La vie en rose. Brueghel, Monet, Twombly
5 May until 22 October 2023, upper level
Press Preview: 4 May 2023, 9.30 a.m.
Opening: 4 May 2023, 5 p.m.
You are cordially invited to a press preview on Thursday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m..
Please obtain accreditation by no later than 11 a.m. on May 3, 2023 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction | Achim Hochdörfer, Director Museum Brandhorst
Inaugural address | Anna Kleeblatt, Flower Power Festival Munich
Opportunity to pose questions to director and curator Achim Hochdörfer
Possibility to make film and photographic recordings in the exhibition
Museum Brandhorst is participating in Munich’s Flower Power Festival with an exhibition inspired by Cy Twombly’s rose paintings. Taking Twombly’s poetic examination of subjects including death, freedom, isolation, and eroticism as a basis, “La vie en rose. Brueghel, Monet, Twombly” brings together works by further artists including Jennifer Packer, Ellsworth Kelly, Georgia O‘Keeffe, Gabriele Münter, and not least Claude Monet, represented by his famous Water Lilies (1915). This bouquet of works from the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen and external loans reveals the complex, even contradictory motives of numerous artists over the centuries in engaging with floral subjects.
In 1946, Édith Piaf first sang “La vie en rose” in front of an audience. The song tells how love, like a beloved person, makes the whole life appear in the color of roses. Piaf's song expresses the overwhelming longing that after the war, after occupation, persecution and resistance, there will be happiness again, trust, closeness and devotion. But “La vie en rose” is not only optimistic and love-drunk, but also permeated with a quiet melancholy, with the knowledge of the illusion and the end of every happiness, with the inevitability of grief, parting and loss.
The exhibition “La vie en rose” explores this ambiguity of colors and feelings in painting. Flowers and blossoms are a preferred subject for this in art. They symbolize the overwhelming and mysterious beauty of nature. At the same time, they are charged with poetry and meanings and can express emotions and fantasies without having to say a word, and the variety of their forms challenges the creativity and virtuosity of the artists.
At the center of the exhibition is Cy Twombly's rose cycle, created in 2008. Twombly created the series Untitled (Roses) specifically for a gallery in the museum, where it has been on show since its opening in 2009. In six monumental paintings, the artist plays through some themes of the classical flower symbolism and provides them with fragments of poems: memory and longing (blue roses), death and grief (purple roses), sensuality and eroticism (pink roses), joie de vivre and salvation (red-green roses), freedom and loneliness (yellow roses). These paintings and themes are accompanied by historical and contemporary loans from the Alte and Neue Pinakothek, the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau München, the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, the Neues Museum – Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design Nürnberg as well as private lenders who take up, vary and interpret the themes.
“La vie en rose” is an exhibition of the Bavarian State Painting Collections. It takes place on the occasion of Flower Power Festival Munich, which celebrates nature in the city in many exhibitions and events.
Curated by Achim Hochdörfer, Giampaolo Bianconi with Estelle Vallender