Finding an Audience: 19th-Century Drawings
Getty Center – Sep 26 to Jan 07, 2024 Los Angeles (US)
The J. Paul Getty Museum presents Finding an Audience: Nineteenth-Century Drawings, an exhibition that highlights the intended audiences for works on paper produced by 19th-century European artists. Presenting works from the Getty Museum’s collection by Edgar Degas, Gustav Klimt, JMW Turner, and more, the exhibition is on view at the Getty Center from September 26 to January 7, 2024.
Featuring nearly 40 drawings with compelling compositions and often a rich use of color, the exhibition asks visitors to consider: who originally got to see these extraordinary works of art?
“While many drawings and watercolors were made simply as sketches, this exhibition highlights those produced as finished works of art. Some were intended to impress at an exhibition or to be cherished by collectors, while others were treasures given to friends or family members,” says Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the Getty Museum. “Today’s audiences will no doubt be dazzled by them and intrigued by their stories.”
The exhibition showcases several “exhibition watercolors,” a genre that surged in popularity in the 19th century. Often large and ambitious, these watercolors could hold their own alongside oil paintings. An example is John Martin’s Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host, one of his powerful neo-apocalyptic landscapes.
“Exhibition watercolors” are paralleled with works destined for private collectors, including Albert Dubois-Pillet’s The Banks of the Marne at Dawn, which he signed at the lower right, indicating he likely intended to sell it or give it to a collector. The exhibition features a magnified, 10-by-10-foot version of the colorful watercolor, offering a rare opportunity to study Dubois-Pillet’s pointillist technique up close.
Artists on show.
Edgar Degas. Gustav Klimt. Joseph Mallord William Turner. Odilon Redon.