Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) is a key figure in art history. His provocative pictures, and his emphasis upon his individuality as an artist, make him one of the forerunners of modernism. He also broke with the conventions of Academy training. The exhibition dedicated to this early avant-gardist at the Fondation Beyeler brings together self-portraits, representations of women, grotto pictures and seascapes. It focuses on Courbet’s strategy of ambiguity, and his innovative handling of paint. At the heart of the show is Courbet’s famous painting, L’origine du monde. An exhibition on Courbet’s years in self-imposed exile in Switzerland is running concurrently at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva: Fall 2014 is ‘Courbet season’ in Geneva and Basel.
In this exhibition devoted to the British painter Peter Doig (*1959 in Edinburgh), who divides his time between Trinidad, London and New York, the Fondation Beyeler presents the artist’s major monumental paintings and a selection of works on paper. Doig will also be creating a brand new mural for the museum. His paintings, most of which portray landscapes, are often based on private or found visual material. In a method akin to sampling, Doig processes these fragments of our civilization into dream-like pictures full of melancholy and anxiety, whose palette, luminosity, and enigmatic atmosphere exert a powerful fascination. He thereby continues the tradition of great masters such as Gauguin, Bonnard, and Matisse.