Thursday, July 27, 2017

Alfred Stieglitz and Modern America

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
July 22–November 5, 2017

This exhibition presents a selection of the MFA’s exceptional holdings of works by Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946), the great American impresario of photography at the turn of the 20th century. Featuring 36 photographs, the exhibition showcases fine examples of his New York views, portraits and photographs that Stieglitz took at his family’s country home at Lake George.

  Alfred Stieglitz's “The Terminal”1893

Alfred Stieglitz “The Steerage” 1907

Alfred Stieglitz “From the Shelton, Looking West,” 1934
The New York views reveal the artist’s lifelong interest in the urban city, from his early explorations of the picturesque effects of rain, snow and nightfall to later ones that focus on the inherent geometry of modernity’s rising architectural structures.

 Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (4), 1918. Photograph, gelatin silver print. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection—Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, Sophie M. Friedman Fund and Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund.

The portraits include 10 images from Stieglitz’s magnificent extended series of images of his wife, the celebrated painter Georgia O’Keeffe—a “portrait in time” that reflects his ideals of modern womanhood and is evocative of their close relationship. These portraits are accompanied by additional images of members of his family and friends.

The Lake George photographs include, in addition to views of the family property, a sequence of the mystical cloud studies that Stieglitz called “equivalents,” which explore the interpretation of inner states of being.

Many of the photographs on view were donated by Stieglitz to the MFA in 1924—making it one of the first museums in the US to collect photography as fine art. Enhanced by an additional gift from O’Keeffe in 1950, the MFA’s Stieglitz holdings form an outstanding survey of the photographer’s career, as well as the cornerstone of the Museum’s photography collection.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'Something Resembling Truth': Major Jasper Johns Retrospective

Royal Academy of Arts, London

Sep. 23 through Dec. 10, 2017 


The Broad, Los Angeles

Feb. 10, 2018 through May 13, 2018

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels), 33 1/2 x 56 1/4 in., Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.  The Eli and Edythe L.  Broad Collection
Jasper Johns, Flag, 1967, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels), 33 1/2 x 56 1/4 in., Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection

Artist Jasper Johns (b. 1930), who rose to prominence with his paintings of flags, targets and other familiar objects, will be the sole subject of a special exhibition at LA's The Broad in early 2018.

Johns’ 60-year career of work will be presented in the most comprehensive survey in the U.S. in two decades. Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is the first major survey of the artist’s work to be shown in Los Angeles, and will be on view at The Broad Feb. 10, 2018 through May 13, 2018.

A collaboration with the Royal Academy, London, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will feature more than 100 of the artist’s most iconic and significant paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, many never before exhibited in Los Angeles. With loans from international public and private collections, including significant works from the Broad collection, the exhibition will trace the evolution of the artist’s six-decade career through a series of thematic chapters.

The exhibition encompasses the full range of Johns’ materials, motifs and techniques—including his unique use of encaustic (heated beeswax) and foundmaterial collage in paintings—and the innovations he has achieved in sculpture and the graphic arts by expanding the possibilities of traditional media.

Johns’ use of accessible images will be thoroughly examined, seen continually transformed through the artist’s engagement with a wide range of human experiences. In a departure from a retrospective approach, Johns’ artistic achievements will be illuminated through the juxtaposition of early and late works throughout the exhibition.

One of the most influential and important living artists to emerge in the 20th century, and one of America’s great living artists, Johns has been seminal to the Broad collection. His work emerged with and has influenced numerous other collection artists represented in depth, including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Sherrie Levine.

Organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with The Broad, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is curated by Edith Devaney, contemporary curator at the Royal Academy, and independent curator Dr. Roberta Bernstein, author of Jasper Johns’ Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Sculpture, who has written and lectured extensively on contemporary artists including Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Rauschenberg. Heyler and Associate Curator Ed Schad are host curators at The Broad.

The exhibition title is taken from a 2006 interview, in which Johns said, “Yet, one hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work.”
At The Broad, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will begin with an entire gallery devoted to Johns’ complex treatment of the American flag, arguably his best-known image, deployed famously at the outset of his career in the 1950s as testing ground for a new direction for 20th century art, and for decades afterward, as an enduring, compelling and everevolving subject evoking a variety of social meanings.

