A long time i thought Laurens was not that important for Modern Art, but since i have seen his exhibition at the Museum Beelden aan Zee ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com), I changed my ideas about his work. At first i thought him to be heavily inspired by Picasso, but in this show i discovered he really has a personal approach to art and a “signature” of his own.
left Picasso and right Laurens
He was a French sculptor best known for his Cubist collages, sculptures of nudes, and busts. The curving forms and simplified features of his oeuvre are reminiscent of ancient greek sculptures, though he also drew influence from his friendships with contemporary artists Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigiliani, Juan Gris, and Pablo Picasso. Born on February 18, 1885 in Paris, France, Laurens first worked as a stonemason before taking drawings classes and developing a strong interest in the works of Auguste Rodin. From 1914–1915 and extending until after the First World War, Laurens experimented with still lives and various new media, using wood and iron and eventually graduating to terracotta and bronze. He then went on to participate in the Venice Biennales of 1948 and 1950, and had a retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1951.
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There is a long history between the art of Max Liebermann and the Netherlands, because Liebermann used to work for long periods of time in this country.
From 1874 until 1914 he stayed during the summer period in Holland and painted together with his friend Isaac Israels in Laren, Scheveningen and Noordwijk. This is the reason why so many of great Liebermann paintings can be found in this country. These were given, trade or sold to collectors and friends , building this way the largest collection of Liebermann paintings outside Germany.
It was therefore no problem for the Gemeentemuseum to organize some 40 years ago one of the first retrospektives on Liebermann ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com) and because it was so long ago the Gemeentemuseum organized this year another Libermann exhibition with the focus on the dutch paintings he made during the summers he stayed here.
IMPRESSIONS OF SUMMER
Max Liebermann (1847-1935) enjoyed a special bond with the Netherlands. From the end of the 19th century the German artist would visit Holland every summer. The country inspired his paintings for many years and he established a number of close friendships with artists from the Hague School. Despite these ties, Liebermann’s work is rarely exhibited in the Netherlands, so it is high time for a change!
The Gemeentemuseum is organising a major exhibition on this famous German artist:Max Liebermann – Impressions of summer. Top items from Liebermann’s oeuvre will highlight how he developed from Realist tot Impressionist. The exhibition will also consider his important role in the European art world, and his extraordinary private life.
Between 1870 and 1914 Liebermann spent a number of summers in the Netherlands with his friend Jozef Israels. Together they painted the fashionable lifestyle emerging in that period: outdoor cafés teeming with patrons enjoying the sun, riders and bathers on the beach. By that time Liebermann was a celebrated artist both in his native Germany and abroad, famous for his paintings with ‘sunspots’. In 1920 he was even appointed director of the academy in Berlin, a position he would have to relinquish towards the end of his life, when Hitler came to power. Yet he continued to be a favourite with the public in Germany, even after his death.
Despite the political and social tensions, Liebermann remained a sunny Impressionist in his work, as you will see in this exhibition. Max Liebermann – Impressions of Summer is organised with partner the Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee museum, featuring highlights like Free Hour at the Amsterdam Orphanage (1881-1882) and The Parrot Man (1902), painted at Amsterdam’s Artis zoo. Special detail: Liebermann’s Free Hour at the Amsterdam Orphanage will for the first time be leaving Frankfurt since it gained a permanent home there at the city’s Städel Museum.
Can sculpture be fun too?….Yes it can. Look at the works by Tom Otterness. Comic like figures, tumbling, standing, cheering, next to eachother Executed in bronze or other materials these sculptures are to be enjoyed…this is great fun. There is on the seaside in Scheveningen Museum Beelden aan Zee and they have on the outside of the building a large complex work by Otterness. This is free to visit and a must see for every art tourist in Scheveningen.
For books on Otterness take a look at www.ftn-books.com ( only one copy available)