The first-ever exhibition of Van Gogh’s self-portraits over his career and a major collection of paintings by Edvard Munch, shown in the UK for the first time, will be the highlights of the newly reopened Courtauld Gallery’s 2022 exhibition programme.
The exhibition Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen will feature 18 seminal works on loan from KODE art museums, Bergen, presented together for the very first time outside of Norway. It will be the second major loan exhibition to be staged in The Courtauld’s new Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries.
The 2022 programme of temporary exhibitions at The Courtauld Gallery will also include an exhibition of drawings by Henry Fuseli, one of 18th-century Europe’s most original and eccentric artists, as well as displays in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery of works by the Renaissance draughtsman and painter Parmigianino, and little-known Vorticist artist Helen Saunders.
The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Van Gogh. Self-Portraits 3rd February – 8th May 2022 (tickets on sale now)
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries
The first ever exhibition devoted to Vincent van Gogh’s self-portraits across his entire career will take place at The Courtauld Gallery, opening 3 February 2022.The exhibition takes as its springboard Van Gogh’s iconic Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, one of the most celebrated works in The Courtauld collection, and will bring together around half of the self-portraits Van Gogh created during his career.
An outstanding selection of more than 15 self-portraits will be brought together to trace the evolution of Van Gogh’s self-representation, from his early Self-Portrait with a Dark Felt Hat, created in 1886 during his formative period in Paris, to Self-Portrait with a Palette, painted at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in September 1889, one of his last self-portraits before his death in 1890. Van Gogh was a prolific practitioner of self-portraiture. His appearance is instantly recognisable, with his defined features, bright red hair and piercing gaze. Curated by Dr Karen Serres, Curator of Paintings at The Courtauld, Van Gogh. Self-Portraits will explore the myriad ways Van Gogh approached one of his most enduring subjects.
The exhibition will showcase masterpieces from major international collections, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the National Gallery, London. Several works in the exhibition were last together in Van Gogh’s studio and have never been reunited, until now.
This exhibition is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and supported by Kenneth C. Griffin with additional support from the Huo Family Foundation.
The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen 27th May – 5th September 2022 (tickets on sale Spring 2022) Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries
A major collection of works by Edvard Munch will be shown in the UK for the first time at The Courtauld Gallery. Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen will run from 27 May – 5 September 2022, and is part of a partnership between The Courtauld and KODE art museums in Bergen, Norway. KODE in Bergen is home to one of the most important Munch collections in the world, originally assembled in the early 20th century by Norwegian industrialist Rasmus Meyer (1858 – 1916), who collected Munch’s work during the artist’s lifetime.
The exhibition will bring together some 18 paintings from this collection – the first time a comprehensive group of works from the collection has been seen outside Norway. It will begin with seminal early examples of Munch’s ‘realist’ period of the 1880s which launched his career, such as Morning (1884) and Summer Night (1889), a pivotal work that reflects the artist’s move towards the expressive and psychologically charged work for which he became famous. These works set the stage for the highly expressive paintings of the 1890s, including remarkable canvases from Munch’s famous Frieze of Life series which tackled profound themes of human existence through visceral depictions of the human psyche, such as Evening on Karl Johan (1892), Melancholy (1894-96) and At the Death Bed (1895).The Courtauld’s permanent collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, on display in the newly refurbished LVMH Great Room, will provide rich context for the exhibition, revealing some of the artistic inspirations Munch encountered during his experimental years in Paris from 1889 – 1892, where he discovered the modern styles of Gauguin, Toulouse Lautrec and Van Gogh.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with contribution from experts from KODE and The Courtauld. This exhibition is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and supported by the AKO Foundation.
Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion, Fantasy, Fetishism 13th October 2022 – 8th January 2023 Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries
The Courtauld Gallery will stage an exhibition devoted to a remarkable group of around fifty drawings by Henry Fuseli (1741 – 1825), one of 18th-century Europe’s most original and eccentric artists. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Fuseli spent a formative period in Rome in the 1770s before settling in London, serving as both Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools and Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy when it was based at Somerset House.
Famous for his stylised paintings of heroic and supernatural scenes from classic and contemporary literature, The Courtauld’s exhibition explores an altogether different dimension to Fuseli’s art. It focuses on a striking group of drawings which reveal the artist’s private preoccupation with the figure of the contemporary woman. Often featuring his wife Sophia Rawlins, the drawings show women in elaborate hairstyles and striking costumes, and describe the modern woman as a figure of disturbing power. Following its presentation at The Courtauld Gallery the exhibition will travel to the Kunsthaus, Zurich.
The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld 5th March – 5th June 2022 The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery
The Renaissance artist Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino (1503-1540), was celebrated for his graceful compositions and praised as the heir to Raphael (1483 – 1520). Parmigianino drew relentlessly during his short life: more than a thousand of his drawings have survived. They show the virtuoso artist, endlessly sketching out new ideas on paper. As well as drawing and painting, Parmigianino also experimented with printmaking, and is considered to have been the first to try the new medium of etching in Italy as well as pioneering the chiaroscuro woodcut technique.
This display will present an important group of twenty-two works by Parmigianino from The Courtauld’s collection. They include a sketch for the artist’s most ambitious painting, the Madonna of the Long Neck. Alongside it, there will be studies for his celebrated frescoes of the church of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy – one of Parmigianino’s most significant commissions. A collaborative project which involved former and current research students at The Courtauld, the display and its accompanying catalogue will shed light on an artist who approached every technique with unprecedented freedom and produced innovative works which were studied and admired by artists and collectors in his lifetime and for centuries thereafter.
Traces: Renaissance Drawings for Flemish Prints 18th June – Autumn 2022 The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery
Showcasing a selection from The Courtauld’s rich collection of works on paper, this display will explore the world of 16th century Flemish print production. It features print designs by some of the greatest Netherlandish artists of the era, including Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525-1569) and Maerten van Heemskerck (1498 – 1574).
The display will offer a rare opportunity to see this lesser-known aspect of The Courtauld’s collection, and to delve deeper into the traces left by artists and craftsmen who created the designs for the flourishing print trade in 16th-century Antwerp, a pre-eminent international hub for the graphic arts.
Highly skilled draughtsmen produced finished designs which expert printmakers translated onto copper printing plates. In turn, these were published in great numbers by venturesome publishers who saw the economic potential in the dissemination of relatively inexpensive prints. In this way ingenious artistic ideas and elaborate motifs could travel and influence the development of art across Europe – and beyond.
Helen Saunders 13th October 2022 – January 2023 The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery
The Courtauld Gallery will present the first monographic exhibition devoted to British abstract artist Helen Saunders (1885 – 1963) in over 25 years. It showcases a representative group of the artist’s drawings and watercolours to shed light on an artist whose contribution to the story of modern art in Britain is being newly appreciated.
One of the first British artists to pursue abstraction, Saunders was one of only two women to join the Vorticists, the radical art movement spearheaded by Wyndham Lewis that emerged in London on the eve of the First World War. Her extraordinary drawings capture both the dynamism of modern urban life and the horrors of mechanised warfare. In the years following the war she turned her back on Vorticism and pursued her own path, working in a more figurative style. Due in part to the loss of a significant portion of her oeuvre, including all of her Vorticist oil paintings, this remarkable artist fell into obscurity. Only in recent years has her work begun to be rediscovered and celebrated as an important piece of the story of British modernism.
The Courtauld’s collection of works by Saunders were gifted by her relative, the artist and writer Brigid Peppin, in 2016. This gift has transformed The Courtauld into the largest public collection of Saunders’s work in the world. At its heart is a group of six landmark works from her Vorticist period.