The visitors of the “Archives of the Dream”, exhibition set in Orangerie Museum of Paris until 30th June 2014, can walk in a world built by Werner Spies. A real universe desired and modeled on the art historian and curator, former Director of Centre Georges Pompidou.
The present exhibition can also be considered as an opportunity seized by a renowned expert really conscious of the importance of the masterpieces coming from the rich collections of Musée d’Orsay, which contained more than 90.000 elements of decorative arts rarely exhibited because of their sensitivity to light. Today we can see a slice of this ocean, around 200 pieces, realized by some important artists such as Boudin, Cezanne, Daumier, Degas, Manet, Millet and Seurat, thanks to the selection operated by Spies with Leila Jarbouai, curator of the drawing section of the Musée d’Orsay. Spies is a rational observant, a friend of some of the most talented illustrators of the Twentieth century, like Ernst and Picasso. His staging enacts the paradox of the “Archives of the Dream”, putting in plain sight an environment lit by the color contrast between red, blue and some impressive geometries, important works of art generally unknown to the public.
The exhibition is composed by pastel, engraving, chiaroscuro and colors of artistic works guarded in the Louvre Department of Graphic Art, where they can be consulted by format and school classification. Exploring the large theme of drawing and following the fabulous suggestions of their imagination, the expert curators have selected from these reserves and have endorsed uncommon works full of interesting secrets.
Especially sketch, main expressive instrument of conception processes, able to follow the vortex of creation and to initially ser on paper the intimate world of this author. It is the visual sign of prolific action, sometimes uncertain, but that leaves some space for second thoughts and subsequent processing, keeping the whole primal force of the original Act.
Notebook pages, agendas and scrapbooks (such as illustrated letters of Manet) regain their importance for remembrance and study, helping us to reconstruct the various stages of preparation, while the “bellese feuilles” instead offer us the intensity of a technique hard to master. A few simple tools to unveil the deepest roots of inspiration that, irrigated by a large plastic freedom, betrays the most secret and touching motivation of the artist.
“Coloring means a continued drawing through depth» Edgar Degas
The itinerary explores the theme of life and death, passing trough dreamlike visions, monsters and chimeras, from madrigals and simplicity of country life, to the negligible during the Empire of Napoléon III (described in a few incisive lines taken from Daumier). Through the mysterious maze of the literature of Dante and Zola, in the luminous presence of female nudes of Degas, between Venus and daring melancholic concubines, ultimately conducting to loneliness and annihilation. A path in a part, less investigated, of the great forest of art history and also a paradoxical dialogue, which scours the time and weaves many connections to contemporary times allowing us to meditate on the difficult and ever-changing balance between the needs of conservation and the presentation for the public.
From | www.musee-orangerie.fr
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