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Art Basel Miami Beach 2018
Elegantly dazzling with swirling colour application
Galerie Thomas presents „Les Peupliers“ by Max Ernst among other masterpieces
Max Ernst created his painting “Les Peupliers” in his love nest in Southern France. It was the last summer before the outbreak of the Second World War, his last and only summer in crazy, intimate togetherness with his lover Leonora Carrington. Galerie Thomas is pleased to be able to present this Surrealist work from one of the most important stages in Max Ernst’s creativity and life at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach.
The last weeks before his flight to the USA
Max Ernst, the German artist and leading proponent of Surrealism, had fled from Paris with Leonora Carrington to the small village of Saint-Martin d’Ardèche in order to escape his quarrelsome second wife and the disputes with André Breton, who was politically tending towards Stalinism. Here, they purchased a farmhouse, which they transformed into a “Gesamtkunstwerk” (all encompassing work of art) with sculptures and painting, and antagonized the villagers with their nudist escapades. In Saint-Martin, Max Ernst created “Les Peupliers,” a work that ranks among a whole group of paintings showing similar columnar structures and forms created by decalcomania.
Only few weeks later in this dramatic summer of 1939 Max Ernst was interned in the notorious camp Les Milles. He escaped twice and finally fled with the help of no one else than Peggy Guggenheim to the USA. There was one more short meeting with his lover Leonora in Lisbon, but their plans to escape together were dashed. The name of Max Ernsts third wife is Peggy Guggenheim, although she wasn’t the last woman Max Ernst married.
Just an impression of two poplars
The perception of merely only a landscape painting when looking at “Les Peupliers” is soon shattered and overturned by the bizarre, strange and confusing forms in which the paint winds, curls and forms signs and symbols. Nowhere does the eye succeed in focussing on a familiar shape: profiles and faces, zoomorphic figures and cloud-like formations materialise, only to disappear again. “Everybody knows Max Ernst for Grattage and Frottage”, says Silke Thomas, “but this elegantly dazzling surface effect he achieves through the technique of decalcomania, a transfer process, in which the paint is manipulated in such a way that the streaks, bubbles and curves that are typical of Ernst’s paintings of this period are formed on the surface in an unplanned manner.” And these works are paradigmatic for Surrealism, seducing the viewer at any moment to identify figures and forms that have never been deliberately represented.
Other masterpieces by Emil Nolde, Alexander Calder or Oskar Schlemmer
Galerie Thomas is proud to announce in addition: masterpieces by German expressionist Emil Nolde, American artist of Classic Modernism Alexander Calder, German Bauhaus teacher Oskar Schlemmer and others.
- December 1, 2017 - Art Fairs
Art Basel Miami Beach
As one of the leading international galleries for German Expressionism and Classical Modern Art, Galerie Thomas is proud to show an exquisite selection of works by Alexander Calder and Joan Miró as one of its focal points at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017.
Calder and Miró meet for the first time in Paris in 1928 and remain present throughout each other’s lives. Their friendship fostered an artistic dialogue on the edge of physics and poetry, a communication of free floating forms. Close in compositional, formal and aesthetic approach, their respective oeuvres give resonance of Calder’s and Miró’s search for a new language in art.
Their artistic dialogue becomes visible in combining paintings, sculptures and works on paper of both artists at Galerie Thomas’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017. Of course, an example of Calder’s specific and famous mobile sculptures will be on display as well as Miró’s unmistakable paintings, oscillating between surrealist symbolism and lyrical abstraction.
Next to this, we will focus on masterpieces of ‘Blue Rider’ and ‘Brücke’, e.g. by Emil Nolde, Alexej von Jawlensky, August Macke and Gabriele Münter, as well as further Classical Modern artists such as Marc Chagall and Chaim Soutine.
Marc Chagall often incorporated the Eiffel tower in paintings. He was deeply overwhelmed by the city and never forgot his first impressions upon arriving in Paris in 1910.
- October 2, 2017 - Art Fairs
As one of the leading international galleries for German Expressionism and Classical Modern Art, Galerie Thomas is proud to show a special presentation at Frieze Masters dedicated to Alexander Calder and Joan Miró.
Calder and Miró meet for the first time in Paris in 1928 and remain present throughout each other's lives. Their friendship fostered an artistic dialogue on the edge of physics and poetry, a communication of free floating forms.
