Silent Vision – Images of Calm and Quiet
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen
February 13 – July 26, 2020
Modernity as the age of technical progress is characterised mainly by movement and velocity, which have also found multiple manifestations in art. At the same time, a longing for deceleration has evolved, which to this day expresses itself in ever new images of calm and quiet. Especially in times of ever increasing acceleration such as ours, the need for peace and repose seems particularly pronounced.
The Fondation Beyeler’s current collection presentation thus focuses on works of modern and contemporary art dealing with the topic of calm and quiet. It is striking to note the extent to which these works vary in their aesthetics, their contents, their form, their choice of media and material. The museum itself is brought into focus as a potential site of stillness and reflection. Each room of the exhibition is devoted to a specific aspect of the notion of calm and quiet, inviting viewers to silent vision and contemplation: static and bodily repose, the idyllic stillness of nature, celestial calm and the quiet before the storm, stillness and emptiness, balanced compositions, still lifes, inner peace, silence, solitude and meditation as well as sleep and eternal rest are the themes underlying the exhibition’s different sections.
Together, the selected artworks display the rich scope of the exhibition’s theme, mostly in the media of painting and sculpture. They further echo a defining feature of Edward Hopper’s work, also on view at the Fondation Beyeler in a comprehensive exhibition. The collection presentation presents key works of the Fondation Beyeler spanning the period from Impressionism to contemporary art, by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Hans Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Gerhard Richter and Marlene Dumas as well as many other artists. Major long term loans from private collections round off the Fondation Beyeler’s collection presentation, among which Pablo Picasso’s Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant), 1932, a recent addition to the collection.