October 18, 2012 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Gustave Caillebotte
October 18, 2012

Gustave Caillebotte
An Impressionist and Photography

Gustave Caillebotte, Raboteurs de parquet (Floor Scrapers), 1875. Oil on canvas, 102 x 145 cm.
© Paris, Musée d’Orsay, gift of the heirs of Gustave Caillebotte, 1894. Photography: © bpk | RMN | Hervé Lewandowski.

 

October 18, 2012–January 20, 2013

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt
Hours: Tue, Fri–Sun 10–7pm; Wed & Thu 10–10pm

T +49-(0)69 29 98 82-0
F +49-(0)69 29 98 82-240
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The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents a comprehensive exhibition featuring about fifty paintings and drawings by the French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte. Consistently rounded off with one hundred and fifty outstanding photographic positions of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, the show conveys a clear idea of Caillebotte’s pioneering role in the development of a new way of seeing. While this extraordinary artist has already assumed his rightful place next to great Impressionists like Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, and Edgar Degas in France, Great Britain, and the United States, a critical examination of Caillebotte’s production is still in its early stages in Germany. Caillebotte’s oeuvre offers new, fundamental, and complementary approaches to French Impressionist painting: his radical, highly modern, and photography-related solutions very convincingly elucidate the close connection between photography and painting. Numerous works of Caillebotte’s anticipate photographic perspective—especially in their particular angles of view and the way the images are cropped, but also in their approach to themes like movement and abstraction—that does not emerge in the medium of photography itself until later.

Gustave Caillebotte (b. 1848, Paris; d. 1894, Gennevilliers, France) was rather known as a patron and collector of as well as a groundbreaker for Impressionist art throughout his life, though he produced more than five hundred paintings, pastels, and drawings himself. Coming into a large fortune after his father’s death, Caillebotte henceforth supported the painters of the new movement as “patron of the Impressionists.” He presented his own works at the second Impressionist exhibitions in Paris (1876) and the following six shows. In 1881, the enthusiastic sportsman retired to his summer house in Petit-Gennevilliers on the banks of the River Seine, where he, next to his activities as an artist, became one of the best yachtsmen of his day. Gustave Caillebotte died in 1894. Today, a large part of the important collection of Impressionist works ranks among the key assets of the Musée d’Orsay.

Encompassing numerous major works such as The Pont de l’Europe (Musée du Petit Palais, Geneva) and Floor-Scrapers (Musée d’Orsay, Paris) the exhibition at the Schirn is chronologically organized in three thematic groups that were decisive for Caillebotte: cityscapes and architectural views, portraits and interiors, still lifes and landscapes with garden and sports scenes. Caillebotte’s paintings with their unparalleled steep perspectives, radical top views, distortions, blurs, and croppings that offer only fragments of his subjects actually strike us as bold uses of photographic means of style which, however, had not yet been employed (or could not be employed yet) in contemporary photography. Making the modern individual’s perception a key theme of his work, Caillebotte showed himself to be far ahead of his time: it was only in the early twentieth century that comparable photographic strategies began to emerge in the medium itself.

The confrontation with contemporary photographs by Édouard Baldus, Charles Marville, and Eugène Atget and examples of the 1920s’ New Photography movement ranging from pictures by André Kertész and László Moholy-Nagy to works by Wols and Alexander Rodtschenko astoundingly discloses the close relationship between Caillebotte’s production and the emergence of a new way of seeing.

Director: Max Hollein. Curator: Dr. Karin Sagner. Curator of Photography: Dr. Ulrich Pohlmann. Project Management: Kristin Schrader (Schirn).

Press Contact: Axel Braun (head of Press/Public Relations), T (+49-69) 29 98 82-153 / F (+49-69) 29 98 82-240 / presse [​at​] schirn.de / www.schirn.de (texts, images, and films for download under PRESS).

 

 

Gustave Caillebotte at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
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