Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro are just some of the signatures that can be spotted inscribed upon these prized pieces. Portraying epic scenes from Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron’ and Homer’s ‘L’Odyssee’, to exotic Muses of the East, ‘Picasso and French Art of the Early Twentieth Century’ is on display until 13th September and explores the prevalent styles of the Paris School epoch.

With its decadent Bohemian communities and revolutionary creative approach, early Twentieth Century Paris offered artists freedom from restrictive traditions. Many of the celebrated artists featured in our exhibition worked alongside composers, poets, dancers and writers. Such a rich exchange of artistic ideas gave rise to the different styles of the Paris School, encompassing Dada to Fauvism, Cubism to Surrealism. The works exhibited illustrate the bold, dynamic and ‘wild’ approach of the Fauves, the geometric, flattened planes of the Cubists and the hallucinatory, dreamlike visions of the Surrealists.

PICASSO Jacqueline copy

Picasso’s ‘Jacqueline aux Chavaux Flous, en Busted’ is a tender portrayal of Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque. Peering out with almond shaped eyes, Picasso’s most painted Muse was a salesgirl at the pottery in Vallautis. Presented with a rose each day, it was not until 1961 that the twenty seven year old divorcee agreed to marry Picasso following the death of Olga Khokhlova, Picasso’s first wife, in 1955. This affectionate depiction of Picasso’s most inspiring Muse is perhaps even more poignant by Jacqueline’s tragic suicide of 1986.

Dali’s beautiful illustrations of ‘Decameron’ offer a personal interpretation of Boccaccio’s Fourteenth Century literary masterpiece. Whilst taking refuge from the plague epidemic of 1348, a group of seven young women and three men entertain each other through storytelling. Dali eloquently echoes Boccaccio’s philosophical stance, imaginatively portraying the one hundred tales of love, tragedy and wit. This set of etchings currently on view is a rare and possibly unique collectors’ item, as indicated by its plain presentation box and validation as an ‘Exemplair Maquette’.

Le Decameron, L'Enfer des Beautes cruelles (5)

Also exhibited are Dali’s ‘Cybele’ and ‘The Menorah’. Such expressive sculptures comprise of a number of Dali’s symbolic motifs including multiple beasts and forehead drawers. With today’s emerging interest in artists’ scarves, Dali’s heroic interpretations of the ‘Divine Comedy’ on silk are also of significance and would make perfect contributions to any collection.

The uplifting colours of Chagall’s lithographs recount the adventures of Odysseus and are full of expression. Reflecting the Paris School’s pioneering use of lose forms and flattened perspective, these works expertly evoke the tensions and unfolding drama of Homer’s classic Greek narrative.

Sumptuously accessorised and sedately placed within lavish interiors, Matisse’s exotic ‘odalisques’ are also works of interest within this collection. Inspired by visits to Morocco, Matisse idealises harem life and depicts his utopian ideal. Assisting in the creation of the concept of ‘the Orient’, these works provide insight into an alternative Muse, a Muse perceived then as both erotic and of regal magnificence. Matisse had a strong interest in Islamic Art, revealing it to be rich and opulent with intricate decoration. Through portraying the majesty of the Orient, Matisse may be mourning the loss of certain aspects of Western civilisation following the Great Wars.

MATISSE nuassisalachemise

Sumptuously accessorised and sedately placed within lavish interiors, Matisse’s exotic ‘odalisques’ are also works of interest within this collection. Inspired by visits to Morocco, Matisse idealises harem life and depicts his utopian ideal. Assisting in the creation of the concept of ‘the Orient’, these works provide insight into an alternative Muse, a Muse perceived then as both erotic and of regal magnificence. Matisse had a strong interest in Islamic Art, revealing it to be rich and opulent with intricate decoration. Through portraying the majesty of the Orient, Matisse may be mourning the loss of certain aspects of Western civilisation following the Great Wars.

The sensual and surreal works of Joan Miro, such as ‘L’Ogre Enjoue’ and ‘Le Lezard aux Plumes D’or’ have a captivating and dreamlike appeal. The artist’s unique language of flattened forms and luscious colour produces pleasing arrangements stimulating the subconscious. Such lyrical compositions influenced the future work of the Abstract Impressionists and the loss of Miro’s ‘World Trade Centre Tapestry’ in 2001 further heightens the importance of works such as these in our exhibition.

Each piece is thoughtfully displayed and carefully curated for optimum viewing. The Drang Gallery is proud to be presenting artwork of such high calibre to ensure the continued prominence of French art of the early Twentieth Century.

Close
Go top