Dulwich Picture Gallery - Cy Twombly and Nicolas Poussin : Arcadian Painters

The exhibition of the work of Cy Twombly and Nicholas Poussin will open on 29 June and run until 25 September.   The exhibition organised to celebrate the Bicentenary of Dulwich Picture Gallery will draw upon one of the great strengths of the permanent collection of works by Poussin and ally this to an exhibition firmly rooted in the present.

In 1624 and 1957, two artists, aged thirty, moved to Rome.  Nicolas  Poussin and Cy Twombly subsequently spent the majority of their lives in the Eternal City, and went on to become the pre-eminent painters of their day.  The exhibition will look at these two figures side by side for the first time, examining through common themes, subject matter and motifs, how the two painters, separated by three centuries, nonetheless engaged with shared interests and concern.  The show explores some of these common themes and subjects that both artists have shared, from Arcadia and the pastoral, through to figures such as Achilles, Apollo and Parnassus, Bacchus and the Bacchanalia, Flora, Galatea, Orion, Orpheus, Mars Narcissus, Pan and Venus through to both painters’ late versions on the theme of the Four Seasons.

The exhibition will consist of around thirty paintings and drawings, structured thematically around six rooms devoted to key shared themes: Arcadia and the pastoral, Venus and Eros, Battle and Beheading, Apollo and Parnassus, Bacchus and Pan, and the Four Seasons.  Pictures have been loaned by the National Gallery, Tate, Royal Collection London, Prado Madrid, the Brandhorst Museum Munich. Israel Museum, Art Institute of Chicago and from Twombly himself.

There will be a Director’s  Lecture on the exhibition on Thursday 1st July 12.30pm

This solo exhibition by British artist George Shaw brings together 25 paintings made over the past 15 years charting the urban landscape of his childhood home on the Tile Hill Estate in Coventry. The Sly and Unseen Day was presented at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art from 18 February to 15 May.

Within a practice that has encompassed drawing, video-making, performance and writing, Shaw is best known for his expansive body of painting. Painted in Humbrol enamels, more usually associated with boyhood model-making, and based on photographs, Shaw’s works revisit landmarks remembered from his youth. Meticulously painted houses, pubs, underpasses and parks become autobiographical notes, frozen in time.

Shaw’s subject matter brings about associations of domesticity, folk art and a nostalgia for a lost childhood and adolescence. Yet, as The Sly and Unseen Day reveals, Shaw’s art quickly moves beyond the autobiography it first suggests. His jarring, atmospheric paintings become peculiar records of Englishness and are suggestive of a different state of mind. Even his more tranquil paintings retain a peculiar tension.

As the exhibition progresses Shaw takes an investigative journey, typically making something out of nothing, as beauty is found in the mundane. The Ash Wednesday series (2004-5) depicts the estate hour-by-hour on a single day. Other paintings, such as The Assumption, 2010 (the local school), offer a curious record of British social life and everyday experience. Conflating memory and present day reality, Shaw’s art takes on an uncanny quality, alluding to a murkier side of contemporary society and collective subconscious.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of events including George Shaw in conversation with writer and critic Gilda Williams and a selection of comedy and documentary television chosen by Shaw giving an insight into some of the concerns informing his work.

ARCADIA - by Tom Stoppard
The Dulwich Players
‘A play of ideas, of consummate theatricality, of sophisticated entertainment and of heartache for time never to be regained’  Sunday Times

Arcadia opens in April 1809 at a stately home in Derbyshire where Thomasina Coverley, a gifted pupil, proposes a startling theory, beyond her comprehension. All around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are preoccupied with secret desires, illicit passions and professional rivalries. Two hundred years later, a pushy academic and a popular historian are trying to uncover the house’s true history including whether a sexual liaison, apparently involving Lord Byron, ended in a fatal duel.   Both a glorious comedy and a literary detective story the play explores the nature of truth and time, the classical and romantic temperament and  the unpredictability of love and sex – ‘the attraction that Newton left out’.

Wednesday 13th July – Saturday 16th July 2011  8pm Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich College Tickets : £8 Available from Box Office : 020 8670 0890 or from The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village or on the door

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