The exhibition will reveal the continuities and changes in Johns’ work throughout his career. His use of accessible and familiar motifs established a new vocabulary in painting as early as the 1950s—his treatment of iconography and the appropriation of objects and symbols made the familiar seem unknown through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his groundbreaking paintings and sculptures, Johns charted a radical new course in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism.

In the 1960s he added devices within his works, including studio objects, imprints and casts of the human figure, while works from the 1970s are dominated by abstract ‘crosshatchings.’ During this time Johns began to explore printmaking and is now one of the most celebrated printmakers today.

His work continued to evolve throughout the 1980s, as he introduced a variety of images that engaged with themes involving memory, sexuality and the contemplation of mortality. From this time, Johns increasingly incorporated tracings and details of works by other artists, such as Matthias Grünewald, Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch.

The works of the 1990s built on the increasing complexity of subject and reference, and by the early 2000s Johns had embarked on the pared down and more conceptual Catenary series which, along with other recent works, shows the rich productivity and vitality of this late phase of his career.

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ brings together artworks that rarely travel, including significant loans from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute, Chicago; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition, the artist has generously loaned a number of his works to the exhibition.

Works exclusive to The Broad’s presentation of the exhibition include

Three Flags, 1958 (The Whitney Museum of Art, New York)

and In memory of my feelings, Frank O’Hara, 1995 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago).

Other highlights include

Jasper Johns, Target, 1961. Encaustic and collage on canvas. 167.6 x 167.6 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: © 2017. The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY / Scala, Florence
Flag, 1958 (private collection);

0 Through 9, 1961 (private collection);

Periscope (Hart Crane), 1963 (The Menil Collection on Loan from the Artist);

Jasper Johns, Between the Clock and the Bed, 1981

Between the Clock and the Bed, 1981 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C);

Ventriloquist, 1983 (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston);

 Summer, 1985 (Museum of Modern Art, New York);

and Bridge, 1997 (private collection).

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue featuring writings by the curators Devaney and Bernstein, as well as essays from curator and critic Robert Storr, art historian Hiroko Ikegami and writer Morgan Meis. The contributing authors will discuss Johns’ extensive body of work from viewpoints of literature, contemporary culture and international significance. The exhibition debuts at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, from Sep. 23 through Dec. 10, 2017.

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 24–October 9, 2017
The Met Breuer, New York, November 14, 2017–February 4, 2018
Munch Museum, Oslo, May 12–September 9, 2018

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940–43; oil on canvas; 58 7/8 x 47 7/16 in. (149.5 x 120.5 cm); photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has opened the exhibition Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, on view June 24 through October 9, 2017. Featuring approximately 45 paintings produced between the 1880s and the 1940s, with seven on view in the United States for the first time, this exhibition uses the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s last significant self-portrait as a starting point to reassess his entire career.

Organized by SFMOMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Munch Museum, Oslo, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed brings together Munch’s most profoundly human and technically daring compositions of love, despair, desire and death, as well as more than a dozen of his self-portraits to reveal a singular modern artist, one who is largely unknown to American audiences, and increasingly recognized as one of the foremost innovators of figurative painting in the 20th century.

“When you consider that Munch felt that he didn’t really hit his stride until his 50s and that his career doesn’t map against traditional paths of art history, then the latter part of his career warrants a closer look,” said Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. “Munch’s influence can be felt in the work of many artists such as Georg Baselitz, Marlene Dumas, Katharina Grosse, Asger Jorn, Bridget Riley and particularly Jasper Johns, who became fascinated by the cross hatch patterns in Munch’s Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed.”

“Munch really presents an alternative to the traditional school-of-Paris-driven history of modernism that has long been dominant, but tells an incomplete account of the art of the past century,” added Caitlin Haskell, associate curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA.

Seven works in the exhibition make their United States debut including

Lady in Black (1891),

Puberty (1894),

Jealousy (1907),

Death Struggle (1915),

Man with Bronchitis (1920),

Self-Portrait with Hands in Pockets (1925–26)

and Ashes (1925).

