Recently I had the opportunity to visit the exhibition ‘Masterpieces of the Kunsthalle Bremen: From Delacroix to Beckmann’ at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and I had a great surprise there. The show has almost 10 artworks by women artists.
The exhibition tells the history of this German collection founded almost 200 years ago (1823) by a group of citizens, art lovers, who had the objective to improve their society’s ‘sense of beauty’. That is the reason why this collection refers to a historical development specific of Bremen and at the same time reflects the national (and even international) debates on modern art, its importance and its reception in Germany and how all these factors influenced in the collection, since Germany was the first country to embrace the Post Impressionism movement.
The exhibition is organised by juxtaposing French and German art from the romanticism of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. In this way the show tells us about the pioneering engagement with and support of modern art. Including important names as Delacroix, Degas, Corot, Pissarro, Renoir and Rodin among the French, and Beckmann, Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustave Carus or Richard Oelze.
But what I really enjoyed was to see so many paintings by women, even though they were signed only by two artists, what impressed me was the elevate number, almost ten. Unfortunately, it is not common, unless when it is a solo exhibition, or she is one of the main artists. Most of the paintings by women of this exhibit are signed by German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, a founding member of the Worpswede Artist’s Colony, who raised in Bremen. The show presents about six paintings by Modersohn-Becker including the Self-portrait with green background and blue irises.
In addition to it, there is a painting that I consider a true masterpiece of Impressionism, called Le Réveil and in this exhibition translated as Awakening girl by Eva Gonzalès, one of the most important female names of the Impressionism. And my favourite painting of the whole show.
The negative part? Guggenheim Museum Bilbao don’t allow to take photos of most of the works. And in the shop of the museum I could not find any article of Gonzalès’ painting (that I wanted badly, as a souvenir).
If you are going to Bilbao in the next weeks (last day is February 16), I highly recommend the visit to this exhibition.