Masterpieces in art history unveiled at Sky Museum

Writer: Cao Zhen  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-03-31

After admiring Giorgio Morandi’s classic paintings at the Dafen Art Museum in March, Shenzheners can now appreciate masterpieces from more painters of all times in art history at a new exhibition in Futian District.

At the “Magnificence: Masterpieces From the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea” exhibition at the Sky Museum, visitors can observe 62 artworks by 46 iconic artists including Vincent van Gogh, Rene Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Edgar Degas, Giorgio de Chirico and Wassily Kandinsky.

It is a magnificent feast for art lovers and a precious opportunity for viewers to get a closer look at European art in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some paintings are on display in China for the first time. Before the exhibits arrived in Shenzhen, they were displayed in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu last year.

“The Gardener” (1889) by Vincent van Gogh. Photos from the organizers

One must-see piece is “The Gardener,” the portrait of a smiling man in brightly colored clothes created by Van Gogh in 1889. The Dutch artist sliced off most of his ear in 1888 and checked into a mental institution in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where he produced a prolific body of works, including “The Gardener.”

The Guardian once reported that it is “astonishing that Van Gogh was able to create some of his finest and most optimistic paintings in such a situation” and “it was his art that enabled him to survive.”

“Portrait of Hanka Zborowska” (1917) by Amedeo Modigliani.

Another important exhibit, “Portrait of Hanka Zborowska” by Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani in 1917, also made its debut in China. The Cubist influence is unmistakable in the asymmetrical treatment of the model features and in the peculiar representation of the fanned-out collar of her blouse. Modigliani is known for portraits in a modern style characterized by a surreal elongation of faces, necks and figures.

People who are obsessed with Kandinsky’s art made up of geometrical elements should not miss this rare opportunity to admire his abstract paintings at the Shenzhen exhibition. The Russian artist was one of the pioneers of abstract modern art and exploited the evocative interrelation between color and form to create an aesthetic experience that engaged the sight, sound and emotions of the public. One of his quotes may provide a hint for viewers to appreciate his art: “… lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and … stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to ‘walk about’ into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?”

“Luisa Sanfelice in Prison” (1874-1875) by Gioacchino Toma.

The works on display cover a wide range of artistic styles, spanning many important periods in European art history. Educational activities are also available at the exhibition.

The newly opened Sky Museum is a visual culture complex featuring contemporary art, digital art, fashion design, popular science education, leisure and entertainment.

“The Farewell Between Hector and Andromache” (1931) by Giorgio de Chirico.

Dates: Until June 25

Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (Tue.-Thu., Sun.), 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.)

Tickets: 138 yuan (work days only), 168 yuan (every day), 238 yuan (1 adult+1 kid)

Venue: Sky Museum, 48/F, Media Financial Center, Futian District (广电金融中心48楼天空美术馆)

Metro: Line 2, 3 or 11 to Futian Station (福田站), Exit 32

“Angular Line” (1930) by Wassily Kandinsky.