For a man who was once described by Henri Matisse as ‘the greatest of us all,’ time has been unkind to Pierre Bonnard. Doomed by the shadow of his looming Impressionist predecessors, and by the loudness of his modernist contemporaries, the voice of French painter Pierre Bonnard has been largely drowned out over the years.
Bonnard organised his art around the momentary, the transient – he was a man who attempted to fix the unfixable, and to battle, however improbably, against the ever-shifting tides of time. Bonnard’s figures are often caught in flux – they are stepping into the bath, or putting on clothes, or walking in or out of the painting’s frame.
This much anticipated exhibition will trace Bonnard's creative journey from 1912 to his death in 1947, an in particular his response to both the first and second world war. His work from this fruitful period consists mostly of landscapes and intimate domestic scenes, all of which were painted from memory, using drawings and notes as a reference.
Pierre Bonnard, Nude in Bath and Small Dog, 1941-6
Highlights from the exhibition include the series of nudes, modelled by Bonnard’s wife, Marthe de Meligny. Nude Before the Mirror, 1931, and Nude in the Bath, 1925, both exemplifying Bonnard's unparalleled skill to capture a moment in time on the canvas, always artfully expressed through his masterful handling of colour and composition.
Bonnard encourages us to stand still, to allow time to freeze around us, and to step into a moment in the past, preserved before us as it appeared before him – first in memory, later in paint, and now almost a century old. With almost 100 works drawn from private and public collections around this world, this retrospective seeks to reinsert this innovative French figure back into the history of the twentieth century.
Pioneering figures who have challenged convention and redefined art-making – including Pierre Bonnard, Olafur Eliasson, Natalia Goncharova, Keith Haring, Korean artist Nam June Paik, Dorothea Tanning and Vincent van Gogh – will be celebrated throughout Tate's 2019 exhibition programme.
Following Tate's major Pierre Bonnard exhibition will be a survey of punk artist Franz West's irreverent and playful sculptures, collages and installations. 2019 will also see the the first retrospective of Surrealist painter Dorothea Tanning since her death in 2012, and a landmark show of Vincent Van Gogh, which is set to unearth another source of inspiration for the artist: his relationship with Britain.
Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), L’Arlésienne, 1890, Oil paint on canvas. Collection MASP (São Paulo Museum of Art).Photo credit: João Musa
Further highlights include two survey shows at Tate Modern, both focusing on international artists who have pushed the limits of their art form, and worked across multiple disciplines. The UK’s largest ever exhibition of works by Russian artist Natalia Goncharova will highlight her role as a leader of the Russian avant-garde, whileIcelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, renowned for his social and environmental projects, including Little Sun, will return to Tate Modern with a large-scale exhibition and outdoor sculpture.
In the autumn, Tate Britain's first William Blake exhibition for almost twenty years will cast a new light on this radical and ambitious artist, who worked at a time of war, revolution and oppression. William Blake: The Artists will coincide with a major show of Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey’s explorations of pop culture and the digital world. Technological innovation will also be at the heart of Tate Modern’s autumn Nam June Paik retrospective, which will trace the artist's influence in the birth of video and TV art around the world.
|What||Pierre Bonnard exhibition, Tate Modern|
|Where||Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Southwark (underground)|
23 Jan 19 – 06 May 19, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
|Website||Please click here for more information|