NGV is partnering with France’s Musée d’Orsay to present their Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi. This highly-anticipated exhibition was originally scheduled to open in 2020. It will feature over 100 works by Bonnard, a 20th century French painter, presented within a contemporary scenography by award-winning architect and designer, India Mahdavi. The exhibition will open from June 9 to October 8.
Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi at NGV
This blockbuster exhibition will bring the late 19th and early 20th century to life through drawings, paintings, prints, photos and decorative objects by Pierre Bonnard. Bonnard was celebrated for his use of colour to convey emotions. He was well known for depicting intimate domestic interiors, urban scenes and natural landscapes with subtlety in his paintings.
Curated by Musée d’Orsay, this exhibition will present his work alongside early cinema from the Lumiere brothers, as well as artworks by Bonnard’s early contemporaries, like Maurice Denis, Félix Vallotton and Édouard Vuillard.
“Bonnard’s universal vision of space and time, his luminous and nuanced palette, his vibrant touch, his complex compositions revealing invisible worlds, make the artist a major figure in French painting at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century,” said Isabelle Cahn, lead exhibition curator and emeritus Senior Curator of Paintings, Musée d’Orsay. “The power of his talent is expressed through intimate objects which are accessible to all, a tribute to his timeless genius.”
NGV commissioned the Paris-based architect and designer, India Mahdavi, to create the scenography of the exhibition. Mahdavi will produce an environment that complements Bonnard’s use of colour and texture, and will evoke the same domestic intimacy presented in his paintings. Mahdavi is also renowned for her use of colour.
“Monsieur Bonnard and I share the same passion for colour,” said Mahdavi. “The way he invites us in his home and intimacy is sublimated by his very own sense of colour — for this exhibition, we dived into Pierre Bonnard’s paintings and extracted some of his patterns and colours to recreate backdrops to his paintings, offering an immersive experience of a home to the visitor.”
What can you expect?
The exhibition starts with Bonnard’s paintings and prints of Parisian street life in the 1890s. As you move through the exhibition, you continue on through to the first decades of the 20th century, when Bonnard shifts to a more domestic vision of life. From around 1910 onwards, you will then see iridescent landscapes, which often featured glimpses of interiors and still lifes.
The exhibition features loans from Musée d’Orsay, as well as other museums and private collections like the Tate in London and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. These loans will be presented alongside NGV’s own collection, including the early masterpiece La Sieste from 1900.Bookings are available now.