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Kees van Dongen, Woman with Black Stockings, circa 1912
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Museum of Montreal
Fine Arts Museum of Montreal
Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the first major retrospective of the art of Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) in North America will be presented from January 22 to April 19, 2009. It will bring together some 200 works, including over a hundred paintings, as well as forty rare drawings, prints and other archival documents and photographs, and, for the first time, a dozen Fauvist ceramics. From turn-of-the-century anarchist to the "interwar painter of elegant neurosis," it is the work of a moralist that will be shown here, an observer of society, from the bohemian world to the demimondaines of the cocktail era.
The exhibition Kees van Dongenwill illustrate the influential role Van Dongen played in early twentieth-century art and his unique position as the only portraitist among the Fauves. The exhibition will re-establish the place of a forgotten Fauve in North America. His caustic, urban, scandalous art is very different from the landscape Fauvism that is generally associated with this movement. His dazzling, shameless works, which have been described as "riots of light, heat and colour," attest to his distinctive style within modern art alongside his contemporaries Matisse and Picasso.
In the light of new research and previously little-known works, the artist's career will be traced from his early days in Holland to his move to Paris and his participation in the famous Salon d'Automne of 1905, which established Fauvism as a new movement in modern art. Arresting paintings of nudes and flirtatious women that retain the sumptuous colours and rich impasto of his Fauvist works will be examined through the themes of exoticism, spectacle and Orientalism. The show will also include an impressive selection of large society portraits of the most celebrated personalities of the Roaring Twenties, which will illustrate his mature period. After Monaco and Montreal, the exhibition will travel to Barcelona's Picasso Museum.(read less)
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