Le Cube (Detail), 1880, charcoal on paper, private collection
Odilon RedonFebruary, 2 - May 18, 2014
Odilon Redon (b. 1840 Bordeaux, d. 1916 Paris), with his cosmos of color, is one of the most astonishing artists of the nascent years of modernism. A leading representative of French Symbolism, his oeuvre—which spans the close of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth—is dominated by the interplay of tradition and innovation. On the basis of paintings, pastels, drawings, and lithographs from major museums and private collections in Switzerland and abroad, the exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler concentrates on Redon’s significance as a precursor of classical modernism and therefore on the avant-garde aspect of his art. Redon’s cryptic and enigmatic oeuvre is marked by breaks and contrasts and characterized by a stylistic evolution that leads from the black of his early charcoal drawings and lithographs to the explosion of color in his later pastels and oil paintings. His works oscillate between eerie strangeness and sunny cheerfulness: bizarre monsters appear alongside heavenly creatures as dream meets nightmare and nature meets fantasy. The exhibition addresses all the main themes and the most important ideas and innovations found in Redon’s oeuvre. In so doing it reflects the diversity of the artist’s sources of inspiration, which extend from the history of art, literature, and music, through Western and Far Eastern philosophy and religion, to the natural sciences.
In his art Odilon Redon sought to focus his gaze on the “wonders of the visible world.” We hope this exhibition will open up that wondrous world to the gaze of our visitors.
The exhibition is curated by Raphaël Bouvier, Fondation Beyeler.
Hommage à Schumann ist the titel of one of Redon's pastels, who was an avid music lover. The Ensemble Modern's soloists play chamber music by Robert Schumann, Igor Stravinsky, Heinz Holliger and György Kurtág.
Adults: CHF 50.– / ART CLUB, FRIENDS: CHF 25.– Admission to the museum is included in the event ticket.