The exhibition will also include an extraordinary presentation of

Sick Mood at Sunset. Despair (1892),

the earliest depiction and compositional genesis of

The Scream, which is being shown outside of Europe for only the second time in its history.

About the Exhibition

As a young man in the late 19th century, Edvard Munch’s (1863–1944) bohemian pictures placed him among the most celebrated and controversial artists of his generation. But as he confessed in 1939, his true “breakthrough came very late in life, really only starting when I was 50 years old.”

One of Munch’s last works, Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed (1940–43) — with its themes of desire, mortality, isolation and anxiety — serves as a touchstone and guide to the approximately 45 works in the exhibition. Together, these paintings propose an alternative view of Munch as an artist as revolutionary in the 20th century as he was when he made a name for himself in the Symbolist era.

Born and raised in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway, Edvard Munch’s career spanned 60 years and included ties to the Symbolist and expressionist movements, as well as their legacies. Following a brief period of formal training in painting at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania, Munch exhibited widely throughout Europe affecting the trajectory of modernism in France, Germany and his native Norway. While best known for the paintings and prints titled The Scream, Munch was a prolific creator who left a body of work that includes approximately 1,750 paintings, 18,000 prints and 4,500 watercolors as well as sculpture, graphic art, theater design and film.

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed unfolds in eight thematically-focused galleries that explore Munch’s long-term engagement with particular subjects that recur throughout his career — love, death, sickness, psychological turmoil and mortality, especially his own. The paintings on view, many deeply personal works from Munch’s own collection now held by the Munch Museum, as well as loans from institutions and private lenders from around the world, also demonstrate Munch’s liberated, self-assured painting style and technical abilities including bravura brushwork, innovative compositional structures, the incorporation of visceral scratches and marks on the canvas and his exceptional use of intense, vibrant color.

The exhibition begins with a double gallery of self-portraits featuring works created between the 1880s and 1940s that follow the artist’s path from a self-conscious young man with the future ahead of him to an elderly painter whose time is nearing an end. But for all of their confessional qualities, the paintings are not simply documentary. Perhaps more than any artist of his time, Munch also uses the self-portrait to fictionalize his personal narrative. In

Self-Portrait with Spanish Flu (1919),

a painting that appears in a later gallery, Munch depicts himself as suffering from the illness though later research suggests that he may never have had it and instead sought to ingratiate himself with the Norwegian public. From this opening gallery, the exhibition progresses through galleries devoted to inner turmoil, jealousy, scenes of the artist in his studio, illness, death and romantic love.

The works in the exhibition also demonstrate the progression of Munch’s technique from an early

Self-Portrait (1886) with its thick impasto and chipped away dry paint, to

Self-Portrait with Cigarette (1895),

an example of a “turpentine painting” in which Munch uses heavily diluted oil paint and a flat brush to create an ethereal, smoky glaze that allows the white ground of the canvas to become part of the painted surface. This technique, not typical to the 1890s, incorporates some of the strategies of watercolor painting, using the canvas color as a constructive element and part of the composition.

“Munch was an artist who never stopped looking. Never stopped feeling. Some people think the first part of his career is the classic Munch, and the best. But he’s, in a way, challenging these kinds of simple conclusions. He never stopped processing his own art and often did new versions of some of his most central motifs, referencing his own art into his late years,” explained Jon-Ove Steihaug, director of exhibitions and collections at the Munch Museum.

Illustrating Munch’s restless revisiting of themes and his skill as an observer of human nature, the final painting in the exhibition,

The Dance of Life (1925),


a picture of the same title The Dance of Life (1899) that was part of the monumental cycle The Frieze of Life.

In total, the exhibition contains seven scenes from this series, which offers visitors a metaphoric “dance” across many of Munch’s key themes — attraction, love, jealousy, rejection — and culminates in a poetic meditation on the joys and sorrows that define a life.

Exhibition Organization and Support

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Munch Museum, Oslo.

