Amedeo Modigliani

17 April to 30 August 2009

Amedeo Modigliani was one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His iconic works are deeply engrained in the collective pictorial memory. The Art and Exhibition Hall is delighted to be able to celebrate the work of this outstanding artist, who died tragically young at the age of only 35, with a comprehensive exhibition.

Born in Livorno in 1884, Modigliani was painter, draughtsman and sculptor. With the exception of a handful of landscapes, his creative energy was entirely devoted to portraits and nudes. We plan a composition of approximately 40 paintings, 70 drawings and a number of sculptures. The works will comprise the period from 1909 until 1919, cover almost the whole time of activity of the artist and orient themselves closely along the biography of the artist reflecting decisive turning points.

The Italian Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was painter, draughtsman and sculptor. His life work comprises above all paintings (approximately 420) and drawings (approximately 1000). From 1909 to 1913 he has also devoted himself to sculpture and left approximately 25 pieces. His most important subject are portraits and nudes. He elaborates the individuality of depicted persons and maintains at the same time his formal, painterly distinctiveness. Apart from that there are very few pure landscape paintings. From the view point of an art historian one is tempted to qualify them as an earlier works, but in Modigliani's career it stands for the quietness after a period of exhaustion. Not to be overlooked in Modigliani's paintings is their relationship to the language of the styles of renaissance and mannerism. He combines expressionist, cubist and symbolistic elements but as well takes up figures of the African sculpture, popular at his time, which fascinated him because of their idolatry. He can not be classified as belonging clearly to any of the contemporary styles like cubism or fauvism.

Modigliani's life was marked by diseases, excesses, melancholy and doubts of himself. He died 35 years old in Paris of tuberculosis and the knowledge of his life is based on very few authentic documents. Compared to his popularity and acknowledgement today, his success in his lifetime was very modest. His importance as an artist was to be recognized only by posterity.

The exhibition will attempt to reveal the great strength of the paintings of Modigliani, which only at first glance seem to be very much alike. It wants to demonstrate how the artist with the formal unity of his creativity, often connected with the red file of melancholy, reached an individuality of representation, which one can not resist. Originally oriented at dominant art currents of his time he very soon finds his own style and sticks faithfully to the object known to him and pays it affectionate respect. All his works document the restless manner of life of an artist full of relish, who in great sadness is fully aware of his vulnerability and his mortality from his childhood on and who needs the euphoria of the intoxication, in order to live and work.


Amedeo Modigliani
Christoph Vitali (Hg.)
224 pages,
Format: 28 cm x 24 cm, hardcover
EUR 39,95
ISBN 978-3-8321-9191-7
pubished by : DuMont Buchverlag

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  1. Image from Exhibition Photo: Peter Oszwald © Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland GmbH

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

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