Kees van Dongen
17 Jan-7 MayExpected in 2023Museum
Kees van Dongen
17 January 2023 – 7 May 2023
Kees van Dongen's road to success soon on view in Singer Laren
How does the young artist Kees van Dongen manage to make it in Paris and grow into one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century within a short period of time? This question takes centre stage in the exhibition Kees van Dongen, on view in Singer Laren from 17 January 2023.
It is one of the public favourites of Singer Laren: The blue hat by Kees van Dongen (1877-1968). Anna Singer, founder of the Laren museum, receives the canvas as a gift from Hein Siedenburg, to thank her for her financial support at the time of the Van Dongen exhibition in 1937. The blue hat is the direct reason for Singer Laren to dedicate an exhibition to one of the greatest Dutch modernists.
“Mark my words, I am going to be famous.” These highly ambitious words were spoken by the young artist Kees van Dongen from Delfshaven. He is proven right and grows into one of the best-known artists of the twentieth century, along with celebrities such as Matisse, Braque and Picasso. The exhibition organised by Singer Laren in cooperation with the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History focuses on the early days of Van Dongen's career and his breakthrough in Paris just after 1900. Prominent loans can be seen from the Netherlands and abroad, including Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum, Rijksmuseum, Museum Voorlinden, Design Museum Den Bosch, Statens Museum for Kunst Kopenhagen, Centre Pompidou, Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, Musée national Picasso-Paris, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, and from a great number of private collectors.
Innovator in colour and touch
Kees van Dongen is among the first Dutch artists who seek artistic innovation in Paris around 1900. He embraces the avant-garde there. In 1905, Picasso invites him to move into a studio in the Bateau-Lavoir. In the free atmosphere of Montmartre, Van Dongen finds himself at the heart of innovation. In this environment - in the footsteps of Van Gogh - he develops into a painter of figure and an innovator in colour and touch. In addition to talent and authenticity, Van Dongen, above all, has a keen sense, shows great daring, and is burning with artistic ambition.
The road to success
“Van Dongen: an artist who is being watched and who is taken into account.” Anita Hopmans, senior curator of the RKD and an expert in the oeuvre of Van Dongen, has composed the exhibition and is the author of the accompanying catalogue. Step by step, she accompanies the visitor on the road that Van Dongen travels towards success. He starts out as an anarchistic illustrator and makes his debut as a painter at Galerie Vollard. Quite soon, he makes his breakthrough in Paris. In his studio at the rue Saulnier next to the Folies-Bergère, he is the first artist to use electric light. A highlight in his oeuvre is the use of unnatural and alienating colours. Thanks to the research carried out by Anita Hopmans, hitherto unknown
paintings from Van Dongen's avant-garde years have been brought together, resulting in a more complete picture of his development
The exhibition Kees van Dongen can be viewed from 17 January to 7 May 2023 and is made possible by the Blockbuster fund, the Turing Foundation, the VriendenLoterij, ABN AMRO, BCD Travel, Mondriaan Fonds and the Friends of Singer Laren Foundation. During the exhibition, Singer Laren will be open 7 days a week from 9.30 to 17.30 and on Thursday until 21.30.
Based on a hundred masterpieces, Singer Laren shows how Kees van Dongen has developed in a short time from an unknown artist to a world-famous painter.