Francisco Goya is one of the world's greatest artists. His penetrating vision of humanity remains as powerfully relevant today as ever. Brassai is one of the best-known Parisian photographers of the twentieth century. His iconic black and white images reveal a bygone era of cafe' society, shady dance halls and the ordinary lives of Parisians at the dawn of the Modern Age.
Drawings from his Private Albums.
Francisco Goya is one of the world's greatest artists. His penetrating vision of humanity remains as powerfully relevant today as ever. Born in the middle of the 18th century, Goya created his most innovative paintings, drawings and prints after the near-fatal illness that left him stone deaf at the age of 47. Over the next 35 years, alongside his paintings and prints, Goya poured out his creative genius in eight remarkable albums of drawings. These albums remain little-known. They were split up after his death in 1828, and their pages are scattered in collections throughout Europe and North America. Now, for the first time, 100 of the finest of these drawings have been reunited by the Goya specialist Juliet Wilson-Bareau, for an exhibition which opens for a single showing at the Hayward Gallery in February.
The album drawings reveal Goya's astonishing powers of invention and observation. They include amazing flights of fantasy, nightmare and biting satire, and show the artist's imagination at work on a vast range of subjects -the pageant of carnival and Holy Week, the upheavals of war, images of childhood and old age, witches and charlatans, seductive courtesans and debauched monks - in a reflection, both violent and tender, real and surreal, of the world around him.
After his illness, Goya stayed with the Duchess of Alba in Andalusia, and it was here that he embarked on his album drawings. The first two albums, completed in 1797, led directly to his famous Caprichos prints, published at the dawn of the 19th century. The horrors of the Spanish Peninsular war and the ensuing period of repression and misrule are reflected in the next four albums. All six are freely drawn with a brush, using a variety of inks and exploiting the luminosity of fine, hand-made paper. During the artist's final years in exile in Bordeaux, he made his last two albums. Drawn in black crayon, they reinterpret many of the themes of the earlier albums.
Since the albums were first catalogued 30 years ago, many more of their numbered pages have come to light, including one that remained completely unknown until a few months ago. The show will include many rarely seen sheets from private collections, among them the late drawing that was a sensation, for its quality and price, in a recent auction in New York.
The exhibition includes loans from: the National Gallery of Art, Washington; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; The Fogg Art Museum, Massachusetts; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; MusÃ©e du Louvre, Paris; MusÃ©e des Beaux-Arts, Marseille; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the British Museum; and the Courtauld Gallery, London; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and private collections in Europe and the USA.
Francisco Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) was born in the Spanish province of Aragon. He trained in Saragossa and spent most of his working life in Madrid. He died in exile in Bordeaux at the age of 82, leaving a remarkable body of work: painting, drawing and printmaking. Goya's career spanned one of the most complex and eventful periods in Spanish history.
A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with a text by Juliet Wilson-Bareau.
Also showing at the Hayward Gallery at this time and included in the admission price Brassai: The Soul of Paris
BrassaÃ¯ is one of the best-known Parisian photographers of the twentieth century. His iconic black and white images reveal a bygone era of cafÃ© society, shady dance halls and the ordinary lives of Parisians at the dawn of the Modern Age.
He was born in the small Hungarian town of BrassÃ³, and moved to Paris in the Twenties. He started life as a journalist but his desire to illustrate his articles with his own images urged him to start photographing his surroundings, capturing the mood of Paris by night and the beauty of the city streets in the rain.
This major retrospective, organised by the Pompidou Centre, Paris, presents over 200 vintage silver salt prints from BrassaÃ¯â€™s own archive alongside his drawings and small, sensual sculptures. The exhibition includes shots of Paris by day and night, nude studies, classic portraits of Picasso, collaborations with Salvador DalÃ for the Surrealist publication Minotaure and photographs of graffiti and found objects from the Parisian streets.
The name BrassaÃ¯ is a pseudonym, taken in 1932 to mark the artistâ€™s rebirth as a photographer in Paris. Brassaiâ€™s folio is the quintessential Paris: twilight at the Eiffel Tower, the market at Les Halles, the Place de la Concorde and backstage at the Moulin Rouge. His images liberate the unusual from the everyday, always finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Even though his images are very much a record of the past, he has created a legacy that is timeless.
Exhibition conceived and organised by The Centre Georges Pompidou, MusÃ©e national d'art moderne, Paris.
Featured image: BrassaÃ¯ Lovers in a Small Cafe near the Place d'Italie
Â© 1932 BrassaÃ¯ Estate, on long term loan to the MusÃ©e national dâ€™art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. BrassaÃ¯ Estate, all rights reserved.
Hayward Gallery - Belvedere Road - London SE1 8XX