Close in compositional, formal and aesthetic approach, their respective oeuvres give resonance of Calder's and Miró's search for a new language in art, taking into account the influences of classical modern and surrealist achievements.
Still Calder and Miró were opposites in many ways. The American Calder was sociable and boisterous, tall and robust, the Catalan Miró was reserved and quiet, short and delicate - but they got along well spontaneously. Seeing their works together gives one explanation: they drew from the same artistic mind, informed by a joy of life, an abundant imagination and a similar sense of humour.
Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is among the most innovative creators of kinetic art of the 20th century. In 1926, when in Paris, Calder starts making sculptures of wire. He follows the spirit of that time by focussing on motion and time in his works. He was the first artist to build his aesthetic principles on these elements.
"Why must art be static? The next step is sculpture in motion."
"A simple line painted with the brush can lead to freedom and happiness."
Joan Miró (1893-1983) gets in contact with the surrealists around André Breton, causing a deep change in his work. Step by step, Miró develops his characteristic pictorial language, full of dreamlike and fantastic creatures. Out of this rich imagination and poetic vision, the artist conceives his own cosmos.
This artistic dialogue becomes visible in combining paintings, sculptures and works on paper of both artist's at Galerie Thomas's booth at Frieze Masters 2017. Of course, an example of Calder's specific and famous Mobile sculptures will be on display as well as Miró's unmistakable paintings, oscillating between surrealist symbolism and lyrical abstraction. But just as Joan Miró worked as a sculptor, Alexander Calder was a painter, too. At Frieze Masters, all artistic approaches and techniques of the two masters will be visible and allow to discover similarities and differences, analogies and singularities in their magnificently creative oeuvres.
Galerie Thomas is happy to show a cross section of works by these two exceptional artists side by side already for the second time after its exhibition 'Alexander Calder & Joan Miró' in 2010.
- June 1, 2017 - Art Fairs
At Art Basel 2017, Galerie Thomas is presenting a special selection of masterpieces from its main programme. As one of the leading international galleries for German Expressionism and Classic Modern, in Basel we are presenting, among others, works by Alexej von Jawlensky, August Macke, Oskar Schlemmer as well as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Chaim Soutine.
Chaim Soutine's oil painting "Landscape at Cagnes" was painted in 1923/24 during his stay at Cagnes-sur-Mer (south of France). He painted the small town of Cagnes, which is located on a hill, in many variations. In the present work, the powerful brush stroke draws the viewer into the town on the hill. The pull also seems to encompass the surrounding landscape and the houses, which adapt themselves to the curves of the street in an amorphous vortex. However, the movement does not disturb the painting's composition, Soutine contains it and generates a defining poignancy in the process.
Between 1952 and 1956, Marc Chagall painted the "Série de Paris", a group of works which show that he had truly arrived in France after moving there in 1950. The poetic scenes he now created were set against the backdrop of Paris or towns and villages in Provence. In "Etude pour la nuit de Vence" (1953), the violinist, the rooster and the goat, well known elements he cherished as reminders of life in his beloved hometown of Vitebsk, are floating in the night sky, surrounded by deep red. The full moon is shining down on a dark city, with a pair of lovers embracing in the foreground.
In the spring of 1963 Pablo Picasso painted a whole series of portraits of a painter and on the theme "Painter and Model". Picasso's main inspiration was his study of Rembrandt, whose "Self portrait with Saskia" he interpreted in a large painting on March 13, 1963. In the preceding days, he created several works of a painter in profile, whose characteristics, the strongly accentuated eyes, the ruffled curly hair, and the beard are the same as Picasso's Rembrandt in his version of "Self portrait with Saskia". The painting "Tête d'Homme, profil", created only a few days earlier, also belongs to this group of Rembrandt portraits. Here, Picasso explored the physiognomy of the Dutch master, as well as the complex spatial perspective, in a concentrated composition.
In the same year, the avant-gardist Lucio Fontana created the sculpture "Concetto Spaziale". The glazed ceramic in blue and green was created as a unique piece while searching for a new experience of space, not only for sculpture, but for painting as well. Fontana was concerned with opening up spaces by perforating the canvas or picture plane with sharp tools. For this reason, he opened monochrome canvasses with a sharp knife in 1958. The resulting slash created the illusion of an infinite space behind it. In this way he penetrated the two-dimensionality of his work and opened another dimension. The artistic intention was to express emptiness as a positive element. Later he used the same principle on reliefs of various materials and on oviform objects made of clay and bronze.