Masterpieces from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Collections

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Masterpieces from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Collections

 

Venue:
Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
The Venetian
Las Vegas, Nevada


Dates:
Opening September 2001


Overview:
The inaugural exhibition at the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum presents a selection of 40 masterpieces that highlights the distinct but highly complementary strengths of these two world-renowned collections. Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Modern Paintings from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Museums features key examples of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and early Modernism, including Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Kandinsky, and Chagall.The exhibition focuses on the precise point at which the two collections overlap: at the pivotal turn of the last century when Paris's radical avant-garde was redefining conventional Salon painting.


Content:
The exhibition traces Modernism's early beginnings in late-19th century France, beginning with Claude Monet's Woman in the Garden, Sainte-Adresse of 1867, one of the early monuments of Impressionistic plein-air painting. A scene of urban leisure by Camille Pissarro and portraits by Pierre Auguste Renoir show the range of subjects depicted by this innovative French avant-garde. Post-Impressionism is highlighted by Paul Gauguin's paintings of Tahiti's exotic "primitives," and a succinct survey of Paul Cézanne's work in landscape, portraiture, and still life, seen through a selection of paintings striking for their daring flatness and use of color. Modernism's continuation in the hands of the early 20th century School of Paris can be seen in the work of the great colorists Pierre Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, and fine examples of Cubism by Pablo Picasso, as well as by his more color-based contemporaries Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay, and Frantiek Kupka.The exhibition also features works by Marc Chagall, Andre Derain, Franz Marc, Amedeo Modigliani, Francis Picabia, Henri Rousseau, Gino Severini, Louis Valtat, and Kees Van Dongen.The exhibition ends with the abstraction of Vasily Kandinsky, and his great Paris-period work Dominant Curve of 1936.


Several of the Guggenheim's contributions to the exhibition are part of the Thannhauser Collection, an extensive suite of early Modern masterpieces donated to the museum by the German-born dealer and collector Justin K. Thannhauser (1892-1976) and his wife Hilde. Other works are gifts from Solomon R. Guggenheim's private collection, or later museum purchases, exchanges, and donations.Most of the Hermitage paintings in the exhibition came to them as part of the private collections of Sergei Shchukin (1854-1936) and Ivan Morisov (1871-1921), two prominent Russian businessmen who developed world-class collections of French paintings.


Organization:
Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Modern Paintings from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Museums has been organized by Lisa Dennison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Prof. Mikhail Piotrovski, Director of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.


Catalogue:
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an introduction by Thomas Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and Mikhail Piotrovski, with narrative texts and historical overviews by Lisa Dennison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Albert Kostenevich, State Hermitage Museum.


#922
February 1, 2001


For Press Information:
Betsy Ennis
Department of Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787
E-mail: bennis@guggenheim.org