will be shed not only on the artistic quality of Dürer’s oeuvre and the particular creative power it radiates, but also on the decisive contribution he made to the emergence of Northern European Renaissance.

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