The exhibition presents courtly art of the eighteenth century and its current reinterpretations. Works of old masters are accompanied by pieces of contemporary artists.
Courtly Art of the eighteenth century embodies sensuality and sophistication. Portraits of ladies in vast dresses, rococo ornaments and the bucolic ethos return in the works of modern artists, as well as in the drawings of little girls, décor of Gypsy palaces, video sceneries and erotic films.
The exhibition's title is taken from Nicolas de Largillierre's painting "Portrait of a Lady with a Dog and Monkey". It presents paintings and drawings of eighteenth-century masters (including "Bathing in the Park" by Jean-Pierre Norblin), journals of the era, silk gowns and a carved shell shaped sleigh - all from the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw.
The museum exhibits are accompanied by works of contemporary artists - Alfred Aberdam, Maurycy Gomulicki, Dominika Jałowińskiego, Piotr Kurka, Jan Mioduszewski and Igor Omulecki. Artists of the subsequent periods, reinterpret the style created by Jean Fragonard, François Boucher and Antoine Watteau.
The idea behind the show is the constant return of rrococo. Sometimes in mainstream art and sometimes pushed beyond the standards of "good taste": in kitsch, souvenirism, pornography. Longing for frivolity always appears when art becomes tired of yet another ideological clash (religious, patriotic or social) and loses the momentum of its involvement. Perhaps this is taking place right now. After two decades of the dominance of critical art, the young generation takes over and deliberately wields images of a manneristic nature. Both in the eighteenth century, as now, artists use conceptual strategies, lead a perverse game with our perception. They change masks and thereby their sexual, cultural and social identities.
The programme corresponds with the history of the exhibition space, in which it is presented: Królikarnia is an idyllic palladian palace built in the 80's of the eighteenth century, designed by Dominik Merlini, an architect of a ambiguous gambler reputation and reveler Karol de Thomatis. Rumor has it that Thomatis's theatre troupe included the mother of Giacomo Casanova himself. Since then, the palace had several different owners, interior designs and purposes. It was demolished and rebuilt. History is always present at Królikarnia. It also subcutaneously pulsates in the "Ladies with a Dog and Monkey" project; under the rococo icing, there is a colonialism awe, an impending revolution and a nostalgic end of the ancien régime period.
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of concerts at Królikarnia:
• 17 July 2011, 19:00 - Karolina Ossowska (violin) performs Giuseppe Tartini (including "g-moll sonata 'Didone abbandonata'").
• 5 August 2011, 19:00 - Baby Dee (vocal, harp, piano)
• 16 September 2011, 19:00 - Jozef van Wissem (lyre)
Curator: Agnieszka Tarasiuk.
Curator of the music program: Michał Libera.
The exhibition opening is on the 17th of July 2011and runs through the 15th of October 2011.
The Xawery Dunikowski Sculpture Museum in Królikarnia
Department of the National Museum in Warsaw
ul. Puławska 113a
Source: Press release