Rotterdam

Kees van Dongen, Modjesko, Soprano Singer, 1907, oil on canvas, 39 x 32".

Kees van Dongen, Modjesko, Soprano Singer, 1907, oil on canvas, 39 x 32".

Rotterdam

Kees van Dongen

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20
September 18, 2010–January 23, 2011

Curated by Anita Hopmans

Art historians typically associate Kees van Dongen with French Fauve painting. His works from that period—images of circus acrobats and music-hall performers—are striking for their reductive and caricatural approach to modernist figuration. Yet like those of other Fauves (e.g., Braque, Derain, Matisse), van Dongen’s career extends far beyond that era. In recent times, he has been neglected, taken as a minor figure, a fatuous court painter of bohemian high society. But perhaps the contemporary reemergence of painterly figuration (Marlene Dumas, Elizabeth Peyton) allows us to reconsider the significance of his practice. This exhibition of nearly one hundred works made between 1895 and 1927, and its extensively illustrated catalogue in English and Dutch, will offer a welcome revisionist account and a chance to view not just paintings but also drawings, ceramics, posters, and photographs rarely seen.