William Turner, Obsession with the Sun
CRITICAL – The English artist had his eye riveted on the star and weather phenomena in general, which he sublimated in his works to the point of abstraction, it is said. The Gianadda Foundation, in Switzerland, sees it on the contrary as a very constructed pictorial approach.
“The sun is God.” These would have been the last words of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), a legend that completes the glory of this great master of British painting – European, one might say, since he influenced the Impressionists, and even worldwide, since, from the American Jackson Pollock to the beijing child Zao Wou-Kithe 20th century will have looked at it a lot.
The sentence serves as the title of an exhibition that the Swiss Foundation Pierre Gianadda devotes to its explorations of meteorological phenomena. It was created in collaboration with the Tate Britaincustodian of the Turner bequest, which includes some 30,000 works on paper, more than 300 paintings and 280 notebooks.
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David Blayney Brown, author in these walls twenty-five years ago of a “Turner and the Alps”, this time selected 80 sheets and 20 canvases plus two woodcuts. Hung in a circle around the vast central atrium, these grandiose landscapes and tragic seascapes span the artist’s entire career…