Critically-acclaimed Gauguin exhibition to Berlin

Published 8 July 2021

Despite the national lockdown this spring, the critically-acclaimed exhibition Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry? has attracted a great deal of interest – not only in Denmark. In the spring of 2022, the exhibition will travel to Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, giving German museum visitors the opportunity to enjoy it too.

The exhibition, which opened at the Glyptoteket on 19 November 2020, sheds new light on the museum’s outstanding collection of works by Paul Gauguin. It revisits the narrative of one of the most mythologised figures in French art, focusing particularly on the works the artist created in Tahiti. The exhibition features both paintings and graphic and ceramic works, juxtaposed with historical material and international contemporary art.

Part of the exhibition’s main interests is to illuminate how the artist belonged to a larger colonial political, cultural-historical landscape and further to investigate the continuing significance that the legacy Gauguin’s art has left in its wake. The exhibition presents a selection of present-day Polynesian voices that speak not only about the effect of Gauguin’s works, but also about who they affect. The exhibiting artists are Yuki Kihara, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Angela Tiatia, and the late Tahitian multi-artist and activist Henri Hiro.

It is this new approach to Gauguin’s works that kindled so much enthusiasm that the Danish national daily, Politiken wrote: “Paul Gauguin never tasted better.” It is also what inspired the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin to present the exhibition.

The exhibition will open on 25 March 2022 and run until 10 July 2022.

Needless to say, when the exhibition travels to Berlin, a large part of the Glyptotek’s outstanding collection will not be on show at the museum in Copenhagen.

Gertrud Hvidberg-Hansen (Director of the Glyptotek) says:

“The intention of this exhibition was to take a fresh look at one of the great masters and to place him in a different, more topical context than is usually the case. The fact that such a high-profile museum as the Alte Nationalgalerie now wishes to present the exhibition represents important recognition of the work and method that went into the exhibition. The Glyptotek is a significant museum – in the European art world too. So, we are delighted that our works and exhibitions can reach a wider audience and give more people a chance to see them.”

However, before the exhibition travels to Berlin, visitors still have an opportunity to see it up until 1 August 2021. After the spring lockdown, we were fortunately able to extend the run of the exhibition, which otherwise would have finished on 16 May.

During the summer, in addition to Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry?, visitors have the opportunity to see three other critically-acclaimed exhibitions: works by the doyen of French sculpture, Auguste Rodin; an exhibition devoted to Bes, the demon god of ancient Egypt; and paintings by the Kenyan/British artist Michael Armitage.

Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry? was curated by the Glyptotek’s Anna Kærsgaard Gregersen.

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