Boijmans exhibition opens in Paris

Self-portrait with fur collar, 1940, Oil on canvas, 40x30 cm, Collection Scheringa Museum voor Realisme
Self-portrait with fur collar, 1940, Oil on canvas, 40x30 cm, Collection Scheringa Museum voor Realisme

19 February 2010

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has organised a Charley Toorop retrospective exhibition in Paris. The exhibition, which attracted more than 130,000 visitors in Rotterdam last year, opens to the public today at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. It is the first time that the work of this single-minded artist has been shown on a large scale abroad.

The retrospective exhibition of Charley Toorop (1891-1955) was officially opened last night. Marja Bosma, who curated the exhibition for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, is also responsible for the selection of works in Paris, where Charley Toorop’s work is supplemented with dozens of works by her contemporaries including Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld, Jan Toorop, Edgar Fernhout and Pyke Koch. Photographs by Eva Besnyö give an impression of Charley Toorop’s domestic life. The exhibition runs at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris until 9 May 2010.
Marja Bosma has also curated an exhibition about Charley Toorop at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris, which runs from 18 February to 11 April 2010. Drawings and letters highlight the difficulties the artist faced in the creation of her works.

Charley Toorop is regarded as the most prominent female Dutch artist of the 20th century. She created an oeuvre that is strong-willed, self-aware and socially committed. For Charley Toorop, painting was the ultimate form of self-realisation. A perfect example of this is the self-portrait from 1928 that was recently acquired by Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and that will be displayed at the exhibition. Toorop travelled regularly, particularly to France. Her social and political commitment was the catalyst for her to develop her work into a style of confrontational realism, where she presented her subjects head on. This applies not only to her remarkable self-portraits in which she penetrates the viewer with her steely gaze, but also to her portraits of farmers, labourers and fishermen.

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