Caspar David Friedrich
Tobias G. Natter
Fleeting Worlds. Selected masterpieces by a diverse group of artists working between the 19th century and the present including William Turner, Claude Monet, Ferdinand Hodler, Max Beckmann and Gerhard Richter, all of whom took an intense interest in the theme of clouds. In 12 chapters, this exhibition will shed light on the various ways in which clouds have been depicted over the past two centuries.
Curators Tobias G. Natter and Franz Smola
In the exhibition Clouds. Fleeting Worlds the Leopold Museum will be showing selected masterpieces by a diverse group of artists working between the 19th century and the present including William Turner, Claude Monet, Ferdinand Hodler, Max Beckmann and Gerhard Richter, all of whom took an intense interest in the theme of clouds. Clouds are more than just crucial to our climate and to the very existence of humanity; with their myriad shapes and fascinating optical colour effects, they are also of high aesthetic appeal. Clouds can mutate into poetic metaphors just as quickly as they can become signs of danger or omens.
For Tobias G. Natter, who will be curating this exhibition together with Franz Smola, clouds are “fascinating phenomena between the earth and the infinite beyond.” Clouds are curious, hard-to-apprehend bodies comprised of water, air and light, and they give rise to different feelings and messages in those who view them. Clouds in a sunny sky are common props in idyllic images of nature. A sky shot through with dark-hued rain or storm clouds can seem threatening, while swaths of clouds drenched in the red light of dusk tend to evoke melancholy feelings. Dark masses of clouds portend calamity – due either to natural disasters or to anthropogenic, technology-related causes ranging from smoky exhaust fumes to nuclear explosions.
In twelve chapters, this exhibition will shed light on the various ways in which clouds have been depicted over the past two centuries. The palette of themes ranges from the “The Invention of Clouds” to “Clouds of the Impressionists,” “Clouds as Ornaments” and on to the proverbial “Cloud of Sound.” The 20th and 21st centuries are represented in particular by the chapters “Metamorphosis,” “The Clouds of Industry” and the “Beauty of the Uncanny,” such as in the often strangely appealing photographs of nuclear mushroom clouds or natural disasters in the making.
The exhibition Clouds. Fleeting Worlds will feature works by artists including Caspar David Friedrich, John Constable, William Turner, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cézanne, Ferdinand Hodler, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Emil Nolde, Heinrich Kühn, René Magritte, Edward Steichen, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist, Anselm Kiefer and Olafur Eliasson.
Image: René Magritte, Sommer, 1932 © Geschenk von Max Janlet 1977 Musée d’Ixelles, Brüssel (c) VBK, Wien 2013
Mag. Klaus Pokorny T+43.1.525 70-1507 F+43.1.525 70-1500 E-Mail email@example.com
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