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Link Between Art And Madness

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« on: February 07, 2009, 07:14:34 am »


                                                  Link between art and madness

                                     Van Gogh, Munch and Ernst feature in Siena show

- Siena, italy
February 5, 2009

- The age-old belief which links artistic production to madness is spotlighted in a new exhibition which has just opened in Siena. Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch and Max Ernst are among the artists featured in the event, which contains over 400 works from the last three centuries.

''A great artist is always a bit mad, and madmen are often artists,'' said Vittorio Sgarbi, the gadfly art critic who is the exhibit's curator, at its inauguration.

''This exhibit seeks to break out of the confines of social reason. It is the tale of people who were considered outsiders but who produced images and dreams that were absolutely normal, as they came from within, offering a possibility of expressing their creator's mind''. The first of the exhibit's ten sections, entitled Born Under Saturn, focuses solely on the disturbing busts of German-Austrian sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Working in the 1700s, Messerschmidt was famous for his so-called ''character heads'', which featured life-sized faces contorted in extreme facial expressions, seven of which are on display here. Another section of particular interest is entitled Madness And Folly In The Time Of Nietzsche. This contains work by four key figures active at the same time as the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: Van Gogh, Munch, the Swedish poet August Strindberg and German expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. The items on show include Van Gogh's famously bleak 1889 painting, Corridor of Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy, produced when he was locked up there against his will. Other points of interest are the anthologies of work by German psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn, on loan from the University of Heidelberg, and a selection of pieces from the prestigious Art Brut Collection in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Among the Italian-themed pieces are a disturbing painting by Italian Naive artist, Antonio Ligabue, entitled Self-Portrait With Red Scarf, and a section devoted solely to the theme of madness in Tuscan art. 'Arte, Genio, Follia. Il giorno e la notte dell'artista' (Art, Genius, Madness. The Day and The Night of The Artist) is on show at Siena's Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex until May 25.


Ligabue self-portrait 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 07:17:07 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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