From Picasso to Magritte: European Masters from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Saturday, January 25, 2014 - Saturday, August 23, 2014

Web banner image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901), Le Tandem (detail), 1899, Black and colored crayon on paper, 14” H x 10" W, 35.56 cm x 25.4 cm, Signed upper right with artist's monogram; artist's monogram stamp lower right, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, Photo: Travis Fullerton, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts File: (c)VMFA_85-813_v1_TF201202

From Picasso to Magritte: European Masters from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts re-examines one of art history’s most popular time periods through an array of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures created by some of the most preeminent artists in Europe. Largely displayed in chronological order, this exhibition features thirty-five exquisite works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ renowned European Collection from the 19th and 20th centuries. Artists on view include innovators such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, René Magritte, Paul Cézanne, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh among others.  The works span nearly 150 years from an 1816 drawing by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres to a 1960s watercolor by Georgio Morandi and present a visual and conceptual progression that occurred throughout the 19th and into the 20th century while touching on a variety of art movements that cycled through the time period such as Cubism, Surrealism, Impressionism and German Expressionism.  From artists’ reaction to the unyielding standards of the French Academy early in the 19th century to the invention of photography and the writings of Sigmund Freud combined with the rise of the middle class, the exhibited artists’ work summarizes a dynamic age of creative rebellion from the artistic traditions of the past.

Less than one hundred years later, art created today is now considered beyond specific definition. From Picasso to Magritte: European Masters from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts retells the story that outlines the deconstruction of rigid artistic styles and governed content in the 19th century that ultimately provided the foundation for artists working today to pursue their own art without restrictions.

This exhibition was organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with assistance by Leila Cartier, Curator of the William King Museum in Abingdon, Virginia. It will be on display in the Bank of America Foundation / Dominion Resources Gallery January 25 – August 23, 2014.