The exhibition is curated by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Jon-Ove Steihaug, director of exhibitions and collections at the Munch Museum, Oslo, with Caitlin Haskell, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Exhibition Catalogue

A fully illustrated catalogue, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, will accompany the exhibition. Edited by Gary Garrels, Jon-Ove Steihaug and Sheena Wagstaff, the catalogue includes a foreword by celebrated Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard. It includes essays by Patricia Berman, Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art at Wellesley College; Allison Morehead, associate professor at Queen’s University, Ontario; Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at the University of Texas at Austin; and Mille Stein, paintings conservator emerita at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU). The catalogue is published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and distributed by Yale University Press.

Through the Eyes of Picasso

Musée du Quai Branly, Paris through July 23, 2017

Nelson-Atkins from Oct. 20 to April 8, 2018

The Montreal Museum of Fine Art May 7 to Sept. 16, 2018

The groundbreaking exhibition Through the Eyes of Picasso will explore Pablo Picasso’s life-long fascination with African and Oceanic art, uniting his paintings and sculpture with art that had a seminal impact on his own creative exploration. The exhibition opens Oct. 20 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the only United States venue in a limited tour. Many works in the exhibition will be on view in America for the first time.

“From his initial encounter with African art in 1907, Picasso’s view of the world was fundamentally altered,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “He became an avid collector of non-western art and lived with these masterpieces throughout his entire life in his studios. They were a constant source of exploration and inspiration, which manifested itself in the reinvention of his work throughout his career. As a result of that influence, modern art was radically transformed.”

The exhibition will feature 170 works of art, including more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and ceramics by Picasso alongside more than 20 works of African and Oceanic art that were part of his personal collection – pieces that he collected, lived with and kept with him in his studios, many of them featured for the first time in the Americas. Through the Eyes of Picasso also will showcase the works of art – African, Oceanic, and American – that transformed his artistic vision when he encountered them at the Musée d’ Ethnographie du Trocadéro (now in the collections of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris) during the early part of the 20th century. For Picasso, the power of these masks and sculptures was in the artists’ exploration of line, abstraction of the human body, and its constant transformation.

Through the Eyes of Picasso also will feature a selection of intimate, personal photographs of the artist at work and play, including images by David Douglas Duncan. The Duncan images were a recent gift to the Nelson-Atkins.

The exhibition was curated by Yves Le Fur of Quai Branly, in partnership with Musée national Picasso-Paris. Zugazagoitia is organizing and adapting Through the Eyes of Picasso for the Nelson-Atkins. The exhibition is now open at Musée du Quai Branly in Paris through July 23, 2017, will be on view at the Nelson-Atkins from Oct. 20 to April 8, 2018, and in Montreal from May 7 to Sept. 16, 2018.

“Organizing this exhibition with Musée du Quai Branly allows us to see many of the masterpieces that Picasso saw as a young artist,” Zugazagoitia said. “Virtually all the works in the show come from our collaboration with Quai Branly, the Musée national Picasso-Paris, and Picasso family members.”
Picasso was a gifted artist who, as a child prodigy, mastered representation in the classic sense. While he did not formally study the African, Oceanic or American cultures, his encounters with non-western art influenced him tremendously and allowed him to free himself from western traditions and reinvent modern art, despite the fact that he never left Europe.

“He was working inside the tension that existed between the Classicism in which he was trained as a child and the abstraction and directness he saw in African art,” said Zugazagoitia. “He was seeking the ‘essence’ of art, which he felt in the iconic status of those works. Seeing his art side by side with the richness and complexities of African art will be a revelatory moment for our visitors.”
At the Nelson-Atkins, the exhibition will be celebrated with special events and programming. A fully illustrated catalogue will be produced by Musée du Quai Branly and will serve as a lasting legacy of this important project.

The exhibition was conceived by musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in partnership with Musée national Picasso-Paris and adapted by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and The Montreal Museum of Fine Art/Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.

Masque, Otomi, Mexico, State of Hidalgo, San Bartolo Tutotepec, Piedra Ancha, 1900s. Wood, fur, horns, 15 x 10 x 8 ½ inches. © musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, photo Claude Germain.

