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Indepth Arts News:

"From Renoir to Picasso Masterpieces from the Musée de l'Orangerie"
2000-11-12 until 2001-02-25
Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth, TX, USA United States of America

For many visitors to the Kimbell Art Museum, From Renoir to Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée de lOrangerie will provide an exciting sequel to the enthusiastically received exhibition of early modern art from the Barnes Foundation presented in Fort Worth in 1994. Indeed, Paul Guillaume (1891–1934), whose collection is showcased in this extraordinary exhibition, was one of the principal art dealers to provide Dr. Albert C. Barnes with masterpieces of the French School for which so many collectors worldwide competed during the “roaring twenties.” Donated by his widow (Madame Jean Walter) to the French state, Guillaumes extremely rich personal collection, including in-depth surveys of his favorite Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and School of Paris painters, has since 1984 been part of the permanent display at the Musée de lOrangerie on the Place de la Concorde, adjacent to the Louvre. The need to renovate the historic Orangerie building has created the opportunity for this stunning collection to tour Asia, Australia, and North America. The Kimbell Art Museum will be the only venue in the United States.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are 16 turn-of-the-century paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and 14 by Renoirs dear friend Paul Cézanne. The three most important painters to emerge in France in the first decade of the 20th century are represented in similarly rich fashion, with 6 works by André Derain; 10 by his fellow so-called Fauve (“wild beast”), Henri Matisse; and 7 by Matisses great Spanish expatriate rival, Pablo Picasso. Henri Rousseau, whose primitivizing art was championed by Picasso, is represented by 6 important paintings, and Amedeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine, the leading figures of the Bohemian Montparnasse district of Paris that attracted so many foreign artists, are represented in the Orangerie exhibition by 5 and 9 works respectively.

Paul Guillaumes interest in African tribal sculpture, which he began to deal in around 1911, helped to establish his credentials with the leading contemporary artists in pre-World War I Paris. Guillaumes gallery on the rue de Miromesnil, opened in February 1914, somehow managed to function throughout the war, when there was little available support for modern artists. His contacts made during these difficult years, however, gave Guillaume crucial status in the postwar Paris art market, when so many major collections of modern art were formed and the first museums devoted to the works of modern artists opened, from Moscow to Merion, Pennsylvania. Equally rich in figure painting, landscape, and still life, From Renoir to Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée de lOrangerie, with its 81 extraordinary works set aside by Guillaume for himself from the 1920s on, evokes the era when international modern art became the stuff of great museums.

The exhibition has been organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (where it will be seen June 1–October 15, 2000) in cooperation with the Musée de lOrangerie. A fully illustrated catalogue will be published by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

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