“We have a lot of questions to ask Gauguin” – Yuki Kihara, First Impressions: Paul Gauguin (2018)
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek holds one of the world’s finest collections of works by the French artist, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903). The special exhibition centres on the museum’s own collection, supplemented by several prominent works loaned from a number of international museums and institutions.
Archive material, Visual Art and Literature
The special exhibition, Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry? will revisit the story of one of the most mythologised figures in French art, concentrating particularly on the works he created in Tahiti. The exhibition will shed new light on the museum’s collection, juxtaposing the works with historical material from both Gauguin’s past and his present, and with international contemporary art.
The story of Gauguin the ‘savage’, who in 1891 abandoned Paris, his Danish wife and his five children to pursue a spiritual, artistic journey in the South Pacific, is a highly-prized story in the history of Western art. The Glyptotek challenges this narrative and uses a diverse selection of historical archive material, visual art and literature in a deeper examination of how the works Gauguin created in Tahiti were not an isolated phenomenon, but part of a larger political and cultural landscape. For example, the exhibition will examine how Gauguin’s art was influenced by the popularised myth of Tahiti, which had flourished even before Gauguin’s departure for the South Pacific, kindled by a century of Western imperialism and cultural history.
Using painting, graphics, ceramics, drawings, texts and wood carvings, Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry? will add yet another chapter to the story of Gauguin and his multifaceted oeuvre. Featuring both prominent works from the museum’s own collection (for example, Vahine no te tiare,1891) and rarely seen works from the likes of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, the exhibition will highlight a number of new facets that go beyond the usual artistic -isms of form, colour and plane.
International Contemporary Art
Revisiting Gauguin’s works is also about placing our purely aesthetic experience of his works in a context that will enable us to view our own age in the light of history. Today, Gauguin’s Tahitian imagery can trigger thoughts on such subjects as representation, colonialism and gender, and there is no doubt that the works may affect us all in different ways, depending on our culture, history, ethnicity, age and gender. In this context, the Glyptotek has chosen to present works by several international contemporary artists whose works have not previously been shown in Denmark. What they will bring to the exhibition are new, different takes on the legacy of Gauguin’s art today. The featured artists include Angela Tiatia (NZ/AUS), Nashashibi/Skaer (UK), Selina Tusitala Marsh (NZ), Yuki Kihara (WS/JP) and the deceased Tahitian activist and multi-artist Henri Hiro (1944-1990). Yuki Kihara has created a major video work, specially commissioned by the Glyptotek and the de Young Museum in San Francisco, USA.
Watch the trailer for the video work First Impressions: Paul Gauguin, 2018 by Yuki Kihara (1975-) here:
© Courtesy of Yuki Kihara, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen and Milford Galleries Dunedin
During the run of the exhibition, the Glyptotek will also host a number of events, focusing on selected elements of the exhibition. Information about the events will be published in the calendar on an ongoing basis.
Catalogue and products
The Glyptotek has issued a catalogue accompanying the exhibition Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry? with contributions by: Anna Kærsgaard Gregersen, Henri Hiro, Yuki Kihara, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Nashashibi/Skaer, Patricia O’Brien, Thea Quiray Tagle, Angela Tiatia and Nina Tonga.
The catalogue can be purchased in the museum shop or the webshop.
The museum shop offers a curated selection of products in relation to the special exhibition Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry?
Our sincere thanks for generous support for the exhibition from:
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
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