Every year, concurrently with the permanent presentation of its collections, the museum holds two major temporary shows. As a rule, their theme is based on the museum’s identity, history and collections, as well as on the desire to keep the institution open to current artistic activity.
Some exhibitions have a historical character, Chagall et l'avant-garde russe dans les collections du Musée national d'Art moderne /Chagall and the Russian Avant-garde in the collections of the Musée national d'Art moderne (5 March /29 May 2011).
Others are based on the museum’s collections. In the spring of 2010, Italian drawings, the first part of a triptych devoted to the museum’s collections of drawings. Followed, in 2011, by French drawings, and, in 2014, by Nordic drawings.
Others still emphasize contemporary art, Stephan Balkenhol, Sculptures et dessins. Sculptures and Drawings (30 October 2010 /23 January 2011)
Lastly, every year the museum reaches out to Grenoble’s inhabitants by offering an extra-muros exhibition in one of the city’s neighbourhood facilities.
9 November 2013 to 2 February 2014
The great German artist was among the foremost figures in the field of painting of the past fifty years. While Polke participated fully in the major currents of the art of his time – from Pop art and conceptual art to Fluxus – he also profoundly renewed the pictorial language of the late twentieth century. His was a relentless appetite for experimentation, which extended as much to the images, and the way he put into question their hierarchical position and interrogated their mode of presentation, as to their supports, which he activated to the point of making them a constituent part of the work, and to the colours, whose physical and visual potentialities he excavated. Polke revitalized the subversive power of art by destabilizing the mechanisms of perception and unsettling genres and categories.
Through the different media he used, the exhibition will set out to show the scope of his explorations undertaken with an extraordinary capacity for renewal and an innate sense of iconoclasm. It will focus on his production in the last three decades of his life, after the profound shift in his painting at the beginning of the 1980s, and testify to the very great coherence underlying and informing the apparent diversity in his experimentation.
15 March – 9 June 2014
In 2010 and 2011, the Musée de Grenoble presented a selection of the most beautiful drawings, Italian and then French, taken from its graphic arts department. As the final part of the trilogy, the exhibition La Pointe et l’Ombre, devoted to the collection of Nordic drawings, will bring together Dutch, Flemish and German works. The Museum has selected some 120 drawings spanning nearly three centuries, from the 16th to the end of the 18th.
The Dutch school, which accounts for the bulk of this selection, is above all rich in 17th century works, dominated by Rembrandt’s masterpiece Man in Oriental Costume. Certain drawings by Bloemaert and his pupils, in particular Gerrit van Honthorst, remind us that, in that protestant land, certain artists were still working for the catholic church, but most of the Dutch works derive their subjects from everyday life--genre scenes and studies of animals—and from the endlessly renewed spectacle of the plat pays—the flat land—with its moors, rivers and towns.
Another homogeneous set shows the work of artists such as Breenberg, Swanevelt and van Bloemen, who sought inspiration in Italy. In Rome, these artists discovered the marvels of Antiquity and the Renaissance. The raw light of the South and the poetry of ruins inspired delicate works, treated in grey and beige ink washes, sometimes produced after the artists’ return to the mists of the North.
The 17th century Flemish school is splendidly represented by four Jacob Jordaens drawings, including three allegorical and religious scenes, as well as works by Quellimus, Boeckhorst and Frans Francken, all illustrating history subjects. One or two genre scenes, notably by David Teniers the Younger, and some delicate landscapes by Lodewijk de Vadder and Gillis Neyts remind us that these two genres enjoyed considerable success in the 17th century, and were much sought after by a bourgeois and aristocratic clientele.
The more disparate selection of German works is organized around several works from the Augsburg school, illustrated by the talent of Freisinger, Rugendas and Ridinger. The 18th century is represented by an Anton Graff Self-portrait and a preparatory composition for a church décor, made by the Bavarian Johann Wink.
Bartholomeus Breenberg , Le Colisée à Rome : fantaisie de ruines, Collection Musée de Grenoble ©Musée de Grenoble