Wim de Haan
Ernst Wilhelm Nay
Nicolas de Stael
Bram van Velde
Geer van Velde
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva
Jan Hein van Sassen
Free City, Free Art in the Fifties. Paris was the epicentre of fine art in post-war Europe. With almost 100 artworks by 33 international masters, the exhibition is a persuasive survey of the stunning originality, variety, and quality of art at this time. These top artists are connected by the strong need to use new techniques and materials for artistic renewal in a world that had been fundamentally changed by the violence of war.
curated by Jan Hein van Sassen in close collaboration with Katja Weitering
The Cobra Museum of Modern Art will present a broad selection of important work from the 1950s from 24th October 2009 until January 17th, 2010. Paris was the epicentre of fine art in post-war Europe. With almost 100 artworks by 33 international masters, the exhibition is a persuasive survey of the stunning originality, variety, and quality of art at this time. It is work seldom shown in Dutch museums. 'Paris Central' rights this wrong and shows that this work was pivotal for further development of European art.
In the first fifteen years that followed the Second World War, Paris was the cultural capital city for modern art. It was the place where artists and art dealers met and where new ideas were exchanged; a role that New York eventually took over from Paris around 1960. In artistic terms, Picasso and Matisse were still very prominent, but groups of artists and poets were forming everywhere, and their ambition was to take the art world by storm with their new ideas. From Asger Jorn to Jean Dubuffet, and from Karel Appel to Lucio Fontana, everyone was there.
These top artists are connected by the strong need to use new techniques and materials for artistic renewal in a world that had been fundamentally changed by the violence of war. The drive to experiment was powerful. Oil paint was, for example, mixed with sand or stones, and in many cases recognisable forms were substituted by abstract patterns of line and colour. The work was often called 'Art Autre' or 'Other Art'. This period was saved from arbitrariness by the importance attached to a particular type of abstract art, known as Lyric Abstraction, that had existed before the Second World War, and which flourished in the first few years following it.
Paris Central will include works by the following artists: Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Jean-Michel Atlan, Jean Bazaine, Roger Bissière, Bram Bogart, Alberto Burri, Jacques Doucet, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Wim de Haan, Hans Hartung, Asger Jorn, André Lanskoy, Alfred Manessier, Marino Marini, Georges Mathieu, Henri Michaux, Jaap Nanninga, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Serge Poliakoff, Arnulf Rainer, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Gérard Schneider, Emil Schumacher, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Antoni Tàpies, Bram van Velde, Geer van Velde, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Jaap Wagemaker.
Concept and composition of the exhibition are by the guest curator Jan Hein van Sassen in close collaboration with Katja Weitering, the curator of the Cobra Museum. The exhibition will show almost one hundred artworks, including paintings, works on paper, and sculptural work. The artworks are on loan from the Museum for Decorative Arts in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and many other national and international private collections. The majority of the work on view has never before been seen in the Netherlands.
A full catalogue of the exhibition published by Waanders Publishers will contain essays by Jan Hein van Sassen, Werner van den Belt, and Katja Weitering (isbn 9789040086328).
The Turing Foundation is the main sponsor of the Paris Central exhibition.
Image: Bram van Velde, Without title, Parijs-Montrouge 1941. Collection Colmar, Musée d'Unterlinden
For more information about the exhibition and digital images please contact Werner van den Belt +31 06 16478698 firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening 24 october 2009, 6 pm
Sandbergplein 1 - Amsterdam
Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 - 17.00 hours
Admission: 9.50 euro, reductions 5 or 6.50 euro