Manchester, NH –Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) cheerful painting Bridge across the Seine at Asnières (1887), is now on view in the European Gallery of the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH. In the Modern Gallery, two stunning 20th century sculptures, Alberto Giacometti’s Annette IV (1962) and Henri Laurens’ Petite Cariatide (1930) will be on view starting September 24. These works of art are on loan to the Currier through December 2014.
“We are delighted to share these three important works of art by major artists of the late nineteenth and twentieth century with people throughout New England and beyond.” said Susan Strickler, director and CEO of the Currier. “In particular, this van Gogh has not been exhibited in America since 1970, so this is a rare opportunity to see this lively painting.”
Bridge across the Seine at Asnières was painted out of doors in this northwest Paris suburb. It reveals the development of van Gogh’s characteristic long brushstrokes, especially visible in the water, and the pillars of the bridge. Several pedestrians and a colorful carriage cross the bridge. In the foreground, a man in a rowboat paddles beneath while another boat approaches from the left where houses stand on the riverbank. Sunshine slants through clouds in this optimistic summer-scape. The rosy warm tones of the bridge’s stone pillars are reflected in the river’s surface and along the underside of the structure. Van Gogh had been working with Paul Signac at the time. Under Signac’s influence, van Gogh’s palette brightened and he moved away from the pointillist technique both had learned from Georges Seurat.
Alberto Giacometti’s (1901-1966) Annette IV is one of ten portrait busts the artist created of his wife between 1962 and 1965. By this point in his career, Giacometti began working with actual sitters, rather than from memory or drawings. He also edged away from his earlier elongated figures and into more natural representations of his subjects. Nevertheless, his bronze sculpture maintains all of the expressionism of his signature style. This is particularly evident in the way Giacometti emphasized Annette’s eyes and the dynamic surfaces of her hair and torso, revealing how the artist worked the clay for the original model.
Henri Laurens’ (1885-1954) bronze Petite Cariatide beautifully portrays a crouching female nude with arms crossed above her head. Lines delineate her head, torso and limbs in this smooth-textured sculpture. Petite Cariatide creates a wonderful comparison to the Currier’s iconic bronze by Henri Matisse, Seated Nude (1922-1925), executed just a few years earlier. Laurens’ early work was influenced significantly by Auguste Rodin, then by Cubism after meeting Georges Braque in 1911, as is evident in this sculpture.
The Currier Museum of Art, located at 150 Ash Street, Manchester, N.H., is open every day except Tuesday. It is home to an internationally respected collection of European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and O'Keeffe. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the engaging exhibitions, the dynamic programs ranging from art-making and lectures to music, a Museum Shop, and an airy, light-filled café. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Museum. The Currier welcomes visitors with disabilities and special needs. We are wheelchair accessible and offer FM headsets for sound amplification at most public programs. For more information, visit www.currier.org or call 603.669.6144, x108.
The Currier Art Center, celebrating its 75th year of operations, offers studio classes, art camps, Master classes and intensive workshops for all ages. The Museum also owns the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, complete with the original furnishings and the owners' fine art collection.