Mar 3rd, 2017, 03:20 PM

Exhibition: "From Zurbarán to Rothko"

By Hedvig Werner
The Virgin with the Child Jesus and the Child Saint John the Baptist (ca. 1659) by Francisco de Zurbarán, Image credit: Collection Alicia Koplowitz - Grupo Omega Capital
A new exhibition showcases one of Europe's greatest private art collections

A hidden gem off of Boulevard Haussmann is the Musée Jacquemart-André. It is an intimately and exquisitely decorated mansion-turned-museum renovated by Nélie Jacquemart and Édouard André. Currently, the museum is showing From Zurbarán to Rothko, an exhibition comprising 52 of the most stunning paintings and sculptures from Alicia Koplowitz's private art collection. The exhibition, curated by Pablo Melendo Beltrán and Pierre Curie, is a journey through the history of art, displaying pieces ranging from ancient Greek and Roman busts to abstract expressionist paintings. Koplowitz purchased the pieces at various stages of her career and personal life, and it is therefore, additionally, a true exploration of her own life.

"Each of the pieces I have purchased has aroused a certain type of feeling, even an overwhelming passion. This exhibition is the fruit of these emotions, passions and unforgettable memories that have been, and continue to be, an integral part of my life." - Alicia Koplowitz

Portrait of Doña Ana de Velasco y Girón (1603) by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Image credit: Collection Alicia Koplowitz - Grupo Omega Capital

The collection has a clear focus on female portraits—most striking of which were Doña Ana de Velasco y Girón by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Red-headed Woman Wearing a Pendant by Amedeo Modigliani and Girl in a Fur Coat by Lucian Freud. The collector's romance with female portraits is most likely a reflection of her own life as a successful businesswoman—Koplowitz is currently President of Grupo Omega Capital, an international investment firm. The exhibition creates a feeling of strength through the celebration of female characters immortalized in paint.

"An eye, to observe the external world of the other, to look at the depths of oneself" - Amedeo Modigliani

Red-headed Woman wearing a Pendant (1918) by Amedeo Modigliani, Image credit: Collection Alicia Koplowitz - Grupo Omega Capital

The exhibition is divided into eight rooms, all with different themes. The first five rooms of the exhibition are painted in a light grey shade; this choice compliments the paintings well, as many of them are painted in delicate blues and greens. This is especially true for the selection of beautiful paintings of the city of Venice from the Italian glory days, or paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Throughout the first five rooms, the audience are able to explore the Spanish and Italian Golden Ages of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, but then quickly become submerged into more modern works, taken from impressionism, post-impressionism, Spanish modernism and Parisian styles. Each of the rooms also include quotes from some of the most famous artists showcased, which helps understand the artists behind the paintings and their motivations. 

"My objective ... is to test the senses and move them by proposing an intensification of reality" - Lucian Freud

Girl in a Fur Coat (1967) by Lucian Freud, Image credit: Collection Alicia Koplowitz - Grupo Omega Capital

The last three rooms are painted in pure white, which complements the strong color combinations found in the more modern pieces of the collection. Room six and seven focus on abstract expressionist paintings from the likes of Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, while the last room shows texturing and mixing of materials in both painting and sculpture, featuring artists such as Alberto Giocemetti, Germaine Richier, and Miquel Barceló. 

"There is nothing certain about art except that it is a word (...) Art in itself is the eternally mute channel of which one can speak eternally" - Willem de Kooning

Untitled IV (1977) by Willem de Kooning, Image credit: Collection Alicia Koplowitz - Grupo Omega Capital

The exhibition takes the audience on a small trip through art's collective history, so it's a perfect way for an art newbie to gain an understanding of how art has developed hand in hand with society. On top of that, the collection is also a reflection of its owner, which gives it an extra personal edge. 

Where: Musée Jacquemart-André, 158, Boulevard Haussmann, 75008

When: Until July 10, the museum is open every day from 10AM to 6PM. Open until 8:30PM on Mondays during exhibitions.