With its collections of ancient, modern and contemporary art, the Musée de Grenoble offers you a chance to traverse the history of western painting from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Included are major masterpieces of classical Flemish, Dutch, Italian and Spanish painting; one of 20th century Europe’s richest collections; and all the great post-1945 contemporary art trends, right up to the most recent artworks of the 2000s.
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE and her photographer friends
7 Nov.2015 – 7 Feb. 2016
As the first solo show in France to be devoted to the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe, the exhibition scheduled this autumn at the musée de Grenoble is an outstanding event. Put on with the participation of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe (New Mexico, USA), and the backing of the French Regional American Museum Exchange [FRAME], it goes back over the career of an icon of American art, who is as famous in the United States as Jackson Pollock. From her earliest works in New York to when she settled in New Mexico in 1949, Georgia O’Keeffe was greatly influenced by modern photography. To encompass this factor, the exhibition will create a dialogue between her paintings and her photographer friends, forming a total selection of 90 works coming from fifteen prestigious international museums, as well as from major German, Spanish and French institutions.
In 1917, Picasso stayed in Rome to produce the sets for Diaghilev’s ballet Parade. While there he met Olga Kokhlova, a dancer with the Ballets Russes, and rediscovered antique statuary, Etruscan art and early Renaissance painting. As a result the work produced in those years saw the appearance of monumental, gigantic, old-fashioned human forms.
Woman Reading, where the model was Olga, whom Picasso married in 1918, presents a hieratic figure in which classicism and Cubism are juxtaposed with virtuosity. The swollen, pink flesh of the face and hands, plus the position of the finger placed on the temple remind us of Picasso’s interest in the characteristic drawing and deformation of the art of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, in particular the Portrait of Madame Moitessier painted by this latter in 1856. The nose and the arch of the eyebrows evoke the regularity of faces in antique statues. The bust and the clothing with its flattened folds, and the monochrome palette of greys and browns, for their part, make reference to the period of analytical deconstruction in Cubism (1910-1912). The style of the hair, with long, wavy locks, lends a note of freedom and refers to the technique of carving. The impressive, grey-clad figure barely stands out against the more neutral grey ground, in matching tones which strengthen the flesh tints. The atmosphere of serenity released by this scene is due as much to the restricted choice of colours as to the sculptural effect of the deeply concentrating figure.
Woman Reading, 1920
© Musée de Grenoble