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Exhibition of Works by Painter Amedeo Modigliani Opens at the Municipal House in Prague
A visitor walks past a painting of Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani as he visits the Modigliani exhibition in Prague, Czech Republic, 09 December 2010. Unique exhibition of the works of the world-renowned early 20th-century Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani is open from 09 December 2010 to 28 February 2011 at the elegant venue of the Municipal House in Prague. EPA/FILIP SINGER.

PRAGUE.- The Municipal House opens a unique exhibition of the works of the world-renowned early 20th-century Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), which will run from December 9 to February 28, 2011 at the elegant venue of the Municipal House in Prague. The organisers chose the artist’s own magically sounding name as the exhibition’s title. The exhibition aims to acquaint the public not just with Modigliani’s work, but also with the man himself and his life.

To complement the works of Amedeo Modigliani the exhibition will also show paintings by Modigliani’s friends and peers, such as Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, and Gino Romiti, and the last curatorial section of the exhibition will be a parallel display of the work of Amedeo Modigliani and the Czech artist František Kupka (1871-1957), whose paintings will be part of the Amedeo Modigliani exhibition.

The curator of the exhibition is Ms Serena Baccaglini, whose name has already been behind numerous important projects. She organised eight exhibitions about Picasso, the special collection Bosè/Dominguin, and an exhibition about Salvador Dalì. The AMEDEO MODIGLIANI exhibition will contain works on loan from public and private collections around the world, for instance, from the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem, the Estorick Collection in London, and from private collections in Germany, France and America. Thanks to cooperation with the Modigliani Institut Archives Légales in Rome original documents will be shown that illustrate the life of Amedeo Modigliani in the early 20th century during the wonderful years of the birth of contemporary art.

The exhibition presents Modigliani as an Italian artist, but it does not overlook that fact that in the early 20th century he was also an important figure of the ‘Paris school’. The exhibition will be showing Modigliani’s paintings, but also many of his studies and drawings, and thus it constitutes an important contribution to our understanding of Modigliani’s works as a whole. As will all geniuses, especially in the field of drawing, they reveal to us the beauty of his style and allow us to witness the first signs of the origin of an idea.

The exhibition will also present works by the famous Czech artist František Kupka. Serena Baccaglini came up with the new idea of showing side by side the works of these two artists, who exhibited together in 1912 as part of the Autumn Salon in Paris. Modigliani and Kupka were two great innovators in art, with similar life paths and bringing them together again, it is a new, magical, and exciting occasion. At the exhibition in 1912 Modigliani showed his sculptures, while Kupka presented his paintings Amorpha, Fugue in Two Colours and Warm Chromatics which can be regarded as the first real abstract works in history. Modigliani and Kupka are thus meeting up again for the first time in Prague, more than a century later.

The exhibition will also show some paintings by friends of Modigliani, with whom the artist lived through the inspirational period of the artistic avant-garde in Paris in the years before the First World War. Thus, we will be looking into the background of the time when modern art was born.

Thematically the exhibition will focus also on the artistic relationship between Modigliani and Jeanne and on questions that have left the figure of Modigliani shrouded in mystery. Jeanne Hébuterne, the love of the artist’s life, was the model for his best work. Those who love Modigliani will certainly recall his nudes and portraits with the typically elongated faces, almond eyes, long, sharp noses, and melancholy expressions. Unfortunately, a few days before Modigliani and Jeanne were to marry the artist died of tuberculosis at the age of just 36. Jeanne Hébuterne followed him soon after, as, unable to bear the loss of her great love, she jumped from the window of her parents’ home.

It is almost extraordinary that an exhibition of the work of this major artist has never taken place in the Czech Republic. Similar exhibitions, for instance, have been held recently in Milan, Madrid, and Bonn. Not long ago the National Gallery had two of the artist’s works on loan. The first major exhibition of Modigliani’s more important work to take place in Prague is thus only happening now.

The exhibition’s organiser, the director of Vernon Gallery, Monika Burian Jourdan, says of the exhibition’s significance: ‘I am only coming to realise the importance of the exhibition and its impact in a historical perspective just now, in the course of its preparation. For me Modigliani signifies elegance, mystery, success, and human tragedy. Amedeo Modigliani’s works possess an Italian charm that in a certain sense we can also feel from Prague architecture...’

The curator’s gusto and enthusiasm for the life and work of Amedeo Modigliani is enormous, and her energy and professional experience and ability promise art lovers a great exhibition experience.

On the exhibition Ms Baccaglini adds: ‘A great passion for Modigliani and Prague was a tremendous incentive to me to obtain special works that would allow us to encounter the great artist as a genius and as a man."

The Municipal House | Amedeo Modigliani | Monika Burian Jourdan |

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