A full house!

All the works in the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art are on show together

Thursday, 25th November 2021 — By John Evans

Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani, Dr Francois Brabander, 1918

A FINE oil portrait and drawings by perhaps the best known and popular of all modern Italian artists, Amedeo Modigliani, (1884-1920) can be seen in Canonbury.

A Modigliani drawing of a caryatid was one of the first works bought by Brooklyn-born sociologist, later London art dealer Eric Estorick (1913-1993) in the 1930s.

The entire collection of modern Italian art formed by Eric and his wife Salome (1920-1989), mainly in the 1950s, and comprising some 123 paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints, and sculptures, are now on show in its Georgian mansion home, which opened to the public in 1998. At its core are Futurist works but others, such as the Modiglianis, feature.

The artists include: Giorgio Morandi, Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio de Chirico, and Gino Severini.

Arranged thematically, the show also offers the work of sculptors Marino Marini and Giacomo Manzù, and painters to whom the Estoricks were close, among these Massimo Campigli, Renato Guttuso and Zoran Music. The exhibition also includes volumes from the museum’s library, with rare Futurist manifestos and journals and it marks the launch of an expanded collection catalogue.

To complement Estorick Collection Uncut the museum is displaying a selection of new works by artist Paul Coldwell (b1952). This special display occupies two of the galleries with Coldwell’s prints, sculptures and poems, created in London in the 2020-2021 lockdowns, alongside Morandi’s etchings and drawings.

Coldwell draws parallels between his own lockdown experience and the self-imposed, restricted, life of Morandi (1890-1964) in Bologna, where lived.

Coldwell says: “What for others might be seen as limitations, for Morandi became creative opportunities. His work speaks of the capacity of the imagination to escape from confinement, a sentiment that I hope might be found in my work as well.

“Morandi chose a kind of almost monastic existence… I began to see a comparison between the state of lockdown…

“He talks about love, death, and the Universe but he does it with bottles, jugs…”

Coldwell says Morandi has been important to him since his student days, adding: “One of the things about looking at other artists, you kind of gather a family around you; some of them are dead, some of them are contemporary but, in a way, they tell you you’re not mad”.

That is, others have been there before you.

A limited edition boxed set of Coldwell’s poems with photographs of his plaster and wood sculptures created in lockdown is available to buy.

Estorick Collection Uncut and A Still Life: Paul Coldwell in Dialogue with Giorgio Morandi can be seen until December 19 at the Estorick Collection, Canonbury Square, N1 2AN (020 7704 9522) www.estorickcollection.com Twitter @Estorick Facebook / Instagram estorickcollection

Revelling in dance

Nicolas Poussin, A Dance to the Music of Time, about 1634-1636, oil on canvas, 82.5 x 104cm, by kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London © The Trustees of the Wallace Collection

THE new exhibition Poussin and the Dance at the National Gallery is the first to focus on his pictures of dancers and revellers. And it’s a first for the Wallace Collection with their unique loan of the French Classical artist’s acclaimed A Dance to the Music of Time. The work by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) famously highlights Poverty, Labour, Wealth and Pleasure accompanied by Time on the lyre!

But there’s much more at the show, organised with the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, to which it will travel next year, in collaboration with the Wallace. It features important loans from the Prado, Uffizi, Kansas, Dresden, National Galleries of Scotland, and a series of pen and ink drawings from the Royal Collection, shown for the first time.

It also examines Poussin’s working methods, including reconstruction of wax figurines such as he used in creating his scenes.

Until January 2, admission £12. nationalgallery.org.uk

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