Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France
10 February – 7 May 2017
Works by Manet, Pissarro, Cézanne, Degas and Picasso trace the origins of Modernism in France.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Paris established itself as the centre of modern creative thinking. Painters, dealers, poets and writers from all across Europe flocked to the city, particularly the bohemian districts of Montmartre and Montparnasse where they would meet to form allegiances, exchange ideas and discuss new techniques. Among them were Manet, Pissarro, Cézanne, Degas and Picasso – the men who founded Modernism.
This exhibition of Romantic, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works explores the evolution of artistic expression during this period, looking at the friendships and rivalries between the different schools and their lead thinkers.
It is drawn from the private collection of an American couple who started collecting Modernist works during their 10 years living in Paris in the 1950s and 60s.
While they initially began acquiring drawings, sketches and works on paper (they were drawn to the spontaneity of such pieces), their collection has now expanded to include prints and paintings.
At the heart of the exhibition is a group of works by artists who experimented with Cubism. Included is Picasso's early study for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.