Sainsbury Centre exhibition - delayed by Covid but extended to end of December – On the Mezzanine
Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams
29 March to 31 December 2020, Sainsbury Centre, Norwich
This spring, the Sainsbury Centre presents Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams, a dazzling new exhibition that delves into the origins and evolution of this much-loved, and sometimes controversial, style. The exhibition will focus on the formation of Art Nouveau as an artistic practice and its spread across Europe as the dominant force in architecture and design between 1890 and 1914.
The show will provide new perspectives on the role of English art and ideas in the genesis of Art Nouveau, and its fate in England. The Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris, the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements will be considered as founding inspiration for the spectacular vision that swept across the continent, where it remains celebrated in numerous cities as a vital part of urban life. Through the treasures of the Anderson Collection at the Sainsbury Centre and those from multiple lenders, the exhibition will showcase English masterpieces in avant-garde design to explore its importance and influence on Art Nouveau in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and also the United States.
The role of nature will be another key focus of the exhibition. The common theme of translating plants into patterns will be explored as a defining feature of the modern style. Art and objects will represent Art Nouveau from different countries, where it appeared characterised as flowing, tensile line, and dramatic movement, or by organic imagery combined with an informal geometry.
The exhibition will include ceramic, furniture, glass, jewellery, paintings, posters and prints, sculpture, and textiles. The artists and designers will include: Aubrey Beardsley; Edward Burne Jones; Gustave Serrurier Bovy; the Daum Brothers; the Doulton Pottery; William De Morgan; Christopher Dresser; René Lalique; Rupert Carabin; Ernst Chaplet, Edgar Degas; Georges Fouquet; Emile Gallé; Paul Gauguin; Hector Guimard; Josef Hoffmann; Carl Kauba; Archibald Knox; the Loetz Glass Company; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Louis Majorelle; the Minton Pottery; William Morris; Alphonse Mucha; Reissner Stellmacher und Kessel; the Rozenburg Pottery; Gabriel Dante Rossetti; Louis Comfort Tiffany; Henri Van de Velde; and Philippe Wolfers.
The exhibition will be curated by Professor Paul Greenhalgh. It will contain over 150 works of varying sizes, and will be accompanied by a substantial catalogue.
Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams
29 March – 13 September 2020
£8 | £7 concessions 50% off for under 18s, full-time students and Art Fund Members FREE for Sainsbury Centre Members, UEA and NUA Student Members
Visit sainsburycentre.ac.uk or call 01603 593199 (Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm)
About the Sainsbury Centre
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is one of the most important public university art galleries in Britain. It was founded in 1973 at the University of East Anglia (UEA) with the support of one of the nation’s great philanthropic families, Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury who donated their extraordinary art collection which includes works dating from prehistory to the late twentieth century from across the globe. A radical new building by Norman Foster was designed to house the collection and was his first public work.
The Sainsbury Centre holds one of the most impressive art collections outside of the national institutions. It includes a significant number of works by modern masters of European art such as Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Jacob Epstein, Jean Arp, Chaïm Soutine and Amedeo Modigliani. There is also a remarkable collection of art and antiquities dating from prehistory to the late twentieth century from across the globe. There are major holdings from Oceania, Africa, the Americas, Asia, the ancient Mediterranean cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as Medieval Europe. Alongside these permanent collections, it hosts a range of exhibitions in the largest suite of temporary exhibitions galleries in Eastern England.
About the Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau
The Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau is considered one of the most important private collections of Art Nouveau in the UK. The collection comprises of 200 works and encompasses examples of European and American Art Nouveau from about 1890 to 1905, and includes furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and graphics.
Sir Colin and Lady Anderson were among the first British collectors of Art Nouveau. The first pieces were bought in 1960, the last in 1971. They were particularly drawn to exquisitely coloured pieces that epitomised the style with whiplash curves, botanical lines and floral motifs.
The collection includes pieces by leading exponents of Art Nouveau such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Emile Gallé and René Lalique, and significantly, other anonymous commercial pieces, giving the collection a wonderfully individual character and offers an opportunity for an exploration of Art Nouveau as both design and manufacture.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art at the Campus University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