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The world of Odilon Redon: dreams, darkness and mythology of the late impressionism
12 October, 2018
This autumn and winter the Glyptotek offers the public a unique opportunity to be drawn into the world of the French artist Odilon Redon (1840-1916).
This will happen when the museum opens its doors to the exhibition, “Odilon Redon. Into the Dream”.
This will be the first major presentation of Redon in Denmark. The exhibition will introduce the French artist’s work in all its aspects.
Odilon Redon: the basis of the exhibition is the spectacular loans from both public and private collections in Europe.
As well as from The Kröller-Müller Museum in Holland, who have organised the exhibition in association with the Glyptotek. In all, one can experience more than 150 works by the French graphic artist and painter.
In addition to works by Redon, the exhibition will also include works from the Glyptotek’s own collections. The collection, spanning French painting, Ancient Egypt and Greece, represent large parts of Redon’s wide-ranging sources of inspiration.
To complete the experience, the Glyptotek has, together with LYDPOL and Podwalk, developed a sound experience which will function as an integrated element of the exhibition.
Sound will accompany selected works in the exhibition and visitors will be drawn into Odilon Redon’s universe of inspiration. This means that, among other things, visitors will be able to hear entries from Redon’s diaries and readings from the books he illustrated and some of the music he loved.
Redon’s composite universe of inspiration will also be reflected and interpreted throughout the period of the exhibition. A programme of events will range from live music, through literary arrangements, to readings and much more.
Into the Dream
Odilon Redon’s universe is filled with narratives. The Glyptotek invites visitors on a journey of discovery on all three floors of the museum’s Henning Larsen Building.
With the exhibition title, “Odilon Redon. Into the Dream” the visitor is conducted into the dream – not Redon’s dream alone but also one’s own. In a sensuous, inquisitive universe the exhibition reaches out to visitors through a series of universal themes which are as immediate to us today as they were for the artist.
With themes such as dreams, darkness, mythology, literature, music, spirit and science the Glyptotek presents Redon as a complex, “dreamy” artist who embraces progress and science, but also things that cannot be explained: the inner world, darkness and the dream.
One of a kind
Famous for his expressive compositions in black and white graphic works and his vivid pastels and oil paintings, Redon finds inspiration throughout his career in natural science, religion, literature, music, fables and mythology. Redon’s works draw on late Impressionism.
But unlike the Impressionists, he plunges into all that cannot be seen.
Redon is a mysterious character, living and working in Paris at the same time as such other artists as Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, Pierre Bonnard and Vincent van Gogh.
Great artists who are represented in the Glyptotek’s permanent collection, and who, with selected works, will also be featured in “Odilon Redon. Into the Dream”. Together with these artists Redon was part of the avant-garde. Though he insisted throughout his career on his independence of any form of artists’ school or formula. For this reason he may be seen as the most idiosyncratic painter of his age.
Microbes and Mythical Beasts
Redon lived in a time when everything was being re-evaluated. Our view of the world was being changed by such factors as science, knowledge of hygiene, bacteria, the dissection of cadavers, neurology, microscopes and air balloons.
The artist is preoccupied with examining that which he sees and experiences in the world and using science to pursue these existential questions. Redon is surrounded by progress and bids it welcome.
At the same time, Redon is also questing back in time and simultaneously drawing on various sources of inspiration such as the myths and figures of the ancient world, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Redon’s motifs find an echo in the Glyptotek’s rich permanent collections of art from previous ages.
Visitors will, therefore, be able to experience a number of works from the museum’s collections of antiquities, including Greek portraits and creatures from Egyptian mythology.
Also, less familiar works from the storage magazines, such as Russian icons will be showcased along with Redon’s works. In this way the public is given direct access to Redon’s treasury of inspiration.
The exhibition is organised by The Kröller-Müller Museum in association with The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen