Odilon Redon: color transformation at the exhibition in Basel

The exhibition of one of the founders of French symbolism in the painting of Odilon Redon was launched in February in the gallery of the Beyler Foundation in Basel. Until May 18, 2014, there one can trace symbolic transformations in the artist's work: the exposition contains paintings of the early “black” period with characteristic chimeras and monsters (well, just all human fears!), And mythological scenes of the mature “color” period.Odilon Redon's early fascination with the visions "from the subconscious" not only attracts gothic youth to the exhibition, but also provides food for discussion to the experts at the exhibition (Odilon Redon, 1840 - 1916). Maybe it is in this Redon - the harbinger of surrealism? The moods of the late XIX century, inherent to the contemporaries of the restless Frenchman, were embodied by his Symbolist contemporaries in all spheres of art: the works of Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Meterlinka are popular ... This common European pessimism was consonant with the nature of Redon - his impressionability, suspiciousness, and self-doubt.The Eye (Vision) Odilon Redon1881, 42 × 36.9 cm A beautiful colorist exploring the play of light and shadow by Rembrandt and the svumato v Vinci technique - today it is difficult to believe that Redon once failed an exam at the Paris School of Fine Arts! And when in 1868 his painting “Roland at Ronseval” was accepted by the commission of the Paris Salon, Odilon was so frightened of possible criticism that he immediately took the canvas! Over time, after the passage of the Franco-Prussian war and the birth of his son in 1889, Redon will be able to practically get rid of such critical uncertainty, move from coal and pastels to oil painting and color experiments, but still retain the anxiety characteristic of symbolism.David and Goliath Redil 1875, 44 × 36 cmThe chariot of Apollo Redilon 1912, 99.7 × 74.9 cmAfter executionOdilon Redon1877BuddhaOdilon Redon1904, 159.8 × 121.1 cm Admiring the works of Edgar Poe and Flaubert, Baudelaire's “Flowers of Evil”, Redon will release 12 lithograph albums of his drawings in charcoal, some of which will become illustrations for the artist's favorite literary works. But in these illustrations one cannot find direct reference to the texts - Odilon did not write about what is “outside of ourselves,” but plunged into his experiences, impressions, feelings. Now the public has come to follow his images, impressed by the range of topics: from spiders - to butterflies, from monochrome faces to colored gardens and young maidens. His early work - frightening graphicsMonotype belongs to the group of flat printing techniques. Unlike other prints, which allow you to make a lot of impressions from one form, here you get only one image (hence the "mono" - "one" - in the title). Most often monotypes are used by illustrators of children's books. It is also popular with psychologists (to clarify the internal state of a person) and teachers (for the development of imagination in children). Read more Collagraphy - a relatively new type of embossed printing. It was invented in the middle of the 20th century and combines environmental friendliness, ease of execution, richness of textures and plastics, and, moreover, it is well combined with other graphic manners (for example, "dry needle"). The printed matrix is ​​a collage (hence the name combining the words "collage" and "graph") and is created by sticking various materials — fabrics, plastic, sand, plants, and so on — to a wooden or cardboard base using various pastes. Read more In the second half of the 15th century, woodcuts began to crowd out an engraving on metal or intalo. The term is derived from the Italian intagliare, meaning "cut, incline, cut through." Unlike woodcuts, where the protruding portions of the matrix are imprinted on paper, here visible traces are left by grooves containing ink. Therefore, metal engraving belongs to the group of intaglio printing techniques. Read further, later - a riot of color. The organizers of the exhibition, the Beyler Foundation in Switzerland, ensured the “turnout” of contrasting paintings from world museums and private collections, and its curators provided the arrangement of paintings in such a way that the audience was not only subdued, but also amazed. What a transformation!
Prepared by Yulia Kovalenko