Huge collection of modern art arrives in Seoul from Cleveland

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Huge collection of modern art arrives in Seoul from Cleveland

The Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio is famous for its large 19th and early 20th century Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection, which includes work by Manet, Monet, Renoir, De Gas, Matisse, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Courbet, Picasso and Modigliani.
Now 94 masterworks from the Cleveland collection are on display at the Hangaram Art Museum in the Seoul Arts Center. This is the first international exhibition for the prestigious Cleveland museum and has been made possible because it is in the middle of an extensive renovation.
Among the impressionist paintings there is Auguste Renior’s portrait of Romaine Lacaux, painted when he was 23. He and his fellow students, Bazille, Monet and Sisley, went to the forest of Fountainbleu and began painting scenery. Experimenting with his style, he threw away his dark palette and started using bright colors. He was so stunned by the results that he discarded his previous paintings.
Another Renoir painting in the exhibition is “The Apple Seller,” completed in 1890. It reveals a drastic development of his style with its longer touches and flowing colors. Among the Late Impressionist pieces in the exhibition is Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Poplars at Saint Remy,” which was completed in 1889 when the Dutch painter was in the Saint Remy mental institution in the south of France, just after he had cut off a part of his left ear.
Cezanne is said to be the father of modern painting and to have influenced Cubism. This is apparent in “The Pigeon Tower at Bellevue,” where he painted the pigeon tower from different angles and integrated architectural elements. He exaggerated the tower like a cylinder and eliminated details in the trees.
There are two still life paintings by Pablo Picasso, “Fan, Salt Box, Melon” and “Bottle, Glass, Fork.” The first one, painted in 1909, has geometrical shapes that look like they have been cut into pieces with their surfaces drawn at dissonant angles. The latter one, painted in 1911 to 1912, is closer to abstract art. It is more geometrical than the first and the items in the painting seem to have disintegrated.
The exhibition also includes work by German Expressionists including Gabriele Muenter and Karl Schumidt-Rottluff and sculptures by Rodin, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore.
The exhibition continues until March 28, except for the last Monday of each month. Opening hours are from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Ticket prices range from 5,000 ($5) to 13,000 won. For information, call (02) 587-8500 or visit

by Limb Jae-un
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