Large Still Life on a Pedastle Table, 1931, Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish (1881-1973). Oil on canvas, 82 ¼ x 57 x 3 1/8 inches. Musée National Picasso, Paris.

David Douglas Duncan, American (born 1916). Picasso painting plates at the dining table, with Jacqueline reading, 1958, printed 2013. Inkjet print, 13 7/8 × 20 7/8 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of David Douglas Duncan, 2014.11.81.(

Fang Mask, African, Gabon, early 20th century. Bronze, 11 ¼ x 15 ½ x 5 7/8 inches. Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris. © musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, photo Patrick Gries, Bruno Descoings.


Female Bust, or Bust of Marine (study for “Les Demoiselles d’Avigon”), 1907. Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish (1881-1973). Oil on cardboard, 26 1/8 x 19 ½ x 3 3/8 inches. Musée National Picasso, Paris.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Charles Sheeler from Doylestown to Detroit

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
July 22–November 5, 2017

This exhibition celebrates the MFA’s unparalleled holdings of works by Charles Sheeler (1883–1965), presenting 40 photographs from three significant series created during the heyday of his career as a founder of American modernism.

Side of White Barn, Bucks County, Pa., 1915. (Charles Sheeler/The Lane Collection, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
After enjoying success as a painter, Sheeler initially took up photography as a way to make a living.

 Buggy, Doylestown, Pa., 1917. (Charles Sheeler/The Lane Collection, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

His experiments with the medium included the 1916-17 series of photographs capturing various elements of an 18th-century house he rented in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The sequence of stark, geometric compositions was among the most abstract and avant-garde work being made in the US at the time—created in response to the Cubist art of Picasso and Braque that Sheeler had previously encountered in Europe.

Manhatta – Through a Balustrade (1920), Charles Sheeler. © The Lane Collection

In 1920, Sheeler collaborated with fellow photographer Paul Strand on the short film Manhatta, presenting dramatic views of lower Manhattan. Abstract stills from the 35mm film, which was shot from steep angles, are presented alongside larger prints of Sheeler’s cinematic images of New York City, produced shortly after Manhatta—which he used as source material for his paintings.

Criss-Crossed Conveyors — Ford Plant, 1927. (Charles Sheeler/The Lane Collection, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The exhibition culminates with the 1927 photographs of the Ford Motor Company plant in River Rouge, Michigan, commissioned to celebrate the introduction of Ford’s Model A. The cathedral-like scenes convey an optimism for American industry, and are now considered icons of Machine Age photography.

All of the photographs in the exhibition are drawn from the Museum’s Lane Collection—one of the finest private holdings of 20th-century American art in the world, including Sheeler’s entire photographic estate—given to the MFA in 2012.  

More images

Monday, July 17, 2017

Van Gogh, Rousseau, Corot: In the Forest

Van Gogh Museum
7 July - 10 September 2017

The exhibition 'Van Gogh, Rousseau, Corot: In the Forest'combines wooded views and landscapes by Vincent van Gogh with those of such painters as Théodore Rousseau and Camille Corot.
These French artists were among those who retreated to the Forest of Fontainebleau in order to paint the unspoiled landscape. They favoured motifs such as trees, vegetation and the play of light and shade on the foliage and the ground.

Trees, woodland and undergrowth
Van Gogh, too, worked as much as possible out of doors, in the midst of nature, invariably directing his gaze at the trees, woodland and undergrowth. He sought to depict the forest in such a way ‘that one can breathe and wander about in it — and smell the woods’.

In this summer presentation, Van Gogh’s paintings are being shown alongside those of Rousseau, Corot and other artists from the collection of the Van Gogh Museum and The Mesdag Collection. The exhibition also features several extraordinary loans:

Van Gogh’s Landscape with leaning trees (1883)

and Sunset at Montmajour (1888), both in private collections,

alongside Pollard Birch (1885), from the Van Lanschot Collection.

