Important pieces by Paul CÃ©zanne, Wassily Kandinsky and others are making their way to the Courtauld Gallery in London as part of a transformative gift of modern drawings. The 25 works on paper were assembled by the late British collector Howard Karshan, and donated in his memory by his wife, artist Linda Karshan.
The renowned Courtland Gallery collection includes masterpieces like that of Van Gogh Self-portrait with bandaged ear and Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-BergÃ¨re. Its massive collections of works on paper include pieces by artists such as Leonardo, Rembrandt and Rubens, but until now the museum has been sorely lacking in 20th century masterpieces. Apart from CÃ©zanne, none of the artists included in the Karshan donation had previously been represented in the gallery’s collection.
Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, director of the Courtauld Gallery, told Guardian that the gift was “important beyond its size”.
“[The Courtauld Gallery] is also one of the most active collections in terms of exhibitions, presentations and loans, âsaid Vegelin. âDespite this, our portrayal of design in the 20th century is hesitant, giving us a fantastic new chapter in the collection and an excellent basis for future growth.â
The donation includes watercolors by CÃ©zanne, as well as drawings by Cy Twombly, Georg Baselitz and Joseph Beuys. Also depicted are drawings by lesser-known artists whom Vegelin called “astonishing and revealing”, including two expressive finger drawings by Swiss artist and violinist Louis Soutter.
Soutter produced his most famous work while being interned against his will in a hospice in Ballaigues, a small village in Switzerland. The dancing figures in ink and gouache, depicted on everything he could find – notebook, envelopes, fragments of wrapping paper – earned him a small but dedicated suite that included his cousin Le Corbusier. The gallery will also receive a piece by abstract expressionist artist Sam Francis and a series of abstract works by Belgian painter and writer Henri Michaux that were created while he was under mescaline.
“It’s not a collection someone put together from a reference book, it’s a collection with real edge, bite and character that really penetrates the skin of the design as form. of art, âVegelin said.
The Karshan Gift will be on display in late 2021, when the historic gallery reopens following a $ 70.5 million modernization project.