News & Commentary, Visual Arts

NGV to put spotlight on early 20th century French artist

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The early 20th century French artist Pierre Bonnard will be the focus of the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2020 winter exhibition.

The next instalment in the so-called Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series will see Bonnard’s work exhibited in a gallery space designed by architect and designer India Mahdavi, the gallery announced.

“Pierre Bonnard is one of the most captivating artists of the post-Impressionist movement,” NGV Director Tony Ellwood said.

Pierre Bonnard
French 1867–1947
The dining room in the country 1913
oil on canvas
126.8 x 135.3 cm
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The John R. Van Derlip Fund

Around 150 works will be on display, including paintings, drawings, photographs, decorative objects and early cinema. Other highlights include early nude portraits of Bonnard’s wife Marthe Boursin, including the NGV’s Siesta, previously owned by Gertrude Stein.

The exhibition will also host his final work, The Almond Tree in Blossom (1947).

Both Bonnard and Mahdavi are known for their use of colour, with Mahdavi collaborating with David Shrigley for Sketch London’s restaurant The Gallery, which has a striking monochromatic pink colour scheme.

Developed in partnership with Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, the exhibition will feature loans from that gallery, as well as Tate London, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and a variety of other institutions.

“Inviting viewers into his interior scenes with his vivid use of colour, we are delighted to bring the work of this 19th century painter to a 21st century audience, in a distinctive space designed by India Mahdavi,” Ellwood said.

Pierre Bonnard will be on display at NGV International from June to October, 2020.

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