LIEGE.- An exhibition focused on the major Liege-born collector and patron, Fernand Graindorge, and the works he donated to the French-speaking Community of Belgium. The hub of the exhibition is the gift of 70 works by famous modern artists. Provided to the French-speaking Community in 1981, the collection includes the output not only of Arp, Magnelli, Matisse and Picasso but also of Csaky, Gorin, Jacobsen, Le Corbusier, Magritte, Mambour, Mortensen and Ubac
The event will be supplemented by 30 or so other works by Hartung, Léger, Masson... (that once formed part of the Graindorge collection but are now found in public and private collections), along with a series of archives, letters, photographs... and a film.
The spotlight will also be turned on the various dimensions of Fernand Graindorge: the man, the collector, and art lover who put his stamp on the Liege artistic scene.
Fernand Graindorge's initiative was primarily designed to enable Liege to take up a position as Belgium's leading contemporary art centre in the 1950s. He had the same aim in view when offering inspired guidance about expanding the City of Liege's collections.
The focus is on the pivotal role he played within the Association for Intellectual and Artistic Progress in Wallonia (APIAW) between 1945 and 1965 and the many exhibitions he held. The emphasis is also on the decision in 1957 to make him president of the Royal Society of Fine Arts and his role as artistic adviser to the City of Liege in 1977.
A documentary video is on display during the period covered by the exhibition to offer an approach to the collection based on the accounts by the various project stakeholders.
Dominique Mathieu (head of the non-profit-making body Les Brasseurs), who is Fernand Graindorge's niece, has provided all the documentation she has on this subject. This is supplemented with a selection of archives, letters, photographs to show the different stages of his life, his special relations with artists, art critics, collectors and gallery owners.
The exhibition will run from November 20, 2009 to February 7, 2010, in the Salle Saint-Georges, (the Museum of Walloon Art's temporary exhibitions gallery). It is organized by the City of Liege and the non-profit-making body Les Musées de Liège in cooperation with Dominique Mathieu and in partnership with the French-speaking Community's General Cultural Heritage and Visual Arts Department.
Françoise Dumont and Dominique Mathieu are curating the exhibition.