The Frac Aquitaine and the Bordeaux musée des beaux-arts cross their views of their collections to mark the acquisition of new works by the Frac Aquitaine in 2009. They propose to shed new light on a selection of their works: old works viewed in the light of the present, and contemporary works seen as a reflection of the past. The complete collection of Frac Aquitaine’s 17 new acquisitions will be presented for the first time in contrast with 19 works from the musée des beaux-arts collection from different schools (French, Flemish, Italian, English) and different periods (from the 17th to the 20th century).
Retrospectively, this exhibition brings together the oldest work, by Jan Josephsz Van Goyen (1596-1656), Le Chêne foudroyé, also known as La diseuse de bonne aventure (1638) and the most recent, Faire le mur (2008), a film by Bertille Bak (born in Arras in 1983), the youngest artist in the exhibited.
All the works in the exhibition, whether old or contemporary, come from European countries and cultures (Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands), with a considerable proportion of French artists from Bordeaux (Odilon Redon, Albert Marquet, Paul Antin, Louis Sue, Louis Ferdinand Chaigneau) and the Aquitaine region (Robert Wlérick, Anne-Marie Durou,Laurent Le Deunff).
This contrasting of old an recent works highlights the permanence of certain themes despite the evolution of techniques: artists from earlier periods worked according to defined codes, on different supports, first wood, then canvas, and in formats and volumes that have varied throughout the history of painting and sculpture. Although two-dimensional supports are still used today (drawings, paintings), we are progressively witnessing the appearance of works that stand out from the wall, described variously as installations (Isabelle Cornaro) or «systems» (Maurice Blaussyld). Similarly, although sculpture was traditionally presented on a pedestal (Robert Wlérick), it is progressively abandoning its pillar in preference for the floor (Laurent Le Deunff).
By modifying their practices, artists transform their own vocabulary, thus creating a new formal language that they constantly renew as their methods are progressively integrated into the ongoing history of art. Seen from a perspective of several centuries, their preoccupations seem to mirror each other because, although the genres portrait, landscape and still life continue to evolve, artists continue to question human nature and all its multifarious forms via a personal destiny that strives to achieve a universal dimension. The fortune-teller in Josephsz Van Goyen’s (17th century) diseuse de bonne aventure seems to whisper the same torments to the grimacing faces of Daniel Schlier’s characters.
Works from the Frac Aquitaine collection: Bertille Bak, Maurice Blaussyld, Marc-Camille Chaimowicz, Isabelle Cornaro, Dewar & Gicquel, Anne-Marie Durou, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, Laurent Le Deunff, Jacques Lizène, Mathieu Mercier, Eric Poitevin, Daniel Schlier / Along with works from the collection of the Bordeaux musée des beaux-arts: Paul Antin, Johann Boeckhorst, Pieter Boel, Jean Ferdinand Chaigneau, the Della Bella school, Jean Simeon Chardin, Victor-Gabriel Gilbert, Jan Josephsz van Goyen, Jean Gorin, Auguste Herbin, Albert Marquet, Odilon Redon, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Louis Sue, Etienne Tournes, Robert Wlérick