Behind the curtain. Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance. From Titian to Christo

MUSEUM KUNST PALAST, DUESSELDORF  Germany | Düsseldorf
OCTOBER 01, 2016-JANUARY 22, 2017
Behind the curtain. Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance. From Titian to Christo - Museum Kunst Palast, Duesseldorf
The starting point of this exhibition is the tale of the contest between two ancient painters, who sought to outdo each other’s virtuosity in the art of trompe l’oeil. While Zeuxis, however, was merely able to fool the pigeons, which attempted to peck at the grapes he had painted, Parrhasius succeeded in actually deceiving the eye of his rival, who attempted to draw the curtain painted by Parrhasius to reveal the picture assumed to be behind it.
The fascinating interplay between concealing and showing, veiling and revealing using a curtain, veil or drapery is introduced in this themed exhibition, which is staged exclusively in Düsseldorf and shows important works from six centuries. With loans from international museums and private collections – paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations and photographs – the show ranges from Renaissance and Baroque paintings to modern and contemporary art. Alongside Titian’s “Portrait of Cardinal Filippo Archinto” dated 1558, which is on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition includes works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, El Greco, Jacopo Tintoretto, Arnold Böcklin, Robert Delaunay, Max Beckmann, Cindy Sherman, Christo and Gerhard Richter.
The exhibition, which is curated by General Director Beat Wismer and Claudia Blümle, illuminates in different thematic chapters the ambivalence and fascination surrounding the notion of concealment and revelation, as well as the relationship between the fine arts and perception. The wealth of topics covered start with the antique painting competition and in further chapters turn to issues such as “mystery of the divine”, “power of representation”, “violence of unveiling”, “thrill of the concealed”, “internal and external”, as well as “the art of unveiling”.


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