ARKEN presented 53 selected works of French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem: Paintings and sculptures from the turn of the last century, with main works by artists such as Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Rodin, Gauguin, Cézanne and Van Gogh.
These brilliant artists revolutionised world art. Their new idiom was a reaction to the modern age.
The Impressionists were open-air painters, studying the changeable, vibrating sunlight. In the mirror image of the water they saw all contours dissolved. The Impressionists painted quickly and sketch-like in order to capture a world in constant change.
The Post-Impressionists denoted a number of contemporary and slightly younger artists who painted differently than the Impressionists as well as each other. Painting with dots or heavy contours, they sought stable structures in a reaction against Impressionism’s fleeting, quivering surface of light.
The Impressionists often portrayed the modern age of industrialisation and the emergence of the metropolis. The next generation abandoned the big city, dreaming of a more original existence in the country, in the provinces or in remote exotic tropical islands.
The exhibition was organised by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem in collaboration with ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.
Since the 1980s, painting has played a prominent role in Chinese contemporary art. CHINAMANIA provides a multifaceted snapshot of the Chinese painting scene today.
ARKEN’s exhibition presented 24 paintings by 11 different contemporary Chinese artists, ranging from artists whose careers took off in the 1990s to today’s generations of young artists. Most of the paintings were made especially for this show.
Taking up and developing their country’s classic art forms, the artists mix stylistic features of propaganda-art woodcuts, Socialist Realism and classic Chinese 20th-century oil painting with expressive brushwork, cute cartoon esthetics and figurative realism.
Thematically, the artists treat both national and international issues. On the one hand, they deal with local and personal issues relating to their own lives and emotions, and Chinese art, culture and history. On the other hand, they turn their gaze outward to the global world society. Inspired by the art and visual culture of other countries, their paintings have clear parallels to various Western art movements, notably Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.
While the style of each artist in this exhibition is uniquely different, they all share an interest in figurative painting and existential themes. In powerful colors, the artists employ the narrative potential of figurative painting to rouse our curiosity and fire our imagination. Together, they form a visual universe that is brightly colored, diverse and distinctly narrative.