FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON | The Red Studio, Shapes and colors

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FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON | The Red Studio, Shapes and colors

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is dedicated to promoting contemporary art and accessibility to a wider audience. They're showcasing Henri Matisse's "L'Atelier rouge" alongside a retrospective of Ellsworth Kelly's works from May 4th to September 9th, 2024, coinciding with the Paris Olympic Games.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton renews its mission: to promote contemporary art and make it accessible to a broader audience. The Fondation Louis Vuitton is committed to showcasing “works symbolic of modernity” and celebrating artists who have revolutionized perceptions despite their connection to contemporary history. Additionally, it supports contemporary artists who boldly seek to reinvent their time and promotes emerging talents through the “Open Space” program.

From May 4th to September 9th, 2024, an exhibition dedicated to the painting “L’Atelier rouge” (1911) by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) will be opened to the public. Concurrently, a new retrospective on the works of Ellsworth Kelly (1923) will also be featured, showcasing paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings by the artist. Additionally, on the occasion of the Paris Olympic Games, the Fondation will present a selection of works from the Collection related to sports. This exhibition offers an alternative and poetic vision of this international event.

Matisse, L’Atelier rouge

The Fondation Louis Vuitton, in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the SMK – Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen (National Gallery of Denmark), hosts the exhibition “Matisse, L’Atelier rouge”, focused on the genesis and history of the famous masterpiece from 1911, one of MoMA’s emblematic works since its acquisition in 1949. The spaces welcome the works shown inside the Atelier rouge for the first time since they left the artist’s studio in Issy-les-Moulineaux.

“Today, after over 110 years, L’Atelier rouge is a reference point in the centuries-old tradition of studio paintings and a fundamental work of modern art,” affirms Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of MoMA.

“The painting remains a benchmark for any artist wishing to portray their studio. Matisse’s radical choice to saturate the surface of the work with a layer of red has fascinated generations of scholars and artists, including Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly. However, there is still much to discover about the origin and history of the painting.” The heart of the exhibition is represented by L’Atelier rouge and the six paintings, three sculptures, and one ceramic still in existence.

Created between 1898 and 1911, the exhibition ranges from well-known paintings such as “The Young Sailor (II)” (1906), which will be exhibited in France for the first time in 31 years, to lesser-known works like “Corsica, the Old Mill” (1898) and recently discovered objects.

Three of these paintings: “Bathers” (1907), “Le Luxe (II)” (1907-08), and “Nude with a White Scarf” (1909), belong to the SMK as part of an important collection of Matisse’s works, while the 1907 ceramic plate by the artist, depicted prominently, comes from the MoMA collection.

The exhibition also includes a series of paintings and drawings closely related to L’Atelier rouge, such as “The Blue Window” (1913) from MoMA and “Large Red Interior” (1948) from MNAM/Centre Pompidou, which help understand the significance of the work. A rich selection of archival materials, such as letters and photographs, many of which are exhibited for the first time on this occasion, reveal new information about the painting’s subject, evolution, and reception.

The exhibition also includes a video dedicated to conservation techniques, showcasing recent discoveries about the painting’s creation process.

Ellsworth Kelly, Shapes and Colors, 1949-2015

To celebrate the centenary of the artist’s birth, “Ellsworth Kelly. Shapes and Colors, 1949-2015” will be the first exhibition in France to offer a broad overview of this important artist of the second half of the 20th century. Organized with the Glenstone Museum (Potomac, Maryland) and in collaboration with the Ellsworth Kelly Studio, the exhibition brings together over 100 works: paintings and sculptures, as well as drawings, photographs, and collages. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to loans from international institutions (Art Institute of Chicago, Kröller-Müller Museum, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tate, Whitney Museum) and private collections.

Ellsworth Kelly is considered one of the most famous American abstract painters and sculptors. His seven-decade career has been defined by artistic independence from any school or movement and his innovative contributions to 20th-century painting and sculpture. The artist drew inspiration from nature and the surrounding world to create a unique style that revitalized abstraction in the 20th century. Ten years after his passing, his works continue to evoke the same fascination, well beyond the traditional boundaries of painting. The Fondation Louis Vuitton witnesses this every day: its Auditorium hosts the latest work ever commissioned from the artist. Designed in dialogue with the elements of Frank Gehry’s architecture, it extends from the stage curtain (Spectrum VIII) to the walls of the concert hall, which rise and come to life thanks to a series of monochromes in red, yellow, blue, green, and purple. The exhibition “Ellsworth Kelly. Shapes and Colors, 1949-2015” traces the artist’s journey in search of the relationship between form, color, line, and space through his key works.

Exhibition Route The collection of works, presented on two floors of the building, invites the viewer to overlook the deceptive simplicity of Ellsworth Kelly’s artistic vocabulary and to appreciate a corpus of works that exhibits surprising vitality and richness. Often monochromatic and seemingly static in their composition, these works do not emerge from an artistic current or adherence to particular rules; they are the result of a visual research in which forms and colors go hand in hand with hedonism. Presented on the ground floor and the first floor of the Fondation, the exhibition includes about 100 works from the collections of the Glenstone Museum, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and major international museums, particularly the Centre Pompidou, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Kröller-Müller Museum (Netherlands), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tate (London), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York). Important works have also been generously lent by the Ellsworth Kelly Studio and private collections.

The exhibited works range from painting to sculpture, works on paper, collage, and photography. Among the most precious pieces on display are the artist’s early paintings such as “Tableau Vert” (1952), the first monochrome created after Ellsworth Kelly’s visit to Giverny, and “Painting in Three Panels” (1956), the artist’s first three-part painting, a key example of the painter’s commitment to architecture. These works are exhibited before the now canonical Chatham and Spectrum series. On the first floor, there is a selection of drawings made throughout the artist’s career, as well as a collection of unpublished photographs. Among the most famous works is “Yellow Curve” (1990), the first of a series of large floor paintings, in a specially designed space. This marks Yellow Curve’s first appearance in Europe since its creation in 1990 for an exhibition at Portikus, Frankfurt. Another monumental work, in this case permanent, is the one created in 2014 by Ellsworth Kelly for the Auditorium of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, in dialogue with architect Frank Gehry. Included in the exhibition, it will be presented to visitors in a dedicated room, which retraces the stages of the project and its integration into the artist’s work.

The exhibition “Ellsworth Kelly. Shapes and Colors, 1949-2015” is presented as part of “Ellsworth Kelly at 100”, a traveling exhibition organized by the Glenstone Museum (Potomac, Maryland), where it will remain until March 17, 2024. The exhibition in France has been adapted in light of Ellsworth Kelly’s contribution to the Auditorium of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. After Paris, where Ellsworth Kelly developed some of his most radical ideas as a young artist, a new presentation will take place at M7 in Doha, Qatar, marking the artist’s first exhibition in the Middle East.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, published in collaboration with the Glenstone Museum, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and Éditions Hazan, featuring contributions by Suzanne Hudson, Jean-Pierre Criqui, Peter Eleey, Alex Da Corte, Yuri Stone, Corey Keller, and Sarah Rogers.

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