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International masterpieces by Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray in Rotterdam
8 January 2014
In a month from now Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will open the exhibition, ‘Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray - Framing Sculpture’. The importance of the exhibition is underscored by once-in-a-lifetime loans from important (foreign) museums such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate in London and MoMA in New York. In the 1500m 2 Bodon Galleries the museum is showing more than 40 sculptures and 100 vintage photographs by these three pioneers of modern art.
The work of Constantin Brancusi and Medardo Rosso has seldom been exhibited in the Netherlands. More than 40 years after the last Dutch Brancusi exhibition, this spring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is showing no fewer 18 sculptures by one of the most celebrated of all sculptors. Because of their rarity and fragility, Brancusi’s sculptures rarely travel. ‘It is more difficult to organise a Brancusi exhibition than a Rembrandt exhibition’, according to the curators Peter van der Coelen and Francesco Stocchi. The sculptures featured in Rotterdam include ‘L'Oiseau dans l'espace’ (Bird in Space, 1941) from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and ‘Colonne sans fin’ (Endless Column, 1918) from the Museum of Modern Art New York.
The work of Medardo Rosso has never previously been seen in this quantity in the Netherlands. Director Sjarel Ex: ‘For admirers of his work this is a unique opportunity to see 16 sculptures by Rosso and more than 40 photographs in which he reinterpreted his own sculptures. For the general public, this Italian artist’s work will be the surprise of the exhibition.’ In 1971 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen organised the first Man Ray retrospective and owns 16 works by this multifaceted artist. Sculptures such as ‘L’Énigme d’Isidore Ducasse’ (The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse, 1920/1971) and Cadeau (Gift, 1921/1974) will be seen alongside international loans such as his famous photo ‘Le Violon d’Ingres’ (Ingre’s Violin, 1924) showing a model with the sound holes of a violin in her back.
Masterpieces on loan
International loans are essential to organise an exhibition of this stature. The quality of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection allows it to develop exchanges with renowned museums. Last year several works by Dalí were loaned to the Centre Pompidou. In exchange, several works from the French museum - with the world’s most important Brancusi collection – are now coming to Rotterdam. MoMA in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago are also lending several Brancusi sculptures that have never been shown in the Netherlands. In exchange, René Magritte’s ‘La jeunesse illustrée’ (Youth illustrated, 1937) from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is currently traveling through America as part of a major retrospective exhibition.
The exhibition is accompanies by a catalogue with essays by international experts and the exhibition curators.
The exhibition 'Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray - Framing Sculpture' has been made possible by the Turing Foundation (Turing Toekenning 2013), the Boijmans Business Club, the VSBfonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (via the Breeman Talle Fonds), the Mondriaan Fund, AON and the Van Eyck Circle. The exhibition is indemnified by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
For this exhibition Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen received the Turing Art Grant 2013, a €450,000 biennial prize that Turing Foundation awards for the best exhibition proposal by a Dutch Museum.
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