Vincent van Gogh, Undergrowth, 1889
Vincent van Gogh, Undergrowth, 1889, oil on canvas, 73.0 cm x 92.3 cm, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Vincent van Gogh, Path in the Woods, 1887 

More images

Friday, July 14, 2017


Tate Modern
23 November 2017 – 2 April 2018 26 June 2017

Amedeo Modigliani
The Little Peasant circa 1918
Oil on canvas
support: 1000 x 645 mm
frame: 1155 x 810 x 65 mm
Presented by Miss Jenny Blaker in memory of Hugh Blaker 1941

This autumn, Tate Modern will stage the most comprehensive Modigliani exhibition ever held in the UK, bringing together a dazzling range of his iconic portraits, sculptures and the largest ever group of nudes to be shown in this country. Although he died tragically young, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) was a ground-breaking artist who pushed the boundaries of the art of his time. Including almost 100 works, the exhibition will re-evaluate this familiar figure, looking afresh at the experimentation that shaped his career and made Modigliani one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.

A section devoted to Modigliani’s nudes, perhaps the best-known and most provocative of the artist’s works, will be a major highlight. In these striking canvases Modigliani invented shocking new compositions that modernised figurative painting. His explicit depictions also proved controversial and led to the police censoring his only solo lifetime exhibition, at Berthe Weill’s gallery in 1917, on the grounds of indecency. This group of 10 nudes will be the largest group ever seen in the UK, with paintings including  

Seated Nude 1917 (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp)

and Reclining Nude c.1919 (Museum of Modern Art, New York).

Born in Livorno, Italy and working in Paris from 1906, Modigliani’s career was one of continual evolution. The exhibition begins with the artist’s arrival in Paris, exploring the creative environments and elements of popular culture that were central to his life and work. Inspired by the art of Paul Cézanne, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso, Modigliani began to experiment and develop his own distinctive visual language, seen in early canvases such as  

Bust of a Young Woman 1908 (Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, Villeneuve-d’Ascq)

and The Beggar of Leghorn 1909 (Private Collection).

His circle included poets, dealers, writers and musicians, many of whom posed for his portraits including  

Diego Rivera 1914 (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf),  

Juan Gris 1915 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

and Jean Cocteau 1916 (The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, Princeton University Art Museum).

The exhibition will also reconsider the role of women in Modigliani’s practice, particularly poet and writer Beatrice Hastings. Hastings will be shown not simply as the artist’s muse, but as an important figure in the cultural landscape of the time.
Modigliani will feature exceptional examples of the artist’s lesser-known work in sculpture, bringing together a substantial group of his Heads made before the First World War.

Although the artist’s ill-health and poverty eventually dictated otherwise, he spent a short but intense period focusing on carving, influenced by contemporaries and friends including Constantin Brâncuși and Jacob Epstein.

 For his wellbeing, Modigliani left Paris in 1918 for an extended period in the South of France. Here he adopted a more Mediterranean colour palette and, instead of his usual metropolitan sitters, he began painting local peasants and children such as  

Young Woman of the People 1918 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

and Boy with a Blue Jacket 1919 (Indianapolis Museum of Art).

The exhibition will conclude with some of Modigliani’s best-known depictions of his closest circle. Friends and lovers provided him with much-needed financial and emotional support during his turbulent life while also serving as models. These included his dealer and close friend

Léopold Zborowski

and his companion Hanka,

and Jeanne Hébuterne, the mother of Modigliani’s child and one of the most important women in his life. When Modigliani died in 1920 from tubercular meningitis, Jeanne tragically committed suicide.

Tate Modern will bring together several searching portraits of Jeanne Hébuterne, from Modgliani’s final years, on loan from international collections such as

 “Blue Eyes (Portrait of Madame Jeanne Hébuterne),” 1917,

the Philadelphia Museum of Art

and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which depict her in a range of guises from young girl to mother.

Modigliani is curated by Nancy Ireson, Curator of International Art, Tate Modern and Simonetta Fraquelli, Independent Curator, with Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator. Visitors will be able to enjoy a new integrated virtual reality experience right in the heart of the exhibition. The virtual reality room will bring visitors closer into the artist’s world, enriching their understanding of his life and art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue from Tate Publishing and a series of events in